Romanticism In Julion Chekhov

1480 Words 6 Pages
When Russian literature is mentioned, the two giants Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky overshadow the majority of other writers. However, it is not the case for Anton Chekhov. Chekhov emerged into the scene during the 19th century, the same time as Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. As a short-stories writer and dramatist, Chekhov made a mark for himself, as he is “the only other one to make much of an impression abroad.” (Brians) Chekhov wrote during the early 1900s, when Russia saw “the rise of the bourgeoisie, the decline of the aristocracy, and the imminence of revolution.” (Lewis) Russia was in a transition toward Stalinism. During such period, literature shifted away from old Romanticism and toward Realism. The old, traditional ideology Russia …show more content…
While the government expanded and applied its authority on every citizens, Chekhov demanded the right to be alone. “Human loneliness” became Chekhov’s main theme. In The Man in the Case, the fear of life cause a person to retreat to his shell, shutting him from the rest of the world. (Sobolev) Moreover, in Gooseberries, the main character, Nikolay Ivanovitch, escapes from the “modernizing” urban to pursuit a life in the rural area. Chekhov showed his disbelief in society living as a whole, which is the trend at his time. While “many Russian writers had little use for pluralistic outlook, for consensual democracy or for individual liberation,” Chekhov heavily critiziced the idea. To him, liberation is “as essential as air”. (“Early Chekhov...”) It is important to point out the fact that Chekhov is not persuading his reader to follow such life. Instead, he provides the life from both side and allows his reader to pick their …show more content…
He “claims to represent the world as it is, without moral judgments.” (Lewis) Reading Chekhov, nobody feels he is trying to make a point nor picking one side over the other. As Nikolai Mikhailovsky, a critic of Chekhov, describe his work: “To Chekhov it is all the same: here is a person, here is his shadow, here is a bell, here is a suicide...”(Sobolev) Chekhov provided a scene, described it like a masterpiece, and the reader gets to pick what they feel toward it. In fact, the truth, according to Chekhov, “only comes about through experience, when it is felt by a human being.” (Sobolev) He believes truth is not a general principle that is accepted by a majority of people, but rather an experience of oneself that continue to be accepted by him or her. In his short story “The Student”, he wrote: “truth and beauty which had guided human life” and it “had continued without interruption.” (Sobolev) When it comes to truth, there is no categorized answer. Rather, they continue to be observed and changed throughout a human life. Whenever anything is a truth or not depends on the experience of the observer. This was a counterpunch to the ideology of Communism that was sparking at the time. Truths and facts were sketched out and every single individuals were forced to accept it. It ignored the fact that one’s experience is different from another. While not directly stated, Chekhov writing style is a jab to the growing

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