Gender roles for women in Russian society are associated with domesticity. The relationship between women and domesticity is exhibited in Russian folktales and literature. Russian folktales echo cultural customs, manners, and beliefs; they incorporate fantasy and mysticism even as they are a depiction of everyday life within the community.
In the eighteenth century, folktales became more accessible as people began publishing written records. As folklore is the voice of Russian culture and essential to understanding the Russian psyche, it has heavily influenced contemporary Russian literature. The contemporary Russian author Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, for example, uses skaz (stylized “spoken” writing) in her modern ‘fairy-tales for adults.’ Through a character analysis of Baba Yaga, the iconic Russian witch, I discuss how women are depicted in folktales and Petrushevskaya’s texts. In Petrushevskaya’s works, female characters, who exhibit traditional Russian stereotypes, are often representations of Baba Yaga.