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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov "In Exile"
Transcript of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov "In Exile"
I read Chekhov's short story "In Exile" and hoped to find out where he received the inspiration for the characters and the plot of the story. What I found was, his life, as it changed his characters and stories changed with it. I will start at the beginning, born in Taganrog Russia on January 17, 1860 to a poor middle class family.
As a young boy he was raised in a lower middle class home. "While Chekhov's father, Pavell, was religious to the point of inspiring fear in his offspring, his mother, Yevgeniya, was a wonderful storyteller" (52, "Anton (Pavlovich)"). This is where his interest in story telling began. His mother also pushed him to his interest in reading and writing. She schooled him at home till he went to grammar school at age 8.
Till age 16 Chekhov had a peaceful childhood. It was then that his father lost the family business and ran to Moscow for work, follow shortly after by his mother and her 3 youngest after loosing the family home. Tutoring students and selling possessions he finished his studies then went to join his family. "Chekhov entered that city's university the following year on a scholarship[, intending to study medicine (53, "Anton (Pavlovich)"). While this didn't make money for his family his writing career was started. Writing simple stories for a local magazine he made cash for his family to survive on.
What I Discovered
Chekhov used many different individuals to create his characters, each one with his or her own personality and back ground. I had thought he may have molded his characters after himself or people he knew well, it seems as though he was able to create characters that were themselves a new individual that had experiences similar to the people he interviewed in Sakhalin.
If I had written a paper
Life changes who we are and what we think, to embrace those changes makes each of us individually stronger.
Finding out about Anton Chekhov's life was the most interesting part of this research project I think. I thought it would be much easier to find more information on Chekhov's stories but it seems that most critics were interested in his drama's instead of his short stories. I like what Welty says, "In the whole population of Chekhov's characters, every single one, the least, the smallest, the youngest, the most obscure, has its clear identity" (151, Welty).
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov "In Exile"
This is the family home for Chekhov and 5 surviving siblings.
"Among the jokes and light anecdotes that characterize Chekhov's earliest phase of productivity, critics have found many of the author's central thematic concerns: the sufferings of the poor; the petty tyranny of government official; and the vulgarity and insensitivity of the peasant class (97, "Chekhov") This is the beginning of how Chekhov's characters were developed, this is what I had expected to find in my research of his life. Although this is well before his characters in "The Exile" where ever dreamed up.
His Education, His work
While in school he completed his first play. "Chekhov's Medical training, which he completed three years later, would provide the young writer with a great deal of practical insight, not only into medical science but into human character as well" (53, "Anton (Povlovich)"). As his experiences increased his stores took a more serious tone
His experiences that lead to "In Exile" came from a visit to the penal colony on the Eastern Siberian island of Sakhalin in 1890. He intended to interveiw the residence of this harsh environment to write a report on the overall conditions of the colony. "He carefully recorded the misery of the inhabitants of the five-hundred-mile-long island by speaking to up to 160 people each day" (54, "Anton (Povlovich)").
What sparked my interest
I chose this story because of the way Preacher talked to the young Tatar about the fancy man and how letting go of all hope was the best way to live life. I wanted to understand where Chekhov received the inspiration for these characters, and how his life was reflected in them.
I had expected to find something similar between Chekhov and the characters in his writings. I didn't know what character Chekhov would relate with or if it was ever a story written with a character he relates to. I had thought that he wrote himself into the story as many authors do.
It was extremely easy to find autobiographies for Chekhov, Some of them were better than others. I kept two of them for my sources because one of them seemed to focuses more on his personal life and the younger years while the other was more based on his writing and his later years as an author. Both were helpful in my research for how Chekhov created his characters. The early years of his life were interesting to me because of how his interest in writing started and how his style changed throughout his life from comical satire to serious political and metaphorical stories.
This is Anton Chekhov and his wife Olga Knipper
Findings criticisms on his story "In Exile" was much more difficult than I first thought it would be. Though Anton Chekhov was a great writer and the most famous of his time, "In Exile" was not the focus of many of the authors. Many people were more interested in his dramas and other stories, though I did find a few literary criticisms that included "In Exile" I found more that were on "Ward No. 6" which is a story written with his trip to the penal colony in mind. Many times "In Exile" and "Ward No. 6" were talked of in the same paragraphs.
A lot of was I found was interesting to me, like how many siblings he had and that his dad ran away to Moscow to avoid creditors only for Anton to finish school and to make money supporting the family while completing medical school. The biggest surprise was that he had Tuberculosis while he did his travels to the penal colony and refused to tell anyone even as it worsened.
It surprised me to find out that Chekhov's earliest writing was a comical type of writing that he would submit to comedy magazines. I really never would have expected that from him after reading "In Exile". I thought that his writings would have always have had a constant serious undertone.
Chekhov's style of writing and motivation was strongly influenced by Tolstoy and Grigorovich. His moral topics reflected his admiration of Tolstoy till around the time he traveled to Sakhalin where he "abandoned Tolstoy's strict moral dogma in favor of a deepened concern for social matters" (97, "Chekhov")
Chekhov, as a child, loved hearing his mothers stories, she started his love of telling them himself.
Work and money became a focus of Chekhov's writing till a letter from Grigorovich changed his ideas on how to write.
Role models change throughout our lives, progressing though life can give a different outlook on our beliefs.
Chekhov's characters are all individuals he had a great ability to understand human responses and reactions.
Anton Chekhov. “In Exile”. The Seagull Reader: Stories. 2nd ed. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008. 111-120. Print.
"Anton (Pavlovich) Chekhov (1860-1904)." Something About the Author. Ed. Kevin Hile. Vol. 90. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 48-55. Something About the Author. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
"Chekhov, Anton (1860-1904), An Introduction to." Short Story Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 85. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Short Story Criticism Online. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
Hoppe, Harry R. "Form in Chekhov's Short Stories." The University of California Chronicle 34.1 (Jan. 1932): 62-67. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Sheila Fitzgerald. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. Short Story Criticism Online. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.
Welty, Eudora. "Reality in Chekhov's Stories." The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and Reviews. Eudora Welty. Vintage Books, 1979. 61-81. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Sheila Fitzgerald. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. Short Story Criticism Online. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.