What is the summary of The Blizzard by Alexander Pushkin?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The summary to The blizzard by Alexander Pushkin is that two young lovers are separated by fortune, fate and at last a blizzard, but it is the irony that the blizzard is the ultimate unifier of lovers. Marya loves Vladimir Nikolayevitch, but Vladimir is only a subaltern (commissioned officer with a rank lower than Captain) and isn't wealthy enough to marry and support a wife. Marya's parents have forbidden them to see each other.

However, young love finds a way to have secret visits but when winter comes, they devise a plot to elope and then abjectly beg for mercy and forgiveness from her parents. Amidst fears and deep forebodings, Marya awaits the hour at which she will be taken by Vladimir's coachman to secretly marry Vladimir.

She starts out for the church in a distant village where Vladimir has arranged for a priest to marry them. As Nikolai starts on his journey to the church, a terrible blizzard starts. He is thrown off the road many times but survives. He finally sees a village and learns that he has gone right past the village where the wedding is to take place. He hurries back to the right village and the church, but the church is closed and locked and he is told what transpired...although the reader is not told.

Years later, Marya, now the wealthy sole heiress of her deceased father's estate, has gone with her mother to buy and live on another estate in another part of the country because the sad memories were to sorely felt at her father's estate. The war has ended and the officers and soldiers are returning home. A neighboring estate welcomes the return of its wounded owner, the young Hussar, Colonel Burmin. Marya finally learns to love someone besides Nikolai after she becomes acquainted with Burmin and awaits his proposal.

Finally, he confides in her saying that although he is devoted to her, he is not free to marry because he is already married. He proceeds to narrate the story of a blizzard that led him to a village where he was ushered into a darkened church and wed to a beautiful but anonymous woman. He ran when she fainted at the realization that the husband at her side was not Nikolai. Marya cries, "So it was you? Do you not recognize me?" Burmin and Marya were brought together in the blizzard that separated her from Vladimir who went to war and was fatally shot at Borodino.

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