How would you charaterise the relationship between Dunia and her father from Dunia's perspective during her pre-Minskii era as well as her motive to leave crying in Pushkin's "The Stationmaster"?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We only hear directly what the stationmaster's side of the father-daughter relationship is like but can infer from his comments what her perspective is. The stationmaster declares Dunia did all the household work: "The whole household rested on her: be it cleaning or cooking, she'd see to it all." He also declares that all manner of travelers were delighted with Dunia, conversing with her, giving her gifts, lingering under some pretext of an excuse or other to visit with her longer. What we infer from this is that she was a productive, cheerful, happy, peaceful, winsome and charming young woman. She was not hardened by unhappiness or mistreatment and everyone recognized her pleasing and soothing, unmarred, personality. From this, we can infer that she felt as loving and warm and tender toward her father as he felt toward her:

I ... just doted on her, just did not know how to treasure her enough; who'd dare say I didn't love my Dunia, didn't cherish my child? Who had a good life if she didn't?   

Knowing this explains why she left with tears and sorrow: "Dunia had wept during the whole journey." A young, inexperienced and warmhearted girl who has never met with anything but admiration and sincerity, foolishly fell in love with the Hussar (i.e., soldier in Hussars regiment). She has been seduced by him and coerced into accompanying him to St. Petersburg. Rather than act honorably and ask the stationmaster for Dunis'a hand in marriage, the Hussar has chosen to abduct her. Though, in her unaccustomed state of mind, "it did seem that she was going of her own free will." Dunia wept at leaving because she loves her father, will miss him, regrets deceiving him, and regrets not giving him a proper, loving last farewell, even though she may long for the pleasures of society the Hussar enticed her with.

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The Stationmaster

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