The plot is on the surface the simplest thing in the world. Aloof and urbane, Onegin descends on the countryside. Local girls are wowed and provincial egos and hearts are threatened. Unfortunately for everyone no one is as "civilized" as they seem. Tatyana opens her heart and has it crushed by Onegin's brutal rejection. Worse his cruelty is a pose. He will kill his friend Lensky in a duel over something that could easily have been avoided. They are savage children on the rampage. Still, underneath all the self - deception and blind subjectivity is love and authenticity trying to break out, but they fail utterly and the result as a character ruefully remarks in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility as another character blunders from one impetus choice to another, she warns "You must control yourself or none of us shall have happy lives". This true, beating heart of the opera Tchaikovsky expresses in ravishing lyricism; first the Letter Scene:
Uvi ! ne silakh ya vladyet svoyei dushoi !
Alas, I have not the strength to subue my heart !
I will confess all! Courage!
And then Lenski horrifyingly walks to his death as when neither, he or Onegin will back down from social embarrassment:
Kuda, Kuda kuda vi udalilis,
Where oh where have you gone,
golden days of my youth ?