Summary Of Anton Chekhov's Women In Despair

1320 WordsDec 3, 20176 Pages
Women In Despair Anton Chekhov is a well-known Russian author recognized for his revolutionary work as a writer of short stories and drama. In many of his pieces, Chekhov’s characters seem unhappy with their position in life. The common factor leading to this unhappiness in a majority of Chekhov’s stories is marriage. Chekhov’s “The Chemist’s Wife”, and “The Lady with the Dog”, both contain examples of loveless marriages. This element of the unhappy marriage permeates a large portion of his work, and relates to a common theme present in both stories, and other works of Chekhov’s; that the mundane nature of a traditional marriage leads to a lack of passion. This critical insight into the institution of marriage may seem rather ironic…show more content…
After they leave the wife returns to her perch at the window dreaming of a different life. Those dreams are cut short however when the chemist is roused by the sound of one of the men coming back to see the wife. Admonishing her for not responding to the bell the chemist goes down to service the man. Upon returning to bed the chemist is completely oblivious to the unhappy state of his wife. In his paper, “Marriages in the short stories of Chekhov”, Mark Richard Purves also takes note of the common element in Chekhov’s work, the unhappy marriage. Purves claims that through his pieces, Chekhov is striving to display, “what he sees as the matrimony’s central antinomy, namely that the wedding of one individual to another produces loneliness, an absence of intimacy, and a kind of alienation so acute it causes love itself to cool in a relationship” (Purves, 2014). This idea can be seen clearly in both Gurov’s and Anna’s marriages in, “The Lady with the Dog”. Gurov, who at the time of the story is nearly forty, “had been married young, when he was a student in his second year” (Chekhov, 1899). Clearly the intimacy in the marriage is gone as Gurov openly admits he finds his wife, “unintelligent, narrow, inelegant”—the affair alone is sufficient evidence to suggest that what love that may have been there is no longer present. Anna is in a similar situation confiding to Gurov that she “was twenty when I (Anna) was married to him. I have been tormented by curiosity; I wanted

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