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Literary Analysis Essay on Misesry by Anton Chekhov

There are many pieces of literary work that are worth reading. “Misery” by Anton Chekhov belongs to the number of stories that cannot leave a reader indifferent due to the feelings it arouses. It makes one think about different issues at the same time and feel as if he or she lives the protagonist’s life. Chekhov can be regarded as a professional in a literary sphere because not many people can cover so many aspects of human life in a short story like this. Therefore, emotions awakened by his “Misery” are hard to describe as they are caused by moral issues that are still “burning” today.

First, it is important to admit that Chekhov describes events in such a way that a reader feels just the same as the characters in the proposed circumstances. Different feelings appear in the process or reading. Indifference of people is the most shocking feature of the story. The protagonist needs someone to talk to, but all around seem to be so busy with their own affairs that they do not pay attention to the old man whose son died and who wants to talk about his loss. No one cares, only his mare proves to be a good listener. The scariest thing is that the same thing happens every day and people are so used to it that they do not regard it as a problem anymore. Interesting feelings arise with the description of the mare. The author depicts it as a real human being with feelings, thoughts, grieves, and perceptions. For this reason, the story awakens the idea that animals sometimes are more humanlike than humans as they preserve their ability to feel and care.

Hustle and bustle of the town depicted in the story give a rise for another thought. Very often people tend to ignore everything and everyone besides themselves. They only care about their personal issues, neglecting the needs of other people. Chekhov sets a vivid example of loneliness in the crowded world and indifference of these people towards incidental characters in their lifelong play. The reader feels like the author puts a glass wall between the sledge-driver and his passengers, whereas they see each other, but do not hear a word. The impression is strengthened by the description of the nature. It feels like the weather is indifferent too. Snow falls and does not care about anything around. All in all, the indifference of people is the first thing that strikes a reader the most. The pace of modern life makes people hard-hearted. However, it is not just their fault. Fast development of the world makes them be like that. It seems like Chekhov knew it and predicted that a situation would not change.

The story creates dubious feelings, so that the reaction to them is not defined. Though the feeling of total misery appears, Chekhov gives a reader an implication that everything will be better than it is as the protagonist finally finds someone to talk to, even though it is only a mare. “Misery” by Chekhov is by all means worth reading. It makes one speculate about many things, set the priorities, and look at his or her life from a different perspective. Various feelings appear if to consider the reason of the protagonist’s grief. Death of a child is always something hard to overcome and impossible to fully understand for those who did not have such a tragedy in their lives. The death of a young person who did not do anything bad fosters the readers to think of unfairness of destiny. Chekhov mentions this point in his story, shows the same vision of the problem, but unfortunately does not provide an explanation for the issue. For this reason, the story creates a feeling of doom and feebleness because of the death and destiny. However, despite the fact that a story makes an impression of worldwide grief and frustration, there is a little ray of light there as well.

All in all, Chekhov’s “Misery” is a “bowl” full of emotions and issues that give food for thought. There is no way to have a particular reaction to the story as feelings aroused by it are unambiguous. “Misery,” in this case, becomes “a mystery” for those who want to define their attitude towards it. The only thing is definitely clear: Chekhov knew that the problem of society will remain the same. People still are indifferent, selfish, and deaf. Unfortunately, he did not propose a solution for this problem.

PDF version:  Literary Analysis Essay on Misesry by Anton Chekhov

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. “Misery.” Commapress, 12 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.