Cite this article as:

Gao Y. . The problem of changing points of view in the novel Jacob’s Ladder by L. Ulitskaya. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philology. Journalism, 2022, vol. 22, iss. 3, pp. 336-341. DOI: -22-3-336-341

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

The problem of changing points of view in the novel Jacob’s Ladder by L. Ulitskaya

The article considers the change of points of view of the narrator and characters in the novel Jacob’s Ladder by L. Ulitskaya, which is characterized by polyphony and the combination of diff erent narrative situations. By analyzing the composition and specifi c paragraphs of the novel, the main text forms that refl ect the characters’ points of view are summarized: characters’ old letters and diaries, their dialogues, internal monologues, as well as the narrative texts in which the narrator seems to be standing behind the character, portraying the picture presented in the eyes of a specifi c character. The narrative features of these forms of rendering characters’ points of view and their role in creating the image of a character and in revealing their inner state are considered separately. The memoir-epistolary texts, as an important component of the novel, also play a plot-compositional function, forming an important storyline of the older generation of Osetsky family, and is the main way for the heroine Nora to know her grandfather Jacob. The inner speech of the characters is refl ected in direct, indirect and free indirect speeches. Sometimes it is embedded in the dialogue between the characters as a “voice-over”, revealing the mental state of one of the interlocutors. The specifi c passages, in which the character’s speech blends with the author's text, are analyzed, and the closeness of the author-narrator to Nora is observed. It is revealed that the novel Jacob’s Ladder is characterized by a constant change of points of view, realized by the author’s compositional design and the active interaction of various narrative forms, which is also a particular feature of this writer’s creative manner in creating this novel.


1. Шмид В. Нарратология. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. М. : Языки славянской культуры, 2008. 304 с.

2. Martin W. Recent Theories of Narrative. Ithaca ; London : Cornell University Press, 1991. 246 p.

3. Бахтин М. М. Вопросы литературы и эстетики. Исследования разных лет. М. : Художественная литература, 1975. 504 с

4. Улицкая Л. Е. Лестница Якова. М. : АСТ : Редакция Елены Шубиной, 2019. 731 с.

5. Ничипоров И. Б. Личность и история в романе Л. Улицкой «Лестница Якова» // Пушкинские чтения – 2016. Художественные стратегии классической и новой литературы : жанр, автор, текст : материалы XXI Междунар. науч. конф. / под общ. ред. В. Н. Скворцова СПб. : ЛГУ им. А. С. Пушкина, 2016. С. 75–80.

6. «Лестница Якова» и кровавый Техас. Две семейные саги. Обзор Галины Юзефович. 23 октября 2015. URL: (Дата обращения: 10.12.2021)

7. Падучева Е. В. Семантические исследования : Семантика времени и вида в русском языке ; Семантика нарратива. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. М. : Языки славянской культуры, 2010. 480 с.

8. Цой К. П. Автобиографичность романа Л. Улицкой «Лестница Якова» // Актуальные научные исследования в современном мире. 2020, № 4–6 (60). С. 157–160.

9. Некрасова И. В. Расширение границ документального в произведениях новейшей русской литературы // Филология и культура. 2016. № 3 (45). С. 129–134.

Generator XML for DOAJ