“The meaning of life comes when one realizes that one is needed.”Frank. In “A Dreary Story”, the writer describes an emeritus professor who is unable to search out religious sustenance and which means of life in his old age. The e-book is full of particulars a few dying old man’s life and his countless doubts and worries, the which means of ‘dying’ is not just a bodily demise, but also a social dying. Anton Chekhov, the Russian author, who enjoys a excessive status and standing in 1889 and became conscious about his social duty as a writer, searching for the purpose and meaning of life and wrote down this story since he found that few people might acknowledge the meaning of existence in Russia within the 19th century.
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The story displays the absurd sense of people alienation from life by describing the protagonist Nikolay Stepanovitch’s incomprehension of human nature, the isolation of himself and the indifference to his household, which leads to a meaningless life.
Initially, Chekhov illustrates the estrangement by way of Nikolay Stepanovitch’s lack of understanding of human nature. Although the “honoured and distinguished” name of the protagonist is known to every educated man in Russia and abroad, he finds it harder to learn a letter of congratulation than a scientific article. This proved that he was unfamiliar with the essential methodology of expressing emotions. What’s more, despite his ugly appearance and sickness, what he really cares about is “there isn’t any slur on my realized name, and there is no criticism one could make in opposition to it”.
It implies that he was extra involved together with his reputation than with the realities of life. All his thoughts was on lecturers, and he put all his effort into it, he believed that only the tutorial work of his personal understanding and creation was significant. Therefore, as a scientist, Nikolay is outstanding, but as a human being, as a human being with emotions, thoughts, flesh, and blood, Stepanovitch is a loser.
Secondly, Chekhov exposures the theme of alienation by way of Nikolay’s self-isolation. The story mentions that Nikolay used to has many pals whom bestowed upon him a heat and honest affection. However, in any case of his old friends handed away, he refuses to make new pals and likewise refuses to speak at his friends’ funerals. It is not to say that he can not do it, he is aware of he can still carry out well on lecture due to “his fervour, the literary skill of his exposition, and his humour”. The reason why there isn’t any one for him to make friends with nowadays is simply that he isolates himself and unwilling to connect with others. Socializing as a religious demand plays an important position in human life. As a outcome, his life is incomplete and meaningless since he has lost his capacity for this demand.
Finally, Chekhov reinforces the alienation via the angle of Nikolay in course of his family. At residence, he views his wife with contempt and arrogance, noting solely her demerit quite than her advantage. He took the priority of his spouse as hypocrisy, considering the dialog between them is boring and accused her ‘refuses to be taught by experience’. Unlike his spouse, he was indifferent to his son who’s an officer serving at Warsaw. Even though he sends his son fifty roubles a month, Nikolay does not look after the emotional or bodily issues of his son. It looks like the love between members of the family and that between lovers has disappeared. People have gotten indifferent, the rationale for indifference is not the human nature itself, however the barrier between individuals, even relations have lost the power to speak with others, regular life is gone.
In conclusion, Nikolay’s unfamiliarity with human nature, unsocial attribute, and the strangeness of family contribute to his tragic life, which additionally reflects the pathetic social setting at that time. At that point, people could not match in the means of regular life, folks have been numbness, crooked, and apathetic. It is in this context, Nikolay got insomnia, he realized the weirdness of the society however he didn’t do something to reconcile the disharmony. The sense of the absurdity of the story comes from the reality that persons are accustomed to those issues which imagined to be unusual in their day by day life. The best significance of this novel is that it displays the meaninglessness of life and one wonders what is the distinction between residing and dying if people wouldn’t have a reference to one another and out of the essence of life?