Misery by Anton Chekhov

443 Words2 Pages
Misery Chekhov’s Misery falls perfectly in suit with his other stories, granting readers a glimpse into an ordinary, relatively uneventful life. Though it deals with a tragic topic, the story itself is subtle and does not overindulge in plot, dialogue, or flowery language, and it is for this reason that it makes an impression. Chekhov simply narrates a window of time in a character’s life and leaves the reader in charge of piecing together a reaction to it—which, in many cases, can make a piece extremely difficult to digest. Chekhov highlights the importance of human interaction, especially during times of grief, as Iona experiences with the loss of his son. Iona wants so badly to share his story with someone—anyone—but not one person will hear of it. Humans have a tendency to downplay the severity of death and dying, and will avoid confrontation with the topic by either ignoring it altogether, as the officer and the man at the end did, or by being detached and aloof, as the young hunchback says, with a sigh: “We shall all die…” It is clear by the end of the story that Iona is slightly concerned with his own sanity, as he did not receive the empathetic response he had expected; he resorts to asking his mare: “Now, if you had a little colt, and all at once that same little colt went and died… You’d be sorry, wouldn’t you?...” I imagine the “wouldn’t you?” being said after a brief pause, hoping that the mare would agree that his feelings are warranted, that it is indeed okay for him to be sad. Throughout the story, Iona gets so used to being interrupted and pushed aside that it is relieving for him at the end when his mare puts up no barrier to his storytelling. It is evident through the story that Iona and the mare are connected in some way, as they are often in sync with each other: “If a regular snowdrift fell on him it seems as though even then
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