Positive Emotions In Novel-Chronicle By A.M. Amur- Sanan “The Son Of Mudreshka”


The author studies positive emotions experienced by the characters of the novel – chronicle by Kalmyk writer Amur – Sanan “The son of Mudreshka”. A lexico-semantic analysis of all verbal (lexemes, phrases, sentences) and non-verbal (gestures, facial expressions, posture, smile, laughter, appearance) designations of positive emotions selected from the text of the work by the continuous sampling method was carried out. The conclusion was made about the gradual change in the emotional background of the entire work: joy comes instead of suffering, grief, humiliation. It was shown that the emotion of joy arose as a result of the realization of personal needs by the hero. It was experienced as a feeling of satisfaction with oneself, other people and the world around. It was revealed as an interest in learning new information, comprehending new skills and abilities, which changed for the better not only the life of a single person, but also of all the poor. During the achievement of goals, Anuton experienced a sense of satisfaction from the self-realization of his needs and capabilities. It was established that the positive emotion of affection did not have a detailed verbal description in the text of the work, it was manifested non-verbally (gestures, appearance). The significance of the novel-chronicle “The son of Mudreshka” was in the fact that the author depicted a new world that had opened up for poor Kalmyks who experienced new, previously unknown positive emotions – joy, affection, interest.

Keywords: Kalmyks, novel-chronicle, positive emotions, “The son of Mudreshka”


A novel-chronicle by the Kalmyk writer Amur- Sanan “The son of Mudreshka” has an extensive history of study by literary critics (Balakaev & Oglaev, 1988; Dzhambinova, 1988; Dzhimgirov, 1973; Lidzhieva, 1988; Saldusova, 1988; Topalova, 2017, etc.), historians (Neyachenko, 1988; Ubushaev, 1988), publicists (Esenova & Dzhalsanov, 2020; Esenova, 2003; Kabachanko, 1967; Maiorov & Polyakov, 1970; Musova, 1988; Polyakov, 1970). Linguists have started to study it only in recent years (Esenova, 2021a; Esenova 2021b; Mandzhiev & Mandzhiev, 2020, etc.). At the same time, individual linguistic aspects still remain poorly studied. In our opinion, the emotional component of this literary text is important, but still not studied by linguists. Meanwhile, in order to understand the ideological and artistic content of the work and its pathos, we suppose that it is important to study the emotional background of the novel-chronicle “The son of Mudreshka”.

Problem Statement

In the chronicle novel “The son of Mudreshka”, telling us about the life of the Kalmyks at the beginning of the 20th century, negative emotions prevail. As the previous analysis showed, the nature of their course depends on the person himself and primarily on the social factor (property indicator. The emotions of the poor are more diverse, but they all convey different shades of negative emotions (grief, anger, disgust, fear, horror, insecurity, fear, timidity, etc.). The emotions of the rich do are not various (contempt, anger, arrogance, indifference, etc.). They are negative, directed to the poor and demonstrate aggressiveness and malice. The personal negative emotions of the poor, those that they experience themselves: grief, fear, horror and anger are formed in the course of their joyless life, humiliation, insults, beatings from both the rich and their relatives. This is how the author recalls his difficult childhood:

All these violence and bullying were layered with heavy cobblestones of bitter insults ... everyone beat me: the Kalmyks beat me because I was an orud, my father beat me because they offended him. Since I began to remember myself, I have been seeing wild, disgusting pictures all the time: either my father is beaten, or my father beats me or my mother (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 51).

In terms of orientation, the poor are dominated by impersonal emotions, while the wealthy are dominated by personal ones. From the standpoint of influencing a person, the rich are dominated by active emotions, it is they that affect the psyche of the poor, forcing them to be shy, afraid of the rich and suppress their feelings in themselves. In the minds of the poor, the emotions that hinder human activity are formed. According to the intensity of manifestation, the impersonal emotions of the poor are weakly manifested, the active negative emotions of the rich are strong. The poor tend to hide or suppress their emotions, while the rich show them vividly and expressively. In order to determine the whole range of emotions of the characters of the novel-chronicle and their dynamics, it is necessary to study positive emotions.

Research Questions

  • The subject of the study is the positive emotions experienced by the characters of the novel-chronicle “The son of Mudreshka”. The object of the study is the representatives of positive emotions presented in the literary text in the Russian language.
  • Firstly, linguistic indicators are studied that indicate positive human emotions, namely: words, phrases, sentences, gestures, facial expressions, smiles and other non-verbal means.
  • Secondly, those elements that help to determine the dynamics of the emotions of the characters in the artistic space of the work are analyzed.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the paper is to study the novel-chronicle of Amur-Sanan “The son of Mudreshka” in terms of the expression of positive emotions experienced by the characters. To do this, the following tasks are set: a) to study the range of positive emotions experienced by the heroes of the work, b) to establish their dynamics in the artistic space of the text.

Research Methods

Quantitative and linguistic methods were used as research methods. In order to determine positive emotions from the text of the work, all the means of designating positive emotions used in the text were selected by the method of continuous sampling. Then a classification of these means was carried out in terms of what emotions were indicated with their help. Using the lexico-semantic method, the meaning of words denoting certain positive emotions was determined.


The analysis showed to a small number of positive emotions experienced by the characters of the novel-chronicle “The son of Mudreshka”. In the text we find descriptions of the realization of such emotions as interest, joy, affection.

The positive emotion of joy was associated with the possibility of realizing the basic personal needs and capabilities of a person, satisfying the arisen need, the probability of which before that was small or uncertain. Thus, the chronicle novel described the mother's joy at meeting her son, whom she had been looking for a long time and could not find.

Mother decided that a misfortune had happened to me (Anuton), and crying, despite the snow and cold, she rushed to the steppe to look for me. The cold wind with snow froze her body, tore her clothes, hit her in the face, and she kept looking for her son, looking everywhere: in pits, in snowdrifts. But it was in vain – there was no son. The cold snow melted on the hot face of the poor mother and mixed with her hot tears ... After a while, the mother was told that they saw me at Prince Gokhale. She was very glad and joyful (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 59).

This joy arose from the news that the mother had long expected, but its probability was small: she had been looking for him for so long and in vain. The joyful news brought a feeling of great spiritual satisfaction to the mother. The mother, in whose life there had never been any positive emotions before, but only grief, misfortune, who was beaten and humiliated by her husband, and her relatives only insulted and mocked her, for the first time she felt a new feeling for herself – joy. This feeling was delivered to her by her son, whom she loved immensely, but could not protect. As Anuton grew older, the fate of the poor in general changed in the life of the mother, there were more cases for experiencing emotions of joy. This emotion was delivered to her by her grown-up son, who chose his own path in life, stood up for the poor and unfortunate, first of all, his mother. An increasing place in the emotional sphere of the mother was occupied by the joy that was associated with the improvement of her life and the success of her son. In the mother's life earlier there were many obstacles to joy, she knew nothing but grief and suffering; removing obstacles and changing life for the better changed the emotional sphere of the mother and all the poor, who instead of grief and horror, learned joy.

If maternal joy was associated with a son, then the joy of a son had different grounds. The novel told us about several sources of this feeling. As a child, little Anuton rejoiced when he managed to eat bread. “I said to my mother with joy: “Today I ate bread.” But such happiness did not often fall to my lot” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 102); “... if a slice of bread fell into my share, even from half a palm, I considered myself a happy person” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 102). Such joy was experienced by the boy as a pleasure from the physical sensation of the fulfillment of an old dream, the desire to receive what brings physical pleasure. The text described the feeling of a poor man who had eaten enough bread for the first time. “I couldn't believe my eyes. He broke a piece in half, broke it again, put one on top of the other, put his left hand on them, and began to eat. He ate fatty cabbage soup, ate bread, piece by piece, instinctively holding the rest with his left hand. I ate and ate, and it seemed that there would be no end to this happiness” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 79). The matured young man experienced joy not from the fulfillment of a dream associated with physical pleasure from satiety, enjoying bread, but from moral satisfaction. It all started with the goal that the boy set for himself: the decision to study and become a good xiang-kyun, i.e. educated person. The chronicle novel described how this dream matured in a young shepherd boy.

I was alone, I didn’t eat anything in the morning, and my torn clothes did not warm my body well from the weather. Snow piled up under his collar, and cold trickles ran down his back. Hands stiffened. A feeling of bitter loneliness and self-pity swept over me. My whole life seemed to me one endless suffering. Ahead again grief, poverty, hunger and beatings. I did not know how or why, but at that joyless, inconsolable moment I was suddenly seized by some kind of powerful, overbearing feeling. I decided to enter into a struggle with fate, overcome all the torments in my soul, cast aside doubts and, leaving home, go to seek happiness in a foreign land. It was the search for myself and for my mother (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 80).

He saw his path to happiness and joy in teaching and began to learn the basics of literacy, suffers beatings from his father, who forbade him to study, overcame huge obstacles, but stubbornly went towards his dream. Here was what the author wrote about his feelings that he experienced during this critical period of his life: “I cried with joy and only then felt that a free path to knowledge had opened before me” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 82). His joy was accompanied by tears, testifying to a vivid, expressive experience of the emotion of joy.

In the future, Anuton abruptly changed not only his own life, but the life of all the poor and participated in social events that took place at that time in the Kalmyk steppe and Russia. Gradually, thanks to his personal qualities, he led the movement for the autonomy of the Kalmyk people and took part in all social and political events of that time (congresses of the party, the Comintern, meetings with Lenin, etc.). The emotion of joy experienced by Anton, who realized his dream and became a xiang-kün, a defender of the poor and oppressed, was much stronger than the joy that a poor boy experienced for the first time in his life from eating a piece of bread. Objective historical circumstances prevented his self-realization, prevented the emergence of joy, and the elimination of historically established age-old tribal remnants, all obstacles brought Anuton great joy, close to happiness. Consequently, the emotion of joy arose as a result of the realization of the basic personal needs and capabilities of Anuton as a full-fledged person, self-sufficient, responsible and active. From realizing the positive results of his work to change the lives of the disadvantaged, Anuton felt satisfaction with himself, the people who believed him, and the new world, in which he put a lot of effort into changing. This awareness inspired him, gave him a feeling of a surge of strength, an even greater expansion of the possibilities of self-realization and optimism. In these moments, the author experienced an active positive emotion of joy, which was expressed in a good, high spirits, a feeling of pleasure and was accompanied by an experience of satisfaction with himself and the surrounding reality.

The hero of the work also wrote about the joy associated with excitement.

I loved grandma Alde and every time I drove my flock past her grave near the Buddhist monastery, I made three bows to the earth and earnestly asked my dear grandmother not to forget me. Once I took out a handful of grain and sowed it on her grave. Two weeks later I saw young greens. My soul was filled with joyful excitement. For a long time later I remembered this greenery on the grave of my beloved grandmother (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 91).

Excitement as a strong anxiety, mental anxiety associated with the memory of the deceased grandmother, whom Anuton dearly loved, here was an indicator of the increased level of emotional arousal of the narrator. The positive coloring of excitement, anxiety was determined by the adjective "joyful". The hero experienced mental anxiety, coupled with great joy, when remembering his beloved grandmother, because, according to his confession, only his mother and grandmother loved him, other people were only capable of insults, humiliation, beatings and bullying. Only these two creatures evoked such a rare feeling of joy in his soul.

It is necessary to note that the emotion of joy is not accompanied by non-verbal means: neither the mother nor the son convey their joy through, for example, laughter or a smile. However, joy can be accompanied by crying: “I cried for joy” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 82). Strongly experienced joy removes control of feelings, Anuton cries, but these are tears of joy, and not tears of grief, resentment, humiliation that he shed from childhood.

The next positive feeling that the heroes of the chronicle experiences was affection, one of the manifestations of the emotion of love. It should be noted that the work did not give a detailed description of the emotion of love, only words were found that were derivatives of the nominee of the emotion – the noun love (to love, beloved). The emotion of caress in the text of the novel-chronicle was conveyed through the noun "weasel", the verb "caress" and the adjective "affectionate". The aanalysis of the text allowed concluding that the emotion of affection could be realized through the description of the appearance of the characters: “Their faces were weather-beaten, but they looked fresh, rested, although anxiety and alertness lurked in their eyes. They held their palms for a long time and remained silent with an affectionate air” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 83). In this episode, we are talking about the meeting of the revolutionaries with the Kalmyk steppe people, who were explained the new order that was being established in the Kalmyk steppe. Those gathered conveyed their positive attitude to what was happening, including by their appearance. In the Kalmyk language there was an expression bүlәn nүdn – warm eyes, which could be correlated with an affectionate look. Look at someone bүlan nүdәr meant expressing one's disposition, care, affection. A little boy who did not know love from those around him felt affection, love emanating from his native land. “One might think that the earth, like a loving mother, it wanted to console the poor, grimy Kalmyk child in his bitter lot, and instead of toys scattered many flowers in front of me ... I involuntarily felt this care; Son’s tenderness awoke in me: I lay down on the ground and spread my arms. I wanted to embrace the whole steppe. At that moment, I forgot all my sorrows, my father's beatings and hunger – I forgot everything and felt only that I was all full of love for this dear, native land” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 85). The boy expressed his reciprocal feeling of love for the earth non-verbally, with a gesture, with the help of his hands: he spread them, as if embracing the whole steppe.

As it was noted above, there were no descriptions of love in the work, although the designations of this emotion in the text were found. The text provided descriptions of the affection shown by the characters.

I ran to my mother and began to tell her about my grief. The mother had no words of comfort. She just took me on her knees and began to gently caress. Yes, if there was anything gratifying and bright in my childhood, it was the caresses of my mother. My best memories are connected with her, only with her (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 86).

In the text, the emotion of affection was not described verbally, it was expressed tactilely, with a gesture, non-verbally . In the following context, the realization of caress through intonation and kinetically was described.

There was another person who also loved and caressed me. It was a distant relative, Manjik Dorjinov. I remembered how he took me, still very small, in his arms and spoke to me ... It was quite understandable that such a person completely conquered my childish heart, responsive to any kindness. It was so unusual for me: he does not hit and push, but, on the contrary, affectionately talks and even picks up (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 86).

Not knowing such an attitude, Anuton felt a deep affection for Manjik, and when he was going home,

I could not imagine how I would be left without him, and ran after him. Without noticing me, Manjik continued on his way, and I kept running and running. He disappeared from sight, and I continued to run across the steppe after him. Luckily for me, Aunt Botohe noticed a small figure of a child running along the road and brought me back to my native wagon (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 87).

As we can see, the boy's heart was open to love and affection, but he did not feel the manifestation of these feelings for him from those around him. Having not met warm feelings from people, the boy showed these feelings for animals, which he had been caring for since early childhood. “Only with the cows that I pastured I did feel free. They did not offend, they loved me, and I loved them. I caressed them and talked to them, and it seemed to me that they understood me perfectly” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 88). Anuton did not know his father's love and affection from childhood, he forever remembered only the violent nature of his father, a brawler and drunkard, his beatings. Here is what he wrote about the unexpected act of his father: “I don’t want to take such a sin on my soul. I'm afraid of God. My son is growing.” And at least once he gave this son a lollipop, at least once caressed him. Never! And he saved the life of a Tatar for the sake of his son. And how grateful he was!” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 85). Anuton was surprised by the inconsistency of the character and actions of his father, who beat his son, he was stingy with affection and did not show love, but for his sake, risking his life, he saved another person.

The work describes another positive feeling – interest. In the chronicle novel, it was revealed as an emotional state aimed to develop the skills and abilities of the hero, acquiring new knowledge. Interest brought the poor boy to school; he read a lot. “I read books and issues of the Niva magazine with great avidity (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 90); “Moreover, despite my poverty, I bought the Russian Word newspaper every day (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 90). Interest-excitement, a sense of capture, curiosity more and more seized Anuton. The desire to learn more information and expand horizons had become a strong enough and effective motive to encourage one's fellow tribesmen to study. Anuton took an active part in the life of the Kalmyk youth: in various ways he convinced parents to send girls and boys to study. There was a desire formed in the mind of a young man to intervene in the lives of strangers and participate in ongoing events. He was no longer an object of ridicule and mockery, but an active master of his own destiny, interested in the lives of others, who wanted to change it for the better. The emotion of interest was updated by situations of unusualness, inconsistency and novelty. So, when Ovsha Nasunov was not given a certificate of age for entering the gymnasium, Anuton “had to buy a bottle of vodka, and for this reward the gelung issued a certificate” (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 90). Interest as a feeling of a successfully satisfied need, pleasure in the process itself, initiated independently and crowned with success, brought him deep satisfaction:

I began to take the students of our aimak to Stavropol for a hundred and twenty miles and with great joy helped the youth. I used every opportunity to persuade young guys to study, and I felt happy when someone agreed to this. Constantly, in spring, autumn and winter, when I took the students of my aimak to Stavropol and back for the Christmas and summer holidays, I had conversations with the guys and was ready to interfere in all matters relating to their education (Amur-Sanan, 1987, p. 103).

Thus, Anuton's interest was experienced as a feeling of successfully satisfied needs, pleasure from the process itself – participation in the fate of young people, directing them to the path of enlightenment that he himself had traveled.


The analysis of the implementation of positive emotions in the artistic space of the novel-chronicle by Amur-Sanan “The son of Mudreshka” showed the gradual change in the emotional background of the entire work: joy comes instead of suffering, grief, humiliation. The significance of the novel-chronicle “The son of Mudreshka” was in the fact that the author depicted a new world that had opened up for poor Kalmyks who learned new, previously unknown emotions. Joy was such a new feeling for poor Kalmyks. It arose as a result of the realization of personal needs, it was experienced as a feeling of satisfaction with oneself, other people and the world around. The analysis of the implementation of emotions by different characters showed that the joy of the mother was associated with the son, and the sources of the son's joy were gradually changing and associated with social life. If in childhood it was associated with physical pleasure from the eaten bread, which the poor boy dreamed of, then for the adult Anuton, self-satisfaction brought joy from the implementation of plans, the opportunities that had opened up. He became a syan-kün, an educated person, as he dreamed, a protector of his mother and all the poor, humiliated and offended Kalmyks. All this gave Anuton an emotion of joy, which he experienced vividly, expressively, as evidenced by non-verbal means (tears). The positive emotional background of the work was also associated with the emotion of interest, which served as a source of changes in the life of Anuton. Interest in learning new information, comprehending new skills and abilities had changed for the better not only the life of a single person, but also of all the poor. It gave Anuton a sense of satisfaction from self-realization of his needs and abilities. Although the emotion of love was not revealed in the work, only its designations were used, however, there were realizations of its manifestation – affection, which did not have a detailed verbal description, but was manifested non-verbally (gestures, appearance).


The paper was prepared as a part of the RFBR project 20-312-90030 “The World and Images of Kalmyks in the Russian Literary Text (Based on A.M. Amur-Sanan's Chronicle Novel The son of Mudreshka).


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Esenova, G. (2022). Positive Emotions In Novel-Chronicle By A.M. Amur- Sanan “The Son Of Mudreshka”. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 424-432). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.12.53