Anton Chekhov’s short story, “At Home,” provides a representation on how societies view morality when faced with the action of discipline. This view is imperative to the story because Chekhov wants the reader to recognize the futile ways societies determine what is morally correct or incorrect, by implementing consequences without considering why an action must be punished. Evgeni Bykovski, an attorney, is faced with this exact problem as he determines how to properly teach and discipline his son, Seriozha, who has been caught stealing, smoking, and lying. Nevertheless, Evgeni finds himself at his most difficult trial because as he ponders how to punish his son, he encounters his own set of crossroads on how societies discipline
Viktor E. Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who also had survived the Holocaust, writes “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves” (BrainyQuote). Frankl survived genocide against his own people and still chose to have a positive outlook on it because he understands that if he did not, he would continually live an unhappy, upset life. Like Frankl, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, the main character in One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, contains a similar outlook to that of Frankl. The novel takes place during Soviet Russia in a gulag in Siberia, or otherwise known as a labor work camp. The whole book is about only one day that Shukhov lives; from 5 in the morning to 10 at night and all that happens in between. In this labor camp, not only are the weather conditions very cold, making it difficult to work in such circumstances, but also the workers are punished and harshly treated if they do not obey the guards. When placed in this environment, it is easy to be discouraged and miserable, but instead of facing the negatives of his situation, Shukhov remains affirmative in his thoughts – which are most important in order to survive not only physically, but also mentally. This stoicism portrayed in the narrative can also be found in Epictetus’s work, The Handbook. In this text, Epictetus discusses how he believes people can live a happy life, despite the hard conditions they are put through
Though Anton Chekhov's "The Bet" was written in a different country at a different time, it portrays a timeless theme; greed is a crippling trait of mankind. This message can be seen through the author's use of characterization of both the lawyer and the banker. The banker was a static character; he was greedy from start to finish. The lawyer was a dynamic character and he saw the wrong in his ways and changed them in the end.
We formed a special bond with Nabokov despite the difficulty of his prose. This went deeper than out identification with his themes. His novels are shaped around invisible trapdoors, sudden gaps that constantly pull the carpet from under the reader’s feet. They are filled with mistrust of what we call everyday reality, an acute sense of that reality’s fickleness and frailty (293).
In Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Rakitin responds to a central question throughout the novel, “What is permitted?” when he proudly states to Dmitry that “An intelligent man can do anything he likes as long as he’s clever enough to get away with it” (788). While Rakitin has found his answer to this question, multiple characters in the novel are still stuck on that question. Throughout the novel, Dostoevsky seems to separate these characters into two groups: the characters like Dmitry who wonder if all actions are permitted and the characters like Ivan who wonder if all thoughts are permitted. These groups seem completely separate until Book 10 when a boy named Koyla Krasotkin comes onto the scene who seems to be in both groups at once as he tests for himself exactly what thoughts and actions are permitted. In Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky uses Book 10 and Kolya to introduce the idea that the “free thinkers” and the “free doers” are one in the same in that they are wondering who will punish those who go beyond “what is permitted” and by extension sets up an argument between moral and legal punishment throughout the rest of the novel.
Tsar Nicholas I is depicted in a most unfavorable manner. He delights in causing terror to those around him, in one case an army officer and his female companion at a masquerade (Tolstoy p71). In the same scene Nicholas is portrayed as a lecherous man, having liaisons with various women (Tolstoy pp70-71). This portrayal of the Tsar is problematic as he is considered by historians to have been a family man and devoted to his wife, with whom sexual intercourse was impossible due to her health problems (Moss p357). Tolstoy obviously finds this unacceptable. Nicholas is stupid and egotistical as well, taking credit for the successes of the raids on Chechen villages when he had advocated a completely different policy. Tolstoy also accuses Tsar Nicholas I as not being a serious Christian when he depicts him saying his prayers “without attaching any
But it is also this spiritual deterritorialization that follows Nabokov throughout his life that makes his account of his life seem more artistic and disconnected, even if there is a profound emotional impact on the reader in the end. While some moments in his life might evoke sympathy, like his retelling of his father’s death, or make readers to take a side, such as the incident with Nesbit during his time in Cambridge, Nabokov keeps the reader at a distance by concealing his feelings in rhetoric. An example of this is the “short biography” (173) of his father. Using vivid details to describe his father, one can feel the spiritual resonance the experience had on Nabokov. “And behind it all there was yet a very special emotional abyss that I was
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was born a year before the emancipation of serfism in Russia took place. Although he was the grandson of a serf, Chekhov was able to attend the medical school at the University of Moscow and become a physician. Chekhov started writing in order to support his family economically, becoming a master in drama and short stories. His literature is characterized by the use of colloquial language which could be understood even by the less educated and recently liberated serfs. Social change is the main theme in ‘The Cherry Orchard’, a four-act play written in 1904. In this play the different characters portray how changes in Russia after the emancipation of 1861 were taking place and although the play is set several
A man by the name Ivan Lomov has gone to ask Natalia Stepanovna to marry him, but only after many thoughts and several arguments do they decide to be married. But before all this we take a look into Ivan Lomov's thoughts. In lines thirty-eight through fifty-two Lomov is saying,"If a person meditates too much, or hesitates, or talks about it, waits for an ideal or for true love he never gets it"(Anton Chekhov). He is extremely nervous no doubt and desperate to settle his life, "I must live a well-regulated life" (45, Chekhov), as many would want by the age of thirty-five. But what of his speech about waiting for an ideal or true love. Perhaps it is simply if you over think something you will never decide, if you wait you may lose it, if you
The love relationships that strain traditional relationships in both "Angel [The Darling]" and "The Lady with the Little Dog" by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov are similar in how they depict foreshadowing, yet the stories develop differently, skipping an introduction, jumping into developing the characters and then Chekhov begins describing the setting of the story. The foreshadowing of Chekhov has a major part in keeping the reader engrossed in the love stories.
In this paper, I plan to explain Dostoevsky’s criticism of Western Individualism. Dostoevsky’s first criticism resides in the idea to “love life more than the meaning of it, “which is presented by the character Alyosha (Dostoevsky 3). Allowing this character to discuss this topic, along with the commentary of Ivan, demonstrates their mindset to solely focus on their own lives, opposed to caring for others. This leads to them living for the now, and not focusing on how their decisions will affect their future or others. Dostoevsky disapproves of this notion because living by this mentality encourages the guidance of logic, which is dangerous because it could tell you to kill yourself. From Dostoevsky’s Eastern Orthodox background, he believes that the only way from living from this situation is to deny it. By denying this way of living, the focus toward life will not be directed toward yourself, but toward the way you can impact the environment around you. Ivan clearly does not believe in these values, due to his intentions to commit suicide at the age of thirty. As said before, living by the idea to “love life more than the meaning of it” leads to death, and Ivan indulges in this to the fullest (Dostoevsky 3).
“Nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom.” –The Grand Inquisitor” “Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” - Father Zosima. These two quotes voice the polarized philosophies that impregnate the book, The Brothers Karamazov. Ivan, the second of the three sons, and Zosima, the old monk, are huge commentators on the question, “Is the burden of free will to much for a human to bear?”
A short story’s purpose is to introduce an idea or moral to the reader. In many cases the reader can understand the thesis, but there will be times where the reader is uncertain. The reason for this is because the short story’s moral is profound ironically. Ultimately the reader is able to relate to him or herself in the short story various ways. Likewise the use of irony in, “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, illustrates the characters and their opposing speculations that demonstrate the importance of human life and confinement. Relating to the thesis of the short story, there are three main points that irony plays a key role on. To begin with, there are the two main character’s roles that guide the reader though both perspectives of their conflicts. There are also main points in their dialect and involvement that Chekhov used to help the reader understand the character’s ironic speculations.
More so than that of most other comparably illustrious writers, a number of Vladimir Nabokov’s works beckon near polarizing discrepancies in interpretation and actual author intent amidst literary circles. In a letter to the editor of The New Yorker, he concedes to constructing systems “wherein a second (main) story is woven into, or placed behind, the superficial semitransparent one” (Dolinin). In practice, such an architectural premise is complicated further by his inclination to dabble in the metaphysical and occasionally, in the metafictional. Nabokov’s inclusion of meticulous description and word choice coupled with his reliance on unreliable narrators—in “Signs and Symbols,” “The Vane Sisters,” and “Details of a Sunset”-- permits him
In high school I read a short story called The Bet by Anton Chekhov. The story was about a young lawyer who made a bet with a banker that imprisonment for fifteen years was better than the death penalty. Like Socrates in Plato’s Crito the lawyer was trying to challenge society’s beliefs. While in confinement the lawyer read many books, whose subjects ranged from languages to philosophy. After fifteen years of solitary confinement the lawyer rejects his prize money and defaults on the bet, hours before winning. I wonder if the man had read the Crito. We can reason that Socrates’ could have inspired the man to decide to pick the more brash choice to try and teach his accusers a lesson. The man may have decided to default on the bet when he was so close to winning because he wished to make the lesson the banker learned more memorable and infinite. In the Crito even though Socrates thinks himself to be innocent of the charges brought against him he still refuses to escape prison when presented with the opportunity. This helps him teach his final lesson about the principles he believes are worth dying for. His principles are that the opinion of the many is unimportant, his life is not worth living with a corrupt soul, life is not as important as living justly, the only consideration to take into account is justice, and acting unjustly is always bad and shameful. Even though Socrates and the polis or laws arrive at the same conclusion that Socrates should not escape prison, the