Anton Chekhov's Story Analysis

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Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories portray the Russian people as they were not how he wished they were; which is why he never “lived in his works”. Instead Chekhov acted as a moral compass for the Russian generation. His brilliance laid on the reliance of “impressionistic realism” and the ever-present after mass of the official end of serfdom in (1861), allowing him to encompass more aspects of Russian life. His stories are under constant study because of the individuality of his writing techniques. While Chekhov's use of irony, characterization and imagery provides insight into 19th-century Russia, it is through characterization that we understand the minds of contemporary Russians.

Chekhov manipulates his reader’s expectations to emphasize his point by way of irony. “Together with the light, my burning face was caressed by a delightful, sultry fragrance; this, no doubt, was the smell of an aristocratic bedroom” (At Sea pg#). Chekhov uses irony to reverse the assumption that the “aristocratic” characters have superior morals to the dirty sailors who are spying on them, which illuminates the fact that all people, regardless of class, can be devoid of morals. Another prevalent technique in Chekhov’s stories is including ironic narration. Frequently the narration moves from objective and external to the consciousness of the narrator. “Long conversations followed, arguments; in their delight with each other…Makar and his new acquaintance disclaimed each others talent, unable to accept each other, envy, hatred anger followed, and they parted enemies” (In Spring pg #). Makar is searching for someone who could understand him and relate to him, when he finally found someone who was like him, knew what it was like being a writer (not ha...

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...s; he is showing the dependence on men and exposing the gender roles in Russia.

Chekhov included techniques such as imagery, irony and characterization in all his stories, but what is truly remarkable is how he was able to reveal the thought process of Russian people through his characters while maintaining a neutral point of view. We develop a greater understanding of Russian life as it was in the 19th century through the imagery and ironic narration but everything learnt about the interaction between Russian people was solely determined from the interaction and thought process of the characters in his stories. One thing to consider is that Chekhov was not aware that his writing would be read so far in the future nor did he intend for it to be. It was possible that his intentions were solely to humor Russian people with the very culture that they inherit.

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