How the Steel Was Tempered
|How the Steel Was Tempered|
|Original title||Как закалялась сталь|
|Publisher||Young Guard (serial)|
|Publication date||1932-1934 (serial) – 1936 (book)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
The story is a fictionalized autobiography. In real life, Ostrovsky's father died, and his mother worked as a kitchen chef. As he joined the war with the Red Army, he lost his right eye from artillery fire during the civil war.
- Pavel Korchagin – The novel's protagonist. He is fighting on the Bolsheviks' side in the Civil War (1918–1921). He is a quintessential positive hero of socialist realism.
- Tonia Toumanova – Pavel's teenage love. Tonia and Pavel became good friends after their first encounter, which later develops into an intimate relationship. Though born of a wealthy and influential family, Tonia treated everyone equally unlike her friends, who only interact with other children of well-reputed families. However, this changed as she grew up, as she became more aware of her appearance and social status of others.
Publication history 
The first part of How the Steel was Tempered was published serially in 1932 in the magazine Young Guard. The second part of the novel appeared in the same magazine from January to May, 1934. The novel was published in 1936 in book form in a heavily edited version that conformed to the rules of socialist realism. In the serial version Ostrovsky had described the tense atmosphere of Pavel's home, his suffering when he became an invalid, the deterioration of his relationship with his wife, and their separation. All of this disappeared in the 1936 publication and in later editions of the novel.
In the Soviet Union, three films were produced based on this novel:
- How the Steel Was Tempered, 1942 
- Pavel Korchagin, 1956 (Korchagin was played by Vasily Lanovoy) 
- How the Steel Was Tempered, 1975 (TV series of 6 episodes; Korchagin was played by Vladimir Konkin) 
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