Mother

The Mother es una novela del ruso Máximo Gorky, publicada en 1906 sobre trabajadores revolucionarios de una fábrica.
Every day the factory whistle roared its shrill, roaring, trembling noises into the smoke-discoloured and greasy atmosphere of the workingmen's suburb; and obedient to the summons of the power of steam, people poured out of little gray houses into the street. With somber faces they hastened forward like frightened roaches, their muscles stiff from insufficient sleep. In the chill morning twilight they walked through the narrow, unpaved street to the tall stone cage that waited for them with cold assurance, illumining their muddy road with scores of greasy, yellow, square eyes. The mud dispersed under their feet as if in mocking commiseration. Hoarse exclamations of sleepy voices were heard; irritated, discontented, abusive language rent the air with malice; and, to welcome the people, deafening sounds floated about—the heavy hum of machinery, the dissatisfied snort of steam. Stern and somber, the black chimneys stretched their huge, thick sticks high above the village.
In the evening, when the sun was setting, and red rays languidly glimmered upon the windows of the houses, the factory ejected its people like burned-out ashes, and again they walked through the streets, with black, smoke-covered faces, radiating the sticky odor of machine oil, and showing the gleam of hungry teeth. But now there was animation in their voices, and even gladness.The servitude of hard toil was over for the day. Supper awaited them at home, and respite.

The day was swallowed up by the factory; the machine sucked out of men's muscles as much vigor as it needed. The day was extinguished from life, not a trace of it left. Man made another imperceptible step toward his grave; but he saw close before him the delights of rest, the joys of the odorous tavern, and he was satisfied.
On holidays the workers slept until about ten o'clock. Then the serious and married people dressed themselves in their best clothes and, after duly scolding the young folks for their indifference to church, went to hear mass. When they returned from church, they ate pirogs, the Russian national pastry, and again lay down to sleep until the evening. The accumulated exhaustion of years had robbed them of their appetites, and to be able to eat they drank, long and deep, stimulating on their feeble stomachs with the biting, burning lash of vodka…
Thus also lived Michael Vlasov, a gloomy, sullen man, with little eyes which looked at everybody from under his thick eyebrows suspiciously, with a mistrustful, evil smile. He was the best locksmith in the factory, and the strongest man in the village. But he was insolent and disrespectful toward the foreman and the superintendent, and therefore earned little; every holiday he beat somebody, and everyone disliked and feared him.
More than one attempt was made to beat him in turn, but without success. When Vlasov found himself threatened with attack, he caught a stone in his hand, or a piece of wood or iron, and spreading out his legs stood waiting in silence for the enemy…
When he died, he died hard. For five days, turned all black, he rolled in his bed, gnashing his teeth, his eyes tightly closed. Sometimes he would say to his wife: "Give me arsenic. Poison me."
She called a physician. He ordered hot compresses, but said an operation was necessary and the patient must be taken at once to the hospital.
He died in the morning at the moment when the whistle called the men to work. He lay in the coffin with open mouth, his eyebrows knit as if in a fight. He was buried by his wife, his son, the dog, an old drunkard and thief, Daniel Vyesovshchikov, a discharged smelter, and a few beggars of the suburb. His wife wept a little and quietly; Pavel did not weep at all. The villagers who met the funeral in the street stopped, crossed themselves, and said to one another: "Guess Pelagueya is glad he died!" And some corrected: "He didn't die; he rotted away like a beast."…  (Paragraphs from Mother, by Maxim Gorky, in easier English)
the mother
Book Cover

Palabras reemplazadas
Bellowed  begrimed  whir
Vocabulario
Pirog: a large pie filled with meat, vegetables, etc.
Smelter: one who works in an industrial plant melting metals.
La obra
The Mother es la obra más larga de Gorky, sobre la revolución rusa. Escribió la novela en su viaje por Estados Unidos en 1906. Después de la derrota de la primera revolución rusa en 1905, Gorky trató de levantar la moral del movimiento proletario. La novela se basa en hechos de la vida real. Tiene lugar durante una manifestación del día del trabajador en Sormovo, en 1902.
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Recursos
The Mother, para leer desde Internet.