Themes and Meanings

(Literary Essentials: World Fiction)

A Ticket to the Stars contains several themes that are particularly relevant to Russian society and, at the same time, universal. The theme of the independence of mind and spirit is played out in a society that has fought against such independence from the very beginning of its existence. Mindful of the significance of educating the young according to the Party blueprint, Soviet society has always worked to inculcate in its youth the spirit of obedience and single-mindedness. Until the 1950’s, there were very few literary works available depicting any deviation from that path. Writers have been compelled, or have agreed, to present Soviet youth in one light only: as totally obedient members of a society that does not tolerate difference of opinion. Only since the death of Joseph Stalin have Soviet writers been able, with greater or lesser success, to depict themes and characters that deviate from the norm as dictated by the tenets of Socialist Realism. In this respect, the four characters in Aksyonov’s novel present a refreshing change. More important, they are believable characters of flesh and blood, rather than the cardboard imitations of human beings found in most Soviet literature prior to the 1950’s. In this respect, the theme of the independence of mind and spirit among young people is not only novel in Soviet literature but also indicative of the indestructibility of the human spirit.

A Ticket to the Stars also depicts...

(The entire section is 419 words.)