A4 Article in conference proceedings
Ability to Measure and Count in Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers (2021)

Kukkonen, T. K. (2021). Ability to Measure and Count in Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers. In D. Swart, F. Farris, E. Torrence, & C. S. Kaplan (Eds.), Proceedings of Bridges 2021 : Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Culture (pp. 233-240). Tessellations Publishing. Bridges Conference Proceedings. https://archive.bridgesmathart.org/2021/bridges2021-233.html

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kukkonen, Tiina Katriina

Parent publication: Proceedings of Bridges 2021 : Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Culture

Parent publication editors: Swart, David; Farris, Frank; Torrence, Eve; Kaplan, Craig S.

Place and date of conference: Online, 1.-3.8.2021

eISBN: 978-1-938664-39-7

Journal or series: Bridges Conference Proceedings

eISSN: 1099-6702

Publication year: 2021

Pages range: 233-240

Number of pages in the book: 412

Publisher: Tessellations Publishing

Place of Publication: Phoenix

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: https://archive.bridgesmathart.org/2021/bridges2021-233.html

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77119


The illiterate brothers’ elementary ability to measure and count fluently is a striking feature in the Finnish author Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä, 1870), a novel that was published before the metric system was introduced in Finland. The seven main characters describe their everyday life and environment and make work- related decisions using numbers, amounts, and measures of distance, area, volume, and weight without hesitation. They are also familiar with some elementary calculations. At the same time, their inability to read arouses desperate anguish in them. I analyze the ways the brothers use numbers and measurements, and the importance of these skills in their life. I also discuss their mathematical skills in relation to those of the narrator.

Keywords: fiction and poetry; novels; history of literature; themes (narration); mathematical skills; arithmetic; numerical digits; counting; measurement; systems of measurement; units of measurement; metric system; era of autonomy

Free keywords: Kivi, Aleksis; Seven Brothers

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:48