Reaction Paper-Short Story. "Misery" by Anton Chekhov

783 Words Mar 17th, 2015 4 Pages
Reaction Paper-Fiction: Short Story
“Misery”
by Anton Chekhov
Scott Battaglioli
University of Phoenix

“Misery,” written by Anton Chekhov is a story about a lonely old sledge driver in 19th century Russia. In the story, Iona Potapov has just lost his son a week before. He is drowning in grief, expressed by his sitting still on his sledge and allowing himself to be covered in snow. He is a man who seems to have lost all hope. The only thing that Potapov wants is to discuss the loss of his son with another human being. He longs to connect to someone and try to make sense of the situation. Maybe he just seeks to connect so that he does not feel so alone.
In this story Chekhov was trying to illustrate his belief that people
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I understand this man. I understand what it is like to be alone with your thoughts. I understand what grief is. I also know that release of this grief can come from the most unlikely of places. For Potapov, he had his horse to confide in. For me, well that is private. But I learned that healing cannot begin until the soul is bare.
This story has a depth of truth in it about human nature that really rang true with me. In my recovery process I met many people. The hunchback is the one that strikes me as the most authentic. He was a man trying to impress his friends by abusing Potapov. His attempts were made more to prove to himself that he was worthy of their friendship, then out of any real contempt for the sledge driver. This was proved when the driver tried to relay the events of his sons death.
The hunchback responded “"We shall all die,... " says the hunchback with a sigh, wiping his lips after coughing.” (Chekhov, 1886). At first this sounds like a callous response. That is until you take into account the unsaid cues. The hunchback was obviously uncomfortable with the conversation. He most assuredly felt something. He could not, however, show this in front of his two companions.
This type of behavior describes the way most people live their lives. We all seek approval from others. Those not born with certain gifts tend to gravitate to those who are. They will do and say things that are not a true representation