Taras Bulba is obviously one of the best historical works of the 19th century. TarasBulba is a story of Gogol, and it is a multi-aspect historical story with the big number of characters. It was written in 1835.
In the center of the story are the fates of Taras Bulba, the Cossack’s colonel, and his two sons, Andrew and Ostap. Gogol describes the lives of Cossacks at Zaporizhian Sich with admiration and warmth. In the description of life at Zaporizhian Sich, Gogol perfect linked a historical accuracy and high lyrical pathos. Due to this technique the main peculiarity of the work was reached, simultaneous realism and poetry.
The beginning of the story is strong, positive and with a large scale. The action takes place in Ukraine at the time of fight of Ukrainian people (Cossacks) with foreign invaders (Polish gentry). The main character, Taras Bulba, takes his sons to Zaporizhian Sich. He wants them to become real men, smell powder and grow wise. The writer sees in Zaporizhian Sich a forge of powerful and strong characters, real warriors, who are true conquerors. That is why there are a lot of detailed and poetical descriptions not only of the Sich, but of all Cossacks’ way of life in the story.
Ostap is the elder son and Andrew is younger one. Upon the arrival to the camp they almost immediately immerse in a whirlwind of events. They go to fight for Ukraine with their father and the other Cossacks. The forces of Zaporizhian Sich are worse than Polish’s by their sizes and arms. But it was not about the Cossacks to give up, so they fought. There is a great number of particular and poetical descriptions of fights in the story, especially is vividly described the Battle of Dubna.
The elder son, Ostap, is a successor of his father’s business. Gogol gave him heroic features. But Andrew on the contrary, is a very flexible and kind creature. This is why love to the Polish gentleman’s daughter forced him to go to the enemy’s side and to kill his previous comrades.
The main drama is that Taras Bulba must choose between the Motherland and his son. And no matter how hard it was for Bulba-father, Bulba-Cossack does his bit and the father executes his son with his own hand.
Taras Bulba is a heroic story, in which Gogol glorifies love for the Motherland, the love which in his opinion is above all blood ties.