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"The Looking Glass" by Anton Chekhov
Transcript of "The Looking Glass" by Anton Chekhov
"The Looking Glass" by Anton Chekhov is about a marriage-obssesed young woman who looks into a mirror and falls asleep dreaming of a dark future
-Nellie: The daughter of a landowner and general, a young, skinny, pretty girl, dreaming day and night of being married
-Husband: A man who Nellie dreams of
-Stephan Lukitch: A doctor of who has typhus, and she needs him to cure her ill husband
External: Nellie and the doctor (dream)
-Nellie needs a doctor to help her husband, but Dr.Lukitch is sick with typhus
-Nellie then decides she must go to a doctor that is far away to help cure her husband
Elements Of The Plot
Exposition: Nellie falls asleep and a man appears in the "grey background"
Rising Action: Nellie dashes into the doctor's home and urges him to come see her husband
Climax: The doctor arrives at Nellie's but falls sick on her sofa, helpless
Nellie awakens when she drops the looking glass on the floor. At that point, she realizes that her dream was only a nightmare. She is relieved that her husband is not dying
Place: The setting is 30 miles from Zemstvo, Russia
-It's winter and her husband has a severe case of typhus
-Time: New Year's Eve
This short story is told in third person omniscient. The narrator goes not only the thoughts and feelings of the character but her dreams also.
First, the role dreams play in our lives. The whole story is based on and takes the form of a dream. Second, the theme selfishness: both Nellie and the doctor appear selfish-hardly caring about anyone but themselves. Third, the theme of helplessness can be seen....
-in the fact that not one character was capable of helping anyone nor themselves
- The last theme is fear from the future. Nellie's dreams are a reflection of the subconcious. Nellie conjures up a dark sad dream; obviously, Nellie is scared from the future.
-The looking glass (mirror): looks into the future
-Nellie's dream takes her back to her childhood dreams about getting married.
-The looking glass warns Nellie about problems that could happen in the future.
(Visual) "Nellie's motionless eyes and parted lips"
(Auditory) "The dog hoarsely and lazily barked"
The tone is gloomy and dark: "windows were in darkness"
"The grey background was untouched by death"
The tone overall sad because Nellie dreams of having the "dream" husband and later dreams of him dying