The Use of Numbers in The Queen of Spades Essay

The Use of Numbers in The Queen of Spades Essay

Length: 1535 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Use of Numbers in The Queen of Spades  

   The use of numbers, especially the three and to a lesser extent the seven, is of major importance in Alexander Pushkin's The Queen of Spades. The use of three permeates the text in several ways, these being major, minor, and in reference to time. According to Alexandr Slonimsky in an essay written in 1922, "A notion of the grouping of three is dominant..." (429).

In the major details of the story, we find "three fantastic moments" (Slonimsky 429), three cards, three major catastrophes, three main characters, and the use of six chapters, six being a multiple of three. The three fantastic moments are: "the story of Tomsky (Chapter 1), the vision of Hermann (Chapter 5), and the miraculous win (Chapter 6)" (429). These three moments form the backbone of the story. In Tomsky's story, one first reads of the three cards guaranteed to produce a winner at the game of faro. What makes this incident fantastic in relation to the story is the importance of the story to the events that follow when contrasted to the nonchalant attitude attributed to those in attendance. The second fantastic incident is that of the appearance of the dead Countess to Hermann. This incident is fantastic in that the three cards named by the Countess are actually the winning cards, meaning the Countess is an apparition and not simply a dream. The final fantastic incident occurs when Hermann miraculously wins at the faro table the first time. The reader now knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the three are magic cards.

"The particular significance of the three cards is shown in the rhythmic quality of Hermann's thoughts" (Slonimsky 429). In looking at the original text, the rhythmic quality is much more appa...

... middle of paper ...

...the greatest of the classical literary tradition and is also considered to be one of the triumvirate of great Russian literature. As concerns The Queen of Spades, D.S. Mirsky has this to say, "The Queen of Spades is beyond a doubt Pushkin's masterpiece in prose" (436).

Works Cited

Mirsky, D.S.   Title unknown.   1926.   Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism Volume 3.   Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris.   Detroit:   Gale Research Company,   1983.

Pushkin, Alexander.   The Queen of Spades.   1834.   Trans.   Ivy and Tatiana Litvinov.   Literature of the Western World, Third Edition, Volume Two.   Ed. Brian Wilkie and James Hurt.   New York:   Macmillin,   1992.   870-890.

Slonimsky, Alexandr.   Title Unknown.   1922.   Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism Volume Three.   Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris.   Detroit:   Gale Research Company,   1983.




Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Sarah and Vashti: The Queen of Cups vs The Queen of Swords Essay

- I once heard a rabbi compare life to a game of poker. That certainly captivated my attention, because who would ever imagine a religious figure draw a connection between life and gambling. When we are born, G-d deals us a hand of cards, with each one determining aspects of our being, such as what kind of family we are born into, where we live, what our talents are, and what exactly we are meant to struggle with. We cannot trade our hand for anyone else’s, so we have to play the best game we can with what we are dealt....   [tags: religious beliefs and history]

Powerful Essays
2530 words (7.2 pages)

The Power and Genius of Alexander Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades Essay

- The Power and Genius of Alexander Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades In Alexander Pushkin’s “The Queen of Spades,” many aspects of the short story have made for considerable debate among scholars.  Pushkin fills an integral role in Russian literary history, and there are abundant research sources to use in analyzing and interpreting his texts.  Pushkin is often referred to as the Father of Modern Russian Literature, but until just recently much of the criticism on Pushkin focused on Pushkin himself as the author, the innovative simplicity in his prose, or the political relationship between Pushkin and the Russian aristocracy.  Pushkin’s personal life was often the subject of public debate among...   [tags: Queen Spades]

Powerful Essays
5718 words (16.3 pages)

Exploring Chance In Pushkins the Queen of Spades Essay

- Exploring Chance In Pushkin's the Queen of Spades It is said in The Bible that God has given Man 'free will.' Unfortunately for Man, The Bible does not entail exactly what 'free will' is. Some speculate that there is a force called Chance. These people believe that through a serious of coincidence, luck, and their own choices, they can control their future. Others believe in a force known as Fate. With this line of thinking, everything has a goal, and those goals will be met eventually. This gives the believer a sense of inevitability and they tend to be more laid back due to the philosophy of least resistance....   [tags: Pushking Queen Spades Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
1452 words (4.1 pages)

Pushkin's The Queen of Spades Essay

- Pushkin's The Queen of Spades French connoisseurs already know Pushkin's The Queen of Spades in Mérimée's translation. It might appear impertinent to offer now a new version, and I do not doubt that the earlier one will appear more elegant than this one, which has no merit other than its scrupulous exactness. That is its justification. A preoccupation with explaining and rounding off induced Mérimée to blunt somewhat the crystalline peaks of the tale. We have resisted adding anything to Pushkin's clean and spare style, with its slender grace, which hums like a taut string....   [tags: Pushkin Queen of Spades Essays]

Powerful Essays
711 words (2 pages)

The Queen of Spades Essay

- In 2014, American Hustle topped the box office charts and was celebrated by critics alike. The film praised con artists and even portrayed them as light-hearted, “comedic figures” (Surowiecki). Americans condemn rapists and murders, yet we idolize con artists and often strive to achieve the most out of life with the least amount of work. People are constantly looking for shortcuts and quick solutions, making us bait to the cons of our society. The premise of the film is the idea that people are always self-interested and will believe what they want to believe....   [tags: film analysis, critics, card games, ]

Powerful Essays
973 words (2.8 pages)

The Violence of The Queen of Spades Essay

- The Violence of Plath’s Daddy   "Daddy" is probably Plath’s most famous poem. The critic George Steiner has said that, "It is a poem by which future generations will seek to know us." He has also called it, "the Guernica of modern poetry." The violence of its imagery and tone, the references to concentration camps, torture and fascism certainly evoke Picasso’s most celebrated painting. Plath claimed that in this poem she was adopting the persona of a girl with an Electra complex whose father had been a fascist, but while the poem is not completely autobiographical, it contains several obvious references to her own life....   [tags: The Queen of Spades]

Powerful Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)

Queen Elizabeth Woodville Essay

- When attempting to write an interesting and appealing work of historical fiction, an author may compromise the historical truth behind the story in order to attract readers. Usually, authors can be very true to the history behind the person or event that they are writing about. Yet, sometimes, works of historical fiction are glamorized in order to make the story more appealing. The novel, The White Queen, by Philippa Gregory was not an accurate representation of the life of Elizabeth Woodville because of its continual usage of historical rumors and unproven facts rather than factual information....   [tags: The White Queen, Philippa Gregory]

Powerful Essays
1949 words (5.6 pages)

The Young Years of Queen Victoria Essay

- The Young Years of Queen Victoria Victoria was born on a spring day, May 24th, 1819, at Kensington Palace, in the then quiet suburb of London. "Plumb as a partridge" was her father's description of the baby, and she certainly bore a marked resemblance to her sturdy and robust Hanoverian ancestors who had ruled Great Britain for little more than a century at the time of her birth. By 1798 Victoria's grandfather, King George III, had reigned for nearly sixty years, but he was now old and feeble....   [tags: Queen Victoria Childhood Essays]

Powerful Essays
3512 words (10 pages)

The Use of Numbers to Interpret Reality for Artificial Intelligence Essay

- The Use of Numbers to Interpret Reality for Artificial Intelligence All of us when introduced to the real world learn to count things or ideas. It's number, which gives us happiness, sorrow, jealousy or pain. Our love and hatred depend on some numbers and our expression and reaction related to all abstract or real ideas surely depend on some numbers, which are natural numbers. Have we ever thought of applying non-natural numbers in real life. However funny it sounds, it may be possible (at least in this writing) to apply real numbers to the field or reality....   [tags: Free Essays]

Free Essays
407 words (1.2 pages)

Essay about Queen Elizabeth

- Queen Elizabeth was born on September 7, in 1533 to a royal couple by the name of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She pertained a strong personality and strong political skills in overlooking marriage proposals and intensely flirting with many available suitors. She reigned over England without a king or children (Britannia: Elizabeth 1). Her father was known for the execution of his wives. The king had announced that any daughter would be "illegitimate" to the line of succession because his upcoming sons would be highly favorable to the throne (Thomas, Heather)....   [tags: Queen Elizabeth]

Powerful Essays
961 words (2.7 pages)