There’s no better theme for a novel than love theme. Though, there has been said about love lots of things, yet each and every time it pays our attention to itself. Why? Because when there’s love, a lot of things happen.
For example, let’s take a look into Ivan Turgenev’s “On the Eve”. We have a him – Andrey Bersenyev (he’s a student philosopher), then we have another him – Pavel Shubin who is a sculptor. Pavel lives with Stakhovs family. The patriarch of the family – Nikolai once married Anna Vasilyevna for money and has an affair with the German widow Avgustina Hristianovna. See, everything looks familiar, nothing has changed and that’s one of the reasons why people like and read stories like these: they reflect our lives and our experiences.
However, what do we know about Shubin character? Aside from the fact that he’s been living with Stakhov’s for five years, his laziness and lack of wish to learn more in his field, for us the most interesting information is the fact that he loves Stakhov’s daughter Elena, and has an interest on her young companion Zoya. We get some kind of triangle here: a young boy loves a girl and likes the other girl. Dramatic! Yet, we get one triangle: Bersenyev loves Elena too, but he’s friends with Shubin… Too complicated.
Elena is a typical girl from a typical good family: beautiful, kind, enjoys to help sick and hungry, both people and animals. She’s smart, however lonely. Shubin doesn’t interest her as a love object (too bad for him). Bersenyev? Yeah, he doesn’t attract her either (too bad for him too). But Bersenyev brings a third him – this Bulgarian young man Dmitriy Insarov.
Turns out, Insarov becomes the most interesting and attractive option for Elena. Why? Well, think about it who would you pick: a) the lazy one, who is moreover, unstable; b) the one who is smart and shy; or C) the one who lives with this idea to free Bulgaria (his motherland) from the Turkish rule and owning? I think the answer who did Elena pick and why is pretty clear.
But there is always big and weird BUT in every love story. Insarov announces that he will have to get back home as soon as he falls in love, because as a true fighter for his country he won’t refuse his responsibility to fight for it out of his personal feelings. How dramatic! Again. But seriously, how often do hear such kind of announcements?
But then Elena finds out about Insarov’s decision, she runs to him and says that she loves him. He says that he loves her and asks her to leave with him. She obviously says yes. Eventually, they decide to get marry (that doesn’t make her family any happier) and they leave.
At this point, happy love story ends. A sad, tragic love story begins. While being abroad Insarov gets sick and dies. And Elena’s line breaks somewhere in Bulgaria.
As you can see there’s nothing fancy or extraordinary in turgenev’s story. Same as always. But we love it and keep reading it. Why? As I mentioned, it reminds us true life. All these things happen. Maybe not to everyone, but happen. On some level it’s like reading a story about ourselves. But why do writers like love theme so much? For the same reasons. Plus, as a writer, you can turn a love themein any direction you want. Even the most unexpected. That’s very convenient.