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The First Try: Allusions to Life in the Soviet Union

Presentation author(s)

Kyle Christopher Swinford ’21, Schaumburg, Illinois

Majors: International Relations; Russian Language and Culture


This presentation will explore allusions to life in the Soviet Union depicted in the novella “The First Try” by Victoria Tokareva. The novella deals with a life story of a woman who lived through the Great Patriotic War and Perestroika. The novella offers allusions to the life of everyday people in the Soviet Union which were all tied to politics during the era. I will combine the knowledge which I have gained working on my two majors–International Relations and Russian–to examine these allusions to life and politics in the Soviet Union. Since life in the Soviet Union was behind the Iron Curtain, the West did not know of the life conditions of Soviet citizens. The presentation will cover the events of the War, Stalinist oppression, Khruschev’s “Thaw,” the period of stagnation, and Perestroika. I will examine the changes in life in those periods, as well as how Russian culture was influenced by the Soviet system.


Olga Ogurtsova

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