Analysis Of ' At The Barber ' And Polinka By Anton Chekhov Essay

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“At the Barber’s” and “Polinka” by Anton Chekhov are two stories that explore the pains of a love that is unattainable. Both stories feature a young man in love with a woman he cannot have. “At the Barber’s” features a barber named Makar Kuzmitch, whose beloved, Anna Erastovna, is promised to another. Her father betroths her to a man he deems more financially suitable. In “Polinka” the theme more closely resembles a love triangle. Polinka is leading-on Nikolay’s affections, while clearly stating her love for another. While both stories examine similar themes, “At the Barber’s” focuses more closely on the emotions involved in such a scenario. It also has a greater focus on imagery. This, in turn, makes it more visually appealing to readers.
Chekhov uses greater imagery in describing the emotions of Makar Kuzmitch. Though both of the men in these stories are portrayed as “the underdog”, as they are both losing the women they love to men of more prominent means, a greater sympathy is felt for Makar. His emotional turmoil is more apparent than Nikolay’s simply because Chekov showed more emotion from Makar. He describes the character’s body language as well as his feelings. The hurt felt by Makar Kuzmitch is more apparent, making his love seem deeper and leading the audience to feel greater sympathy towards, him. The audience is also assured that Anna Erastovna returns his adore. Even though Anna does not physically appear in the story, it is inferred that she too is unhappy…

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