Tatyana Larin (tah-TYAH-nah LAH-rihn), also called Tanya Larina (TAHN-yah LAH-rihn-uh), the reserved and withdrawn older daughter of the well-to-do, upper-middle-class Larin family, of whose marriage her parents despair. She falls in love at first sight with Eugene Onegin and, unable to write grammatical Russian, sends him a passionate letter written in French. Although he fails to encourage her, she turns down several other proposals of marriage. When her family takes her to Moscow, she picks up beauty hints at a ball and attracts the attentions of a retired general who persuades her to marry him. Years later, she again sees Onegin, who falls in love with her and writes her passionate letters. She reads them and preserves them to read again, but she gives him no encouragement and remains faithful to her general to the end of her life.
Eugene Onegin (ehuh-GEH-nihy oh-NEH-gihn), the hero of this narrative poem, with many resemblances to its author. Brought up in the aristocratic tradition, he is a brilliant, witty man of the world. Successful in many light love affairs, he is bored with living. City life, with its opera and ballet, has lost its appeal. A stay on the country estate willed to him by his uncle wearies...
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