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Reaction Paper-Short Story. "Misery" by Anton Chekhov

In: English and Literature

Submitted By battaglioli
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Pages 4
Reaction Paper-Fiction: Short Story
“Misery”
by Anton Chekhov
Scott Battaglioli
University of Phoenix

“Misery,” written by Anton Chekhov is a story about a lonely old sledge driver in 19th century Russia. In the story, Iona Potapov has just lost his son a week before. He is drowning in grief, expressed by his sitting still on his sledge and allowing himself to be covered in snow. He is a man who seems to have lost all hope. The only thing that Potapov wants is to discuss the loss of his son with another human being. He longs to connect to someone and try to make sense of the situation. Maybe he just seeks to connect so that he does not feel so alone.
In this story Chekhov was trying to illustrate his belief that people have grown accustomed to the suffering of others, and therefore pay little attention to it. Chekhov shows us different characters with different personalities, but all indifferent to Potapov’s plight. The military officer is impatient and rude. He pretends to be deep in thought to avoid the conversation with Potapov. The three young men are self-absorbed and rowdy. They take advantage of Potapov’s grief and pay him an unfair wage. They also so abusive behavior towards him. The young cabby at the yard shows complete indifference to the older man’s suffering by falling asleep while Potapov bears his soul. Potapov’s final chance to get his feelings out comes with his horse. Though she cannot answer, she can listen.
I think most people can relate to this story in varying degrees at one point or another. We have all suffered some type of tragedy. We have all felt alone and in need of support. "To whom shall I tell my grief?" (Chekhov, 1886). I saw many things in Sand Land. Brothers of mine fell before my eyes. Men that I trained with and laughed with. People over there suffered more than I am able to describe. When I...

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