NOT A NINCOMPOOP?
A look at “A Nincompoop” by Anton Chekhov
In day-to-day life, there are often incidents or even common behaviours demonstrated by some that lead others to believe that the person is a nincompoop. Some of those who have been called a Nincompoop possess certain characteristics that a typical Nincompoop exhibits. However, the previous statement does not apply to Anton Chekhov’s real nincompoop in the short story “A Nincompoop.” This short story deals with an employer teaching the governess of his children a lesson about asserting herself when others are trying to exploit or abuse her. Chekhov chooses one of his two characters, the governess, to convincingly mislead one’s opinion about the real nincompoop, but
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If he had done such thing, he would have known that a governess is usually from an educated yet impoverished family. She must be very well-educated as she might have to teach foreign languages like French and also be able to exemplify the moral lessons that are needed to be taught to children. However, the well-educated person within the governess’s body has never had neither the power nor too many other choices to become someone else. Back in 19th and even early 20th century, an educated female person who was in desperate need for money had only a few choices as to what kind of a job she could have. She could either become the compagnion of a wealthy lady, the mistress of a wealthy man or a governess. Granted that the governess in “A Nincompoop” comes from a poor family, it is most unlikely for her to have any sort of dowry which automatically excludes the option of getting married to a wealthy man. In other words, the governess cannot afford to lose her job, even if it means having to become a weak submissive person. The other mistake that the employer makes is choosing the wrong learning environment. He chooses an awfully intimidating room, his library, where he is sitting in the position of power. Also, he uses the element of shock as his method of teaching which causes the governess to get caught completely off guard. In addition, the lesson itself is way too unpractical for one to perform in the real