The Stalinist Terror and "Sofia Petrovna"

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In the book Sofia Petrovna, the author Lydia Chukovskaya writes about Sofia Petrovna and her dreadful experiences as a widowed mother during the Russian Stalinist Terror of the 1930s. There were four basic results of the Russian Stalinist Terror: first, it was a way of keeping people in order; second, it kept Stalin in power and stopped revolutions from forming, made people work harder to increase the output of the economy, and separated families as well as caused deaths of many innocent people due to false charges. Stalin used the media in order to convince the Russian citizens that there were saboteurs and spies within Russian population. Stalin used the secret police and military forces to carry out the arrests of so called saboteurs and spies that were plotting against the motherland of Russia. There were many innocent people put into work camps and jails because they stood up against the false charges of the saboteurs. "'And why was Alik arrested?' 'Oh, Natasha, if you only knew the kind of crude language he used in front of everyone in line. I'm sure now that his lounge was the undoing of Koyla,too'"(87) When Alik stood out and spoke his mind, leading to his arrest. This is very similar to when Sofia Petrovna stood up for Natasha at the print house, and then had to resign from her job. The media's attention to the saboteurs and spies gave Stalin and the government power to arrest or cast out individuals in the Russian work force and society, because they were a threat to the motherland,even if they were just acting slightly out of line. I believe Stalin's main reason for starting the terror was to keep politicians and citizens from organizing and overthrowing Stalin with a revolution, much like the way Stalin ove... ... middle of paper ... ... the terror causes Sofia Petrovna's life to fall apart, and takes everyone important in her life away from her. Her husband had died, her beloved son is accused of sabotaging, Koyla's loyal friend,Alik, has been accused of associating with a saboteur, and Natasha,Sofia's Friend and Koyla's admirer poisons herself because she was of "no need" and couldn't live a normal life. Sofia's whole life was ruined and at the end of the novel we see her not able to even contact her son Koyla, because of the fear of having to be deported. The Russian Stalinist terror I believe was Stalin's way of solidifying his power as dictator of the Russian government. It kept people in order, refrained people from organizing revolutions, and increased production of goods, however the terror ultimately destroyed millions of families and caused the deaths of millions innocent citizens.

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