Study Guide

A Russian Beauty Society and Class

By Vladimir Nabokov

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Society and Class

Social status is everything in "A Russian Beauty." So what if you don't have money? If you can prove that you were once high-class enough, someone might be willing to give you some of theirs. And who knows? You could be rich again if you marry the right person. Even when the nobles are kicked off of their estates, they prove their status by showing off their education. But of course, a little money never hurt anyone.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. What is responsible for Olga's fall in social status? How could she regain her status?
  2. Why do Olga's friends show off the languages that they know? What does that have to do with their current social status? Does it have anything to do with their prior social status?
  3. How much do you think Olga knew about poverty before she moved to Berlin? How much do you think Vera knows? Do you think she understands what Olga is going through?

Chew on This

Language and culture are a large part of social class in "A Russian Beauty."

A woman's social status in "A Russian Beauty" is dependent on the men around her.

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