The Queen of Spades

by Alexander Pushkin

Start Free Trial

What are examples of the faux magical element in "The Queen of Spades" by Pushkin?  

There are a few instances of the faux magical element in Pushkin's short story. One is when Hermann collapses at the countess's funeral, and he believes he sees her open her eyes and wink at him. Another is when he has a vision or dream in which she explains to him, that if one plays all three cards you may win, but after that you must never play them again. A third is when he looks at the queen of spades and it seems to wink at him.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The faux magical elements in Pushkin's short story "Queen of Spades" involve the countess's gambling secret and gambling. One instance occurs at the funeral of the countess. Hermann, the unlucky hero, steps forward to view her laid out in her coffin and believes he sees her open her eyes and wink at him. After collapsing onto his back in shock, he eats a good meal and drinks lots of wine.

Another instance occurs that night when he is visited by a vision or a dream in which the countess declares she has been instructed to share the gambling secret with him. The secret is to play the three, the seven, then the ace and never play them again. A third instance occurs after successfully playing the three and seven. He is about to play the ace but since he is terribly nervous and anxious he pulls out not the ace but the queen of spades--and loses. As he looks in horror at the queen of spades, it seems to wink at him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The faux magical elements in Pushkin's short story "Queen of Spades" involve the countess's gambling secret and gambling. One instance occurs at the funeral of the countess. Hermann, the unlucky hero, steps forward to view her laid out in her coffin and believes he sees her open her eyes and wink at him. After collapsing onto his back in shock, he eats a good meal and drinks lots of wine.

Another instance occurs that night when he is visited by a vision or a dream in which the countess declares she has been instructed to share the gambling secret with him. The secret is to play the three, the seven, then the ace and never play them again. A third instance occurs after successfully playing the three and seven. He is about to play the ace but since he is terribly nervous and anxious he pulls out not the ace but the queen of spades--and loses. As he looks in horror at the queen of spades, it seems to wink at him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team