Juhani Aho Juhani Aho – 1861-1921National author of Finland Statue of Juhani Aho in Helsinki
Juhani Aho• Recognized as Finland’s leading novelist at the turn of the 20th century.• His writing expressed – Finnish nationalism in the face of Russian oppression – Karelian “heartland” culture of Finland – Realism – National romanticism and nostalgia – Themes that transcended time and place
Themes in Juha• Extremely challenging life in rural Finland• Tribalism (loyalty to family)• Love, betrayal, tragedy . . . – Pastoralism / security – Desire / romance / recklessness• References to Finnish cultural and historical conditions
Questions to consider as you read• What qualities does Juha’s character represent? – How are you responding to Juha as the drama progresses? (Do you sympathize / empathize with him? How so or why not?)• What does Marja represent? – How do you respond to her? Why?• What does Shemaikka represent? – What is your response to him?