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Title: The Muse of Pedagogy: Metaphors of Education in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature
Authors: Matthews, Laura Elisabeth
Advisors: Vinitsky, Ilya
Contributors: Slavic Languages and Literatures Department
Keywords: Aksakov
Subjects: Slavic literature
Slavic studies
Educational philosophy
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation explores the metaphors for education employed by three nineteenth-century Russian writers, Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin, Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov, and Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy. These metaphors reflect not only the pedagogical philosophy of these writers in a single cohesive image, but also the major tenets of their worldviews, thereby providing a window into their ideologies, literary stylistics, and views on the relationship between literature and education. Each chapter focuses on a close reading of a text onto which the author’s metaphorical construct of education can shed new light. I examine Pushkin’s “school of life” metaphor in his memorandum “On National Education,” Aksakov’s metaphor of the little scarlet flower’s growth in The Childhood Years of Bagrov’s Grandson, and Tolstoy’s dueling metaphors for education, the watermill and the windmill, in Anna Karenina. By unpacking the entailments, or implications and inferences, of each metaphor, we discover not only the key to understanding the texts in which they reside, but also a new way of viewing the authors and their literary production. Applying metaphor theory and contemporary educational scholarship of metaphors to our literary analysis of these writers’ works enables us to uncover why authors turn to metaphors – instead of to literal pedagogical discourse and terminology such as obrazovanie, vospitanie, and razvitie – to communicate their views most effectively. The nature of metaphor as a way of knowing, a means of communication, and a contributor to the construction of reality will illuminate this device’s function in the works of our authors and lead to productive ways of understanding metaphor that have implications on pedagogy and teaching practice today. In addition to highlighting new contours of the life and work of Pushkin, Aksakov, and Tolstoy, this dissertation’s objectives are threefold: illustrate the prominence of pedagogy as a major concern of the nineteenth-century Russian literary community, demonstrate the efficacy of metaphors as a means of communicating pedagogical knowledge, and make a case for examining educational metaphors in literature to train and equip educators today to do the same with their own constructs of education.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Slavic Languages and Literatures

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