The Queen of Spades

A review of the story, “The Queen of Spades”, by Alexander Pushkin.

This paper examines how Alexander Pushkin’s story, The Queen of Spades, is a familiar sort of tale and would have been more so when it was written, for there were many such stories about card games with some miraculous secret in the literature of the time. It looks at how Pushkin’s version differs in the way it handles the supernatural element and in the twist that he places at the end of the story. It demonstrates how the character of Hermann is the key figure in the story, matched with the 87-year-old woman who supposedly knows the secret of the card play and who could reveal it to him if he could find a way to approach her.
“The fact that Hermann is obsessed with the idea of cards if not gambling itself is apparent from the first and is something his friends note: “He’s never held a card in his hand, never doubled a single stake in his life, and yet he sits up until five in the morning watching us play (Pushkin 844). Hermann admits that the game fascinates him, but he also states that I am not in the position to sacrifice the essentials of life in the hope of acquiring the luxuries (Pushkin 844). In the end, though, he goes much further than this to find the secret and to play in the game he has always avoided, and he dos so to satisfy some inner obsession more than a desire for wealth.