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Yuri Olesha, Envy. Summary, description, analysis and reviews
Yuri Olesha, Envy. Summary, description, analysis and reviews

In 1927, the Soviet writer Yuri Karlovich Olesha wrote a novel called "Envy". According to readers, in it the author reveals the tragedy of the "extra person" in a new way: the hero does not dispose to himself, evoking positive emotions or empathy, like Chatsky Griboedova, Pushkin's Onegin, Pechorin Lermontov, Rudin Turgenev, Bender Ilfa and Petrova. On the contrary, the "superfluous person" in Yuri Olesha's novel "Envy" rather causes hostility: he is envious, cowardly and petty. Olesha shows the reader just such a representative of the intelligentsia in the young Soviet society. All this can be seen by reading the summary of "Envy", a brief retelling of the events of this novel.

envy olesha yu

Meeting of the main characters

Summary of the novelOlesha "Envy" begins with a narration on behalf of the protagonist. Nikolai Kavalerov is twenty-seven years old. While drunk, he got into a fight in a pub. Kavalerov was thrown out into the street. In such an unattractive form, he was picked up by Andrey Babichev, a communist, a successful director of a food industry trust, who was passing by in his car. The Savior is generous: he brings Kavalerov to his house and allows him to live there in a separate room, warning that the sofa in this room belongs to his adopted eighteen-year-old son, football player Volodya Makarov. Therefore, the sofa will have to be vacated when the son returns from Murom. Babichev also offers Kavalerov a simple job: he is required to proofread documents and select materials.

Birth of Envy

Summary of Olesha's "Envy" continues the story of a short period of time during which the hero's feelings of gratitude for his salvation are transformed into painful envy and hostility.

For two weeks Kavalerov lives with Babichev and watches him. He is annoyed that he is so successful, passionate about his work: Andrei comes up with a name for chocolates, is working on creating a new type of sausage, is building a communal canteen called "Chetvertak".

envy summary

Kavalerov despises his benefactor, calling him a sausage man and considering him a person inferior to himself. Kavalerov considers himself so refined, possessing a poetic gift, because he composes verses and monologues for the stage, and histhe topics are nepmany, financial inspector, sovladyshni, alimony. He painfully envies Babichev, his successful life, career, his good he alth and energy. Cavaliers is trying his best to find weaknesses, vulnerabilities. His jealousy for Volodya Makarov, whom he doesn't even know, is boundless.

Unfulfilled dreams

Cavalerov dreams of becoming famous, obsessed with some lofty ideas. He would be born and live in a provincial French town, and then go to the capital and do something grandiose. And he is doomed to live in a country where a successful person is required to have a realistic perception of reality. The hero understands that his life did not work out, he will not achieve anything in it. And he won't be famous.

Kavalerov dreams of great love, although he understands that she, too, will no longer be in his life. Forty-five-year-old Anechka Prokopovich, a fat and flabby widow, is the one with whom he can be content in love as a man. He realizes that he is humiliated to the limit, and this infuriates him.

Someone else's glory

The hero is forced to help Babichev: to bring sausages made using a new technology to the right addresses.

olesha summary

People congratulate the creator, and Kavalerov is tormented and angry that the glory goes to the sausage maker. The summary of “Envy” by Olesha conveys the experiences of the hero, who everywhere painfully feels his uselessness, feels like a stranger. And the people around him constantly remind him of this: either he is not allowed to go to the airfield, where a completely new airplane is supposed to take off, or to a construction site.the greatest dining room "Thursday".


Envy tormented Kavalerov. She deprived him of a peaceful life. In desperation, the hero decides to write a letter to Babichev. He reports in it about his hatred for him, in every possible way tries to offend him. The hero also writes in a letter that he supports Ivan, Babichev's brother, whom Andrei called a lazy person and a person harmful to society. Kavalerov recalls a recent scene that he witnessed, how Ivan asked Valya, his daughter, to return to him. Then, seeing her, the hero decided to make the image of Valya the subject of his romantic dreams.

olesha yu k envy summary

Unforgivable gaffe

Cavalerov decides to leave Babichev's house. During his training camp, Volodya Makarov, a student and a football player, returns. Kavalerov is confused, he jealously watches how he took a seat on the couch he loved. Kavalerov makes attempts to slander Babichev. However, Makarov quietly ignores his accusations. Leaving, the hero does not dare to leave the letter he wrote, so he takes it with him. However, later he realizes that he accidentally took a completely different letter instead of his own, and left his own on the table. Summary Yu. K. Olesha "Envy" makes it clear that this oversight will play a fatal role. Having discovered his mistake, Kavalerov falls into despair. He returns to Babichev. The hero is ready to beg him for forgiveness and repent. But when he sees his benefactor, he forgets that he wanted to ask for forgiveness. Kavalerov insults Andrey, and when he sees Valya coming out of his bedroom, he completely loses his head fromenvy and jealousy. He ends up being thrown out the door. The hero is full of evil revenge and threatens to kill his hated savior.

The story of Ivan Babichev

In the summary of Olesha's "Envy" one cannot fail to mention one more hero - brother Andrey. After the final break with Andrei Babichev, Kavalerov becomes an ally of his brother Ivan, who turned out to be the same loser in life. From his confession, the hero learns that Ivan from childhood showed the ability to invent, for which he was called the Mechanic. After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute, he briefly worked as an engineer. And now his life is pubs in which he is looking for himself: he paints portraits, composes impromptu and preaches.

summary of works by yuri olesha

Ivan calls on all those who are not alien to human feelings to protest against the soullessness that, according to him, socialism brings in itself, making a machine out of a person. With undisguised hatred, he treats his brother Andrei, who, in his opinion, took his daughter Valya from him, as well as his adopted son Volodya Makarov. All this brings Ivan closer to Kavalerov.


Ivan intends to show his newfound ally his invented machine, which contains a huge number of different functions. According to the story of the creator, this device can do everything, but he forbade it to do so. This machine could make all people happy, but Ivan decided to avenge his era by corrupting it. He put into her the most vulgar human feelings. It is no coincidence that the inventor called thisapparatus "Ophelia" - the name of a girl who went crazy from despair and love. Kavalerov is watching Ivan, who seems to be talking to someone on the other side of the fence. A piercing whistle terrifies Ivan and Kavalerov. They run away together.

Another fairy tale

Kavalerov is ashamed of his fear. After all, he saw a boy who whistled piercingly with two fingers. In addition, he does not believe in the existence of the machine that Ivan allegedly created. Kavalerov informs him about this. After the spat that followed, Kavalerov surrenders. Ivan immediately comes up with a new fairy tale - a story about how he sends his invented car to the construction site of the "Quarter", and it destroys it. Brother Andrei, defeated, crawls towards him.

New meeting

Kavalerov was among the spectators at the football match where Volodya Makarov played.

envy of olesha

He watches Volodya, Andrei Babichev and Valya with agonizing jealousy. It seems to him that they are surrounded by universal attention and are happy with it. Nobody notices Kavalerov himself. He is tormented by the fact that Valya is not available to him.

Drunk hero returns home at night. Once in bed with Anechka Prokopovich and having heard from her comparisons with her ex-husband, Kavalerov is furious. He beats the widow, which also delights her. The hero gets sick. Anechka takes care of the sick. In delirium, happy Valya and Volodya come to him, and "Ophelia", pinning Ivan to the wall with a needle, pursues him.

Last resting place

Having recovered from his illness, Kavalerov is full of hopechange your failed life for the better. He runs from the widow, spends the night on the boulevard. Having decided to deal with Anechka, he returns to her. The last scene in Olesha's summary of Envy takes place in the widow's room. Returning to her, the hero suddenly finds Ivan sitting on her bed, who offers him a drink. Just like the Cavaliers, he finds solace here.


Summary of "Envy", Olesha's reviews of it, written in his diaries, testify to the author's special attitude towards the image of Kavalerov. He made it autobiographical. The hero is an intellectual, a poet and a dreamer, he has become an extra person in socialist reality. However, for all his humiliation, Kavalerov does not look like a loser, unlike Andrei Babichev, a successful and purposeful sausage maker. The sausage in this novel is a symbol of the welfare of the socialist system.

According to readers, the conflict in Y. Olesha's "Envy" is a conflict between the poet and society. The power and purpose of a poet in society is to speak the truth. The relationship between the artist and the crowd cannot be simple. The author contrasts the image of a creative person contemplating reality, a representative of the new government, a businessman, and a practitioner.

book envy

Considering the summary of the works of Yuri Olesha, it can be noted that the novel "Envy" is the pinnacle of his work, a literary success. The high artistic merit of this work was unanimously recognized by critics. However, philosophical problems, according to reviewsreaders, caused heated debate.

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