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

In: English and Literature

Submitted By battaglioli
Words 768
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…...

Similar Documents

Short Story

...been; I’ve seen videos that have showed some of the hieroglyphics and to me that was an amazing form of art in itself because to this day those hieroglyphics still remains, telling visual stories of the past, and what was held most important during that time. Sexuality, Reproduction, Physical Beauty, and love were some of the major things that the ancient Egyptians depicted on the walls of hieroglyphics. The walls of hieroglyphics are a way of getting to know and understand many of the so called issues or problems that we think are new have existed since the beginning of time. The nobleness of the ancient Egyptians can be seen within the hieroglyphic walls, especially in the way of dress! The dress shows how fabric and certain head dresses were a symbol of ones’ status. As on the walls of hieroglyphics pharaohs and priest would sometimes have the symbol of the serpent on their heads, where as in other African communities wood carvings of similar head dresses were similar to those on the walls of hieroglyphics, because symbols and certain patterns within the fabric worn served as various purposes. Ultimately the wall of hieroglyphics left a legacy for many generations and serves as modern day, and past guidance for some people who are interested in Ancient Egypt. In order for many myths, stories, and natural laws to be understood and passed down to generations, the young played a major role in the continuity of tradition, ceremonies, rituals, and rites of passage. This......

Words: 1651 - Pages: 7

Short Stories

...Rainsford and Mme. Loisel. Both Characters go through a dynamic change opposed to a static change. A dynamic change is when a character undergoes a severe change over the course of a story; A static change is when a character does not undergo severe change since the start of a story such as no Point of View changing or no way of thinking changing. In the story “The Necklace” Mme. Loisel starts off as a snobby “I deserve better” type of person. “She suffered endlessly feeling herself to be born for every luxury and riches”. This quote States that at the starting of the short story before she lost the necklace she was wining about how she deserves better. After she loses her friend’s necklace instead of telling her friend the truth she goes on an “adventure” trying to find the exact same necklace. “We must see about replacing the diamonds” this quote states that instead of saying the truth (which would’ve helped) she planned to just replace it to make herself look good. ”Oh my poor Mathilde but mine was merely an imitation.” This shows how much the Truth could’ve helped her instead of Loan sharks and replacing the necklace. This is an example of Dynamic change as it changed her way of thinking. In the story “The Most Dangerous Game” Rainsford also goes through a dynamic change. At the start of the story Rainsford did not care at all about what he was hunting and how much pain/fear it goes through. “Who cares what the jaguar feels”, “Bah, They’ve no understanding”.......

Words: 722 - Pages: 3

Short Story

...The Love and Grief of the speaker for Annabel Lee Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee” is one of his most famous and well-loved poems and contains themes that appear in many of Poe’s work, such as the death and burial of a beautiful woman, undying love, and deification of her memory. It was written in 1849 and was published shortly only after Poe’s death that same year. Aside from “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee” as Brod Bagert stated is marked by a deep sadness over the loss of a loved one (4). Seeing as the structure of the poem is almost as if someone were telling a story, the audience may very well be any attentive group of listeners, listening to a love story. In the poem, the speaker is an individual love-struck by Annabel Lee. The poem's speaker describes his love and the love he shares with Annabel Lee, which began many years ago in a so-called "kingdom by the sea". Though they were young, their love for one another burned with such an intensity that as the speaker tells even the powerful forces such as death can’t keep him and Annabel Lee apart. The poem, as Dawn Sova noted recounts a love so powerful that even the angels feel envious of the bond, which transcends death and overcomes both human and cosmic forces that seek to “dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee”. (25) Every day, so overrun by grief and love, the individual (the speaker) goes into the grave of his Annabel Lee by the sea to lie down with her. Who is Annabel Lee? Let us find......

Words: 2441 - Pages: 10

Ambiguity in Understanding Women Characters in Short Stories.

...Denis Umansky Ambiguity in understanding women characters in short stories. The prowess of a good writer lies in an area of catching reader's attention. The way author can make us think about his work, carefully analyzing events and making images of his characters. However, a real master doesn't give us exact answers to our questions, but leaves a space for our own imagination to reply on them. In the text of this essay I would like to highlight the ambiguity, in which protagonists of short stories are presented. As an example I will use images of Olenka from “The Darling” by Chekhov, Mme. Loisel from “The Necklace” by Maupassant and Mrs. Mallard from “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. It would be reasonable to start with Anton Chekhov, because he is one of the founders of a short story genre. Speaking about “The Darling”, I would like to mention my own experience and attitude towards this narrative. I first read it several years ago as a part of literature program at school. My first attitude to Olenka wasn't the most pleasant one. I judged her intellectually and found all her actions irrational and even pathetic, because she couldn't live without being addicted to someone. This is a passage, where author describes her emotional state, when she is alone: “She hardly ever went out, except for the market … and led the life of a nun”(194). So without a man near her, Olenka has no goal in her life, no need in self-realization and this is not good. Nevertheless, three......

Words: 918 - Pages: 4

Short Stories

...Teaching Short Stories – A beneficial piece of teaching material by Christoph Kant Matr. Nr. 282-345-86 Kurs: Short Stories in the EFL-Classroom Dozent: Stephen Mason Kassel, 20.09.2012 Content: 1. Introduction3 2. A brief history of EFL teaching-styles3 3. Teaching „the skills“4 4. Motivational advantages8 5. Providing literary knowledge8 6. The cultural aspect 10 7. Encouraging/developing critical thinking 11 8. Conclusion 12 References 14 1.) Introduction: In this paper I would like to discuss the advantages that teaching the short story as a major part of a teaching concept brings to the EFL classroom and present several example tasks of how to integrate short stories into ones „teaching portfolio“. Whereas some people might believe that teaching the short story benefits students only from a linguistic standpoint, those people really do not get the big picture. Yes, there are obvious linguistic benefits you can draw from teaching short stories, but the most important factor is motivation. This hales from the structure of short stories themselves. As almost all of them have a beginning, a main part and an ending, students are most likely encouraged to read the story all the way through, to see what the outcome might be. Sure, the structure of most novels or plays might be similar, but the length of the short story is the big advantage. If a student knows, that he does not have to read 200 and more pages to finish the......

Words: 4322 - Pages: 18

Short Stories

...During the past two weeks, our American Literature class has covered the short stories of The Fall of the House of Usher, The Minister’s Black Veil and Rappaccini’s Daughter. These poems/stories were constructed by two well-known authors: Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Each poem and story written by these two men contains an intricately, deep meaning. In fact, criticizers maintain the position that there are several meanings to these works, but this may never be known by anyone except the actual author. The author is the only individual who truly knows the real meaning behind the poem or story. Out of these three stories we read, I enjoyed The Fall of the House of Usher the most as it proved to be most interesting to me. The reason I enjoyed this work the most was due to the fact that I was transacting with the text in this poem, I was able to really understand why Poe utilized certain elements in it in order to help convey the work’s actual meaning. It also helped to raise logical questions about certain other aspects of the story. I did not feel I was able to do this as well with the other two stories as they did not flow as well to me as did The Fall of the House of Usher. Though the plot turned out to be quite unusual, I found it to be very interesting and out of the ordinary, which I seemed to like in this instance. The book ends with an unexpected surprise and by the fall of the house of course. The theme is really dark and mysterious, which made the book......

Words: 1106 - Pages: 5

Short Story

...face, and passed on without a greeting. Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting? Be it so if you will; but, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain. When the minister spoke from the pulpit with power and fervid eloquence, and, with his hand on the open Bible, of the sacred truths of our religion, and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths, and of future bliss or misery unutterable, then did Goodman Brown turn pale, dreading lest the roof should thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers. Often, waking suddenly at midnight, he shrank from the bosom of Faith; and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer, he scowled and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife, and turned away. And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom....

Words: 5272 - Pages: 22

Short Story

...an old and dirty suit. he said to bill, 'little boy, i am very hungry, would you please please give me some food?' bill thought for a moment, then said,' alright, come in'. they walked into the kitchen. bill took a loaf of bread, and handed it to the man. the man was very happy, he ate the whole loaf in a minute. he thanked bill, and told him about his story. the man was once a rich business man, but his boss fired him because he was late for work one day. he lost his job. the man said that bill was a very good boy, and one day, he would return his favour. many years have past, bill has already grown into a teenager. one day, there was a knock on the door. bill went to open the door. it was a man. he was wearing a shiny suit. he looked very smart. he said to bill,' do you remember me?i am the man whom you gave a loaf of bread to many years ago. i have come to return my favour.' bill remembered him. the man handed him a breifcase. there was a lot of money in it. bill was very surprised. he didn't think that he could receive this much money in return just because of a load of bread! so then, bill became very rich. this story tells us that we should help others no matter who they are....

Words: 288 - Pages: 2

Short Stories

...love it. Their first snow, I'm sure." "How do you know it wasn't snowing in New York while they were there?" Tony asked. "Snow in New York in early November?" Fil said. "Are you crazy?" "Who's crazy?" Tony replied. "Ever since you heard of those dancers from the Philippines, you've been acting nuts. Loco. As if they're coming here just for you. Tony chuckled. Hearing him, Fil blushed, realizing that he had, indeed, been acting too eager, but Tony had said it. It felt that way--as if the dancers were coming here only for him. Filemon Acayan, Filipino, was fifty, a U.S., citizen. He was a corporal in the U.S. Army, training at San Luis Obispo, on the day he was discharged honorably, in 1945. A few months later, he got his citizenship papers. Thousands of them, smart and small in their uniforms, stood at attention in drill formation, in the scalding sun, and pledged allegiance to the flat and the republic for which it stands. Soon after he got back to work. To a new citizen, work meant many places and many ways: factories and hotels, waiter and cook. A timeless drifting: once he tended a rose garden and took care of a hundred year old veteran of a border war. As a menial in a hospital in Cook Country, all day he handled filth and gore. He came home smelling of surgical soap and disinfectant. In the hospital, he took charge of row of bottles on a shelf, each bottle containing a stage of the human embryo in preservatives, from the lizard-like fetus of a few days, through the......

Words: 20302 - Pages: 82

Short Stories

...Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” Goodman Brown was not asleep in this short story. As I read, I believed that Goodman did indeed meet the devil in the forest. If he had indeed dreamt about the trip he was sent on and meeting the devil, I think his nervousness would have been described in more detail then it was. Concentrating more on the anxiety he was feeling would have led the reader to believe that the events were not real. I also saw this story as an allegory. I saw the allegory after reading the story two times. I think it is centered on Goodman Brown having a bumpy past and that he wants to go beyond his past and reach heaven. The characters names also show the religious allegory in the story. The names Goodman and Faith are used and the characters are then soon faced with terrifying evil. I think that Goodman Brown and his wife, Faith’s names symbolize that they are good, religious people and that Goodman is making up everyone being evil in his head. I found an essay by Alexa Carlson that described the symbolism in light vs. dark, forest vs. town, nature vs. human, and fantasy vs. reality. In her paper, Essay #1: Young Goodman Brown, she states that “…fantasy vs. reality are employed to reinforce the idea that good and evil have been set up as strict categories into which no one, not even the religious figures of the community, fit neatly.” As she later writes, if Hawthorne was apprehensive about “what he considers right and wrong in terms of human behavior,......

Words: 4886 - Pages: 20

Short Stories

...The themes of short stories are often relevant to real life? To what extent do you agree with this view? In the short stories “Miss Brill” and “Frau Brechenmacher attends a wedding” written by Katherine Mansfield, the themes which are relevant to real life in Miss Brill are isolation and appearance versus reality. Likewise Frau Brechenmacher suffers through isolation throughout the story and also male dominance is one of the major themes that are highlighted in the story. These themes are relevant to real life as women are likely to suffer more in their life than men. In Miss Brill one of the central theme is isolation as Miss Brill is mentally isolated this is portrayed when she takes her fur out of the box which is symbolic of Miss Brill’s situation as she starts to have conversation “dear little thing it was nice to feel you again” this represents Miss Brill’s mental state, the way she shares her feeling with fur which is a object, highlights how desperate she seeks acceptance from person whom she can have conversation. This is significant when old couple do not have conversation with her at the park “disappointed Miss Brill as she looked forward for conversation”. This shows she is being rejected by people of her own age and also shows her egoistic behaviour as she expects the couple to have conversation with her. The theme isolation is relevant to real life as Mansfield uses Miss Brill to suggest reader that as human age they begin to feel emptiness in their......

Words: 1110 - Pages: 5

Reaction Paper

...Reaction Paper Nonfiction readings take some imagination to fully grasp the concept that the author is portraying. The short stories, “Salvation”, by Langston Hughes (Literature for Composition pp 343-344) and “Who Will Light Incense When Mothers Gone?” by Andrew Lam, (Literature for Composition pp 1115-1116), are no different where imagination is concerned. These two readings differ tremendously, having few similarities, although, they are both personal nonfiction readings. In, “Salvation”, the author uses two different strategies to convey his idea. In opinion, he uses Reader’s Response and Formalist strategies. The opening line reads: “I was saved from sin when I was going on thirteen. But not really saved,” (Literature for Composition pg. 343). This line brings about the rest of the story. He is looking for a readers response by telling the story of how he was “saved from sin”, when he was going on thirteen. He does not detail his entire life up to this point or much thereafter. This leads it to be believed that the other strategy is formalist. Meaning that it can stand independently. One can personally relate to the story of, “Salvation”, because they have been through this type of situation. They have been attending church during their youth, feeling as if the spot light was aimed at them. Also knowing that something is expected of them, wondering if they should follow the crowd or go on their own. The author wants to help other young ladies and gentlemen to know......

Words: 1726 - Pages: 7

Short Story

...a close my sister mentioned to me that Amber was coming over because she need help with some VA paper word. I then knew that I had to get it in good with her this day. As the time got near, I got into my best cloths, set forward a good vibe, and prepared for her arrival. When she came in I felt my heart weird filling in my chest, almost like a loss of air. She sat down, I served her a drink and we began the paper work process, I did not need to be there but I was curious to see where she had been since she was in the army. I asked her ‘’ amber so where have you been deployed too’’ she responded “Afghanistan and Iraq’’ I said ‘’cool’’. I than asked if I could take a glance at her DD214 she kindly allowed me to look. What I then saw conformed that I was in love with this women. She had been deployed to Afghanistan (2002), Iraq (2003), Saudi Arriba (2004), and Iraq (2006). This woman had been in the beginning of every recent conflict. She had seen every recent conflict kick off. I had been an Infantryman and could only dream about being in Iraq or Afghanistan at those periods. My heart skipped a beat and I knew ‘’ I had fell in love before I knew it’’. After I seen her DD214, I had extreme respect for this women. She had been threw a ruff childhood( normal for any Mexican ) and had been in the most toughest times in the united states Army. We helped her out that night get her paper work together. Before ending the night, I asked her for her phone number, and she gave it. From......

Words: 1921 - Pages: 8

Short Story

...Unwanted I chased it along the high street. People must have thought I was mad. I thought I was mad! A scrap piece of paper! Just one piece of paper and there I was running after it like my life depended on it. I was just so desperate to write to you, even after what you’ve done to me. I sat down while the rain trickled down the side of the wall as I was leaning against it. I was trembling with fear whilst my teeth were clattering because of the cold. My hairs lank now sticky and dark with grease and there are so many thoughts whirling round in my head and I can’t control them. I haven’t showered since I’d been neglected by my own parents; I have to sleep on the hard ground, hoping that one of the dirty men will stop staring at me. My clothes were dirty, torn and old, after what happened that night… I never thought that this would happen to me, a normal sixteen year old teenager. I was walking home through the woods which was something I did everyday but usually with my friends. This day felt different. I was alone. Suddenly a man came from behind and grabbed my neck and threatened to kill me if tried to get away or screamed. He vigorously pushed me to the ground and took control of my body and I just felt like I was paralysed. I couldn’t do anything but panic and think about the disgust I was going through. The pain was never ending. I couldn’t do anything to get this atrocious beast off me. All I could was to scream at the top of my voice. The brute still wouldn’t get......

Words: 1089 - Pages: 5

Short Story

...enlightened her early in her literary career or retelling an incident that involved a family member or a neighbor while growing up in Jamaica, the richness and fullness of her joviality embraces whoever happens to be in her company. Goodison confessed that in Jamaica having a sense of humor helps many people cope with life’s difficulties. This past September, Goodison visited the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, NY, where she read from her latest book, By Love Possessed: Stories (Amistad/HarperCollins). The heartrending and oftentimes risible tales Goodison presents in By Love Possessed, including the Pushcart Prize-winning short story for which the book gets its title, explore the wide range of complex feelings that are kindled by love—its heartaches, its obsessions, and its passions. Many of the fables in the collection were inspired by people and instances in Jamaica, she said. Goodison is a detailed and thoughtful writer in every sense; and in these short stories she wields a cast of memorable characters, animated descriptions, and Caribbean patois to convey a truthfulness and a universality through her storytelling. Before she decided that writing was indeed her calling, Goodison’s creative spirit had been drawn to painting, and she studied at the Jamaica School of Art and the school at the Art Student’s League in New York. (In fact, her artwork graces the covers of some of her books.) She also worked for a brief time in advertising. In the......

Words: 3533 - Pages: 15