Consider the Doll
Brian E. Denton
172

Socio-Linguist’s Note: “Girl” and “Boy” in English have been used historically not just to refer to children. Thus, it can make sense in the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation to say “a girl is no longer a child, though the child is not yet a young woman”. This paradox is elegantly contained in the Russian where there are two diminutives: which might be transliterated “devochka” (girl) and “devushka” (young woman) so we have the equation: “девочка уже не ребёнок, а ребёнок ещё не девушка.”

This is echoed by the troubling status of the doll (A daughter I suppose?) How could Natasha answer that question truthfully? Does the reader get a sense that her fate will be similar to her mother the Countess…bearing 12 children if she is lucky to survive.

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