The Russian Babushka as One of the Archetypes of Russian Culture
Due to its significant cultural and social meaning, the word Babushka has become one of the most recognizable English words of Russian origin. But what is behind this elderly woman for a Russian person? The purpose of this study is to shed light and understand the phenomenon of the Russian babushka and the importance of her role in Russian culture. The study was not specifically designed to evaluate factors of the reshaping of the babushka’s image throughout history. An attempt will be made to examine a number of well-known novels and short stories written by prominent Russian authors from different times, both fictional and autobiographical, which explore the image of the Russian babushka. I argue that the images of grandmothers described in popular literature have influence on the formation of the Russian world view. As a result of the analysis, I have identified the main components of this social and cultural construction which still remain fixed in the Russian language consciousness regardless the recent changes in the system of family values.