Anton Chekhov’s Use of Characterization in his Short Stories

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Anton Chekhov is a Russian writer; he writes short stories. In his short stories he relies on characterization to make his points about a character in few words. Some believe that since no build up of exciting events happen his stories are meaningless. However, Chekhov’s stories are thought by others to be enjoyable. While others think they’re a waste of time to read due to the lack of events happening; I think Chekhov focusing on characters emotions and what they say is much more important. In other words Chekhov primarily uses internal drama rather than external drama. Chekhov avoids doing what so many other writers do which is using lots of details describing the environment, what they wore, their life background; instead, he gives the reader just enough detail to picture the character and gets to the point he’s trying to make. An example of his limited word use occurs in “The Huntsman”. This short story is about an unmarried couple that see each other again years later. The unmarried couple is Yegor Vlassitch and Pelagea; they’re complete opposites. Pelagea is a peasant; meanwhile, Yegor is a hunter that can’t be tied down. When Pelagea sees Yegor she “(springs) out of the earth…and smiles diffidently as soon as she sees the huntsman” (Chekhov 1). The phrase “a happy couple" wouldn’t be an accurate way to describe the two. Regardless, Pelagea loves him very much, so much that she’s delighted when she sees him, “I (haven’t) seen you since… you came…and (you) beat me… (I’ve) been waiting” (Chekhov 1). Despite the fact that he treats her badly, she doesn’t want him to leave again. Meanwhile, the huntsman is in a hurry to leave but before leaving he says he “shall never come (back) sober” (Chekhov 3). Unlike the one sided love... ... middle of paper ... ...5 years. He agrees to stay in confinement for 15 years for the money; as time goes by; he learns new languages, about philosophy and reads a great amount of books. Once the fifteen years are nearly up, the banker is determined to kill him because he doesn’t have the money to pay the lawyer. The night before the time is up the Banker goes into the room to complete the deed. He finds a letter from the lawyer, in which he wrote “to prove to you I despised all that you live by I renounce the two millions… which I once dreamed (of)” (Chekhov 956). The lawyer changes to a better possibly happier person; meanwhile, the banker realizes the monster money has made him; he was just about to commit murder to avoid paying two million dollars. This shows us that money can make a man do just about anything to have it. This short story emphasizes that life is worth more than money.

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