Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Nicholas Warner

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In this thesis, I argue that in his novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin transcends the traditional narrator-reader hierarchy to foster a sense of friendship between himself and his reader. I suggest that Pushkin’s desire for friendship with his reader necessitates a keen awareness of his and his reader’s collective engagement within the novel. If Pushkin seeks friendship with his readers, he must treat them as friends. Consequently, the reader’s role in Eugene Onegin is elevated to that of Pushkin’s intimate. In my analysis, I identify three methods by which Pushkin successfully fosters a sense of overlapping experience with and closeness to his reader: his positioning of his narrator as an observer, his engagement with the reader through dialogue, and his inclusion of confessional asides. In return, I find that Pushkin expects his readers to possess some cultural awareness of 19th-century Russian life but, more importantly, to approach his novel with a strong sense of humor and an open mind and heart. Eugene Onegin is then not only a source of moral instruction but an exercise in it—a work that extends readers the invitation of true friendship.