The article examines a hidden political dimension to Aleksis Kivi's Seven Brothers (1870), analyzing the motifs of the sea voyage and, in particular, the classic Platonic ship-of-state parable, as these motifs are re-used in the novel as images of power and control (or the lack of such). The rhetorical motif sequence is finally examined in connection to the political crisis of 1860s Finland as the Fennoman movement split into power factions and encountered destructive power struggles.

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