The Stalinist Terror And "Sofia Petrovna"

756 words - 3 pages

In the book Sofia Petrovna, the author Lydia Chukovskaya writes about Sofia Petrovna and her dreadful experiences as a widowed mother during the Russian Stalinist Terror of the 1930s. There were four basic results of the Russian Stalinist Terror: first, it was a way of keeping people in order; second, it kept Stalin in power and stopped revolutions from forming, made people work harder to increase the output of the economy, and separated families as well as caused deaths of many innocent people due to false charges.

Stalin used the media in order to convince the Russian citizens that there were saboteurs and spies within Russian population. Stalin used the secret police and military forces to carry out the arrests of so called saboteurs and spies that were plotting against the motherland of Russia. There were many innocent people put into work camps and jails because they stood up against the false charges of the saboteurs. "'And why was Alik arrested?' 'Oh, Natasha, if you only knew the kind of crude language he used in front of everyone in line. I'm sure now that his lounge was the undoing of Koyla,too'"(87) When Alik stood out and spoke his mind, leading to his arrest. This is very similar to when Sofia Petrovna stood up for Natasha at the print house, and then had to resign from her job. The media's attention to the saboteurs and spies gave Stalin and the government power to arrest or cast out individuals in the Russian work force and society, because they were a threat to the motherland,even if they were just acting slightly out of line.

I believe Stalin's main reason for starting the terror was to keep politicians and citizens from organizing and overthrowing Stalin with a revolution, much like the way Stalin overthrew Trotsky as the top runner for the successor of Lenin. Stalin utilizes the media in order to persuade the Russian citizens that saboteurs were interfering and ruining the industrialization process. The media also expresses that the imprisonment of the spies is the right thing to do. "Up with the banner of Bolshevik vigilance, as we are taught by the genius of the leader of the peoples, comrade Stalin! Let us root out all saboteurs, secret and open, and all those in sympathy with them"(83) As Sofia Petrovna...

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