Bajinn Twenty chfkhov is not a fair price, but he has no thoughts for that. The surroundings amplify the sentiment of the main character, Iona Potapov. Are you going to drive like this all the way? Anton Chekhov s short story of a father and his great despair for his dead son has many translations. Misery by Anton Chekhov. A man who knows how to do his work, They are all listed.

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You are on page 1of 2 Search inside document Literary Analysis of Heartache by Anton Chekhov In Heartache, Anton Chekhovs short story about a man reeling from the untimely lo ss of his son, the wounds that grief leaves can only be eased by empathy and a s ympathetic ear, but neither can be found in self-absorbed people who cannot see beyond themselves. As melancholic cab driver Iona, and his horse make their way through a single bleak night in Chekhovs pre-Revolutionary Russian tale, the natu re of grief and humanity are examined.

The use of imagery, symbolism, and tone d eepen the storys meaning and evoke both its tragedy and its hope. Heartache begins with vivid imagery that brings a strong image of the storys worl d from the first paragraph.

The large, wet flakes of snow customary grey scenes unceasing din rushing people [and] evening darkness descending on the city 1 re flect the cab drivers dismal and wintry life, and paint a picture of the bustling , frigid world he lives in.

The reiteration of the din, the bustle, and the crowd surging along both sides of the street 3 sets up the theme: out of all the peo ple in the city, none have the patience or the compassion to hear Iona out when he searches for someone to share his grief with. Despite the repeated mentions o f human presence, Chekhovs dreary imagery evokes an empty feeling that holds a mi rror to the protagonists chronic and tragic loneliness.

By describing Iona as all white as a ghost [and] hunched over as a living body can be and his horse as motio nless [and] stick-like like a penny gingerbread horse 1 , the two are likened to otherworldly creatures; too pale, bent out of shape, and angular to be real.

Th eir physical characteristics distance them figuratively from the rest of the wor ld around them as well as literally. Chekhovs imagery both conveys the dark side of a bustling, busy society one filled with icy, self-absorbed, and unsympatheti c people and the alienation that grief and emotional vulnerability brings Iona.

Though many elements in Heartache have deeper and figurative meanings, Ionas hors e is the strongest symbol. Heartache reflects human nature in stages of grief an d withdrawal as well as in its selfish and cruel forms. However, redemption, and the answer to Ionas longing, is found in the only non-human character in the sto ry: the horse.

Every other character besides Iona is by turn scornful, abusive, and uncaring. The horse is everything these men are not: quiet; loyal, despite t heir lack of food and the harsh climate that coats them both in snow for hours o n end; and gentle. From the first paragraph she is personified, said to be in all probability sunk in thought 1 , given the human trait of thoughtfulness. Later, it is as if she has understood [Ionas] thought 3 ; she is the one character in th e story with the ability to understand him.

In the end, at last, the nag chews, l istens, and breathes on the hands of her master 4 in the ultimate gesture of sy mpathy and submission. In his horse, Iona discovers what he could not find in hi s passengers, doorkeepers, or fellow drivers. More than a reflection of animal l oyalty, the horse symbolizes the soft and caring side of living beings; she poss esses that which is missing from the citys impatient and crude, self-centered inh abitants.

The horse is the answer to not only one lonely mans longing for affecti on in the wake of tragedy, but the docile and compassionate answer to an unfeeli ng and cold society, and she therefore becomes a symbol of hope as well.

In Heartache, Chekhov uses tone to reinforce his theme as well as character and setting. Throughout the first half of the story, the narration is straightforwar d, its tone too simple and indifferent for the sorrowful content.

Despite the im mediacy of present tense, the narration is detached through Chekhovs use of filte ring. Readers are told that in all probability the horse is deep in thought; Iona fidgets as if on pins and needles; and apparently he wants to say something 1.

The narration makes guesses, and acts more as an observer of Iona than his own voic e and thoughts told in the third person. The idea of the story being told by an uncertain but keen observer, clashes with the unobservant, careless characters i n Ionas life. Ionas reactions and thoughts too clash with the circumstances to whi ch he is subjected. Even subjected to verbal and physical abuse by the second pa ssenger in his cab, when he hears more than feels the thud of a blow on [his] nec k 3 he laughs it off, grateful that for any human interaction.

When he is alone again, however, halfway through the story, he surrenders to his heartache, and the tone shifts dramatically. The feeling which had eased for a while appears aga in and rends [his] breast with even greater force, and the vast, boundless heartac he 3 within him surges.

The change in tone from detached to honest reflects Ion as own changing internal grieving process, and hints, by the end, that he is clos e to the final stage: acceptance. With such dark subject matter, Chekhovs tone co uld have been miserable and self-pitying throughout, but his shifting use of it instead portrays the nature and progression of grief much more honestly.

Throughout Heartache, Anton Chekhov focuses less on a typical story structure an d more on the intricacies of humanity: the aftereffects of unspeakable personal tragedy, the harshness of men, the process of recovery, and the salvation that c an be found through a willing listening ear. Though Ionas grief could not be alle viated through self-absorbed, rushed people, his admission of pain and the conne ction between him and his horse set him on course to recovery.

Through imagery, symbol, and tone Chekhov creates a simple yet strong portrait of one mans night t hat becomes universal through relevant portrayals of common emotions and humanki nd.



Iona Potapov, the sledge- driver, is all white like a ghost. He sits on the box without stirring, bent as double as the living body can be bent. If a regular snowdrift fell on him it seems as though even then he would not think it necessary to shake it off His little mare is white and motionless too.



They must be doing it on purpose. And Iona turns round to tell them how his son died, but at that point the hunchback gives a faint sigh and announces that, thank Chwkhov Posted on October 11, Thanks a lot sir for include such like articles. On the stove, on the floor, and on the benches are people snoring. But now the shades of evening are falling on the town. Kuzma Ionitch is gone The lighting design captures the essence of the production, with its gloomy and stark appearance. We often do rough behaviour with this lower people if they want right price or somewhat additional price. It would be even better to talk to women.

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