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契诃夫 Аnton chekhov 短篇小说 英文介绍


Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov

writer, who brought both the short story and the drama to new prominence in Russia and eventually in the Western world.

His life & works

The house in Taganrog, Russia


serf ?Father, owner of a grocer. ?“I had no childhood!”

Tutor. Short stories.

Chameleon (Otchumyelov) ? The Death of a Government Clerk (Ivan)
The government clerk died of the high political pressure of Tzarist Russia.


Pushkin Prize in 1888.

A Man in a Case.


Ward No. 6

Sakhalin Island, 1890
a Russian penal colony

At Sakhalin Island

He also wrote drama. The Cherry


The Seagull


Chekhov and Tolstoy

At Melikhovo (1892-99)

Chekhov and Olga, 1901, on honeymoon

A respectable writer

His style
? Taking

a cool, objective stance toward his characters, Chekhov conveys their inner lives and feelings indirectly, by suggestion rather than statement. ? His plots are usually simple, and the endings of both his stories and his plays tend toward openness rather than finality.

His realism
? Chekhov’s

works create the effect of profound experience taking place beneath the surface in the ordinary lives of unexceptional people.

A warm-hearted writer
? “We

shall find the peace. We shall hear the angels. We shall see the sky sparkled with diomonds.”

Chekhov's grave, Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow

The monument to Chekhov in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Sakhalin Island

A bust of Chekhov in Badenweiler

Today’s content
? 1.

Russian background in late 19th century ? 2. His early short stories ? 3. his works after 1890s. ? 4. His representative:

Ward No. 6 the Man in a Case.

1. Background


social contradiction turned severe in 1880s and the Russian government of despotism strengthened political pressure against the people.

A. society polarized.
? along

with the so-called Reform of Muzhik the Russian society got more and more polarized. The peasants who had lost their land and rushed into cities became industrial workers. So the relationship between working class and bourgeoisie grew tense.

B. The Russian Populists
? The

Russian Populists criticized the polarized Russian reality and brought forward their political opinions to resist the prevail of capitalism with the traditional Russian patriarchal clan system so as to establish the Russian socialism.

C. high political pressure
? The

Russian Populists assassinated Czar Alexander II in 1881 but this terrorist action caused the overwhelming revenge of Russian government over the Russian people. The society thus began a period with high political pressure.

2. his early stories

His early stories ironically satirized the servile character of the people.
? A Chameleon
? The

Death of a Government Clerk

A Chameleon

police superintendent Otchumyelov is walking across the market square wearing a new overcoat and carrying a parcel under his arm.

The Death of a Government Clerk

fine evening, a no less fine government clerk called Ivan Dmitritch Tchervyakov was sitting in the second row of the stalls, gazing through an opera glass at the Cloches de Corneville.

? He

gazed and felt at the acme of bliss. But suddenly. . . . In stories one so often meets with this "But suddenly." The authors are right: life is so full of surprises! But suddenly his face puckered up, his eyes disappeared, his breathing was arrested . . . he took the opera glass from his eyes, bent over and . . . "Aptchee!!"

I must appologise."

"I have spattered him," thought Tchervyakov, "he is not the head of my department, but still it is awkward. I must apologise."


your Excellency, I spattered you accidentally. . . ." ?"Never mind, never mind." ?"For goodness sake excuse me, I . . . I did not mean to." ?"Oh, please, sit down! let me listen!"

? "I

spattered you, your Excellency, forgive me . . . you see . . . I didn't do it to . . . ." ? "Oh, that's enough . . . I'd forgotten it, and you keep on about it!" said the general, moving his lower lip impatiently.

"What?" asked Tchervyakov, in a whisper turning numb with horror. ? "Be off!" repeated the general, stamping. ? Something seemed to give way in Tchervyakov's stomach. Seeing nothing and hearing nothing he reeled to the door, went out into the street, and went staggering along. . . . Reaching home mechanically, without taking off his uniform, he lay down on the sofa and died.

In mid-1880s his stories reveals a sympathy torwars the miserable people.



turner, Grigory Petrov, who had been known for years past as a splendid craftsman, and at the same time as the most senseless peasant in the Galtchinskoy district, was taking his old woman to the hospital.

He said to his old woman

"Don't cry, Matryona, . . ." he muttered. "Have a little patience. Please God we shall reach the hospital, and in a trice it will be the right thing for you. . . . Pavel Ivanitch will give you some little drops, or tell them to bleed you; or maybe his honor will be pleased to rub you with some sort of spirit -- it'll . . . draw it out of your side. Pavel Ivanitch will do his best. He will shout and stamp about, but he will do his best. . . .

His old woman died
? At

last, to make an end of uncertainty, without looking round he felt his old woman's cold hand. The lifted hand fell like a log. "She is dead, then! What a business!" And the turner cried. He was not so much sorry as annoyed

He nearly went insane

"Why, she used to go the round of the village," he remembered. "I sent her out myself to beg for bread. What a business! She ought to have lived another ten years, the silly thing; as it is I'll be bound she thinks I really was that sort of man. . . . Holy Mother! but where the devil am I driving? There's no need for a doctor now, but a burial. Turn back!"

? VANKA ZHUKOV, a boy of nine, who had been for three months apprenticed to Alyahin the shoemaker, was sitting up on Christmas Eve. Waiting till his master and mistress and their workmen had gone to the midnight service, he took out of his master's cupboard a bottle of ink and a pen with a rusty nib, and, spreading out a crumpled sheet of paper in front of him, began writing.

? Before

forming the first letter he several times looked round fearfully at the door and the windows, stole a glance at the dark ikon, on both sides of which stretched shelves full of lasts, and heaved a broken sigh. The paper lay on the bench while he knelt before it.

He wrote:
? "Dear

grandfather, Konstantin Makaritch," he wrote, "I am writing you a letter. I wish you a happy Christmas, and all blessings from God Almighty. I have neither father nor mother, you are the only one left me."

His grandpa
? He

was a thin but extraordinarily nimble and lively little old man of sixtyfive, with an everlastingly laughing face and drunken eyes. By day he slept in the servants' kitchen, or made jokes with the cooks; at night, wrapped in an ample sheepskin, he walked round the grounds and tapped with his little mallet.

Vanka went on writing:
? "And

yesterday I had a wigging. The master pulled me out into the yard by my hair, and whacked me with a boot-stretcher because I accidentally fell asleep while I was rocking their brat in the cradle.

? And

a week ago the mistress told me to clean a herring, and I began from the tail end, and she took the herring and thrust its head in my face. The workmen laugh at me and send me to the tavern for vodka, and tell me to steal the master's cucumbers for them, and the master beats me with anything that comes to hand.


Dear grandfather, show the divine mercy, take me away from here, home to the village. It's more than I can bear. I bow down to your feet, and will pray to God for you for ever, take me away from here or I shall die."


grandfather, when they have the Christmas tree at the big house, get me a gilt walnut, and put it away in the green trunk. Ask the young lady Olga Ignatyevna, say it's for Vanka."


folded the sheet of writing-paper twice, and put it into an envelope he had bought the day before for a kopeck. . . . After thinking a little, he dipped the pen and wrote the address:

To grandfather in the village.

3. His works after 1889

After 1889 Chekhov turned into serious criticism on dark reality in his short stories.

The Man in a Case (1888) Ward No. 6

Ward No. 6

story deals with the consequences of indifference to human suffering.

His dramatic works.

A major theme in Anton Chekhov's plays

the psychologically bitterness of the Russian intellectuals


Three artists’ unfortunate fate.

Three Sisters


Three kind-hearted intellectual sisters and their helpless waiting

Uncle Vanya

The enbodiment of the Russian intellectuals’ unfortunate fate

The Cherry Orchard
is his last drama works


the passing away of the old, aristocratic Russia.

Lopakhin is the other lead character in The Cherry Orchard.


He is a neighbor of Madame Ranevsky, the former serf。

4. His representative

Ward No. 6 The Man in a Case

Ward No. 6
It deals with the consequences of indifference to human suffering.

Andrey Yefimitch
? Doctor

of Ward No. 6, a humanist, who believes in non-violence

? The

porter, Nikita, an old soldier wearing rusty good-conduct stripes, is always lying on the litter with a pipe between his teeth. He has a grim, surly, battered-looking face, overhanging eyebrows which give him the expression of a sheep-dog of the steppes, and a red nose;
good-conduct stripes

? he

is short and looks thin and scraggy, but he is of imposing deportment and his fists are vigorous. He belongs to the class of simple-hearted, practical, and dull-witted people, prompt in carrying out orders, who like discipline better than anything in the world, and so are convinced that it is their duty to beat people.

? He

showers blows on the face, on the chest, on the back, on whatever comes first, and is convinced that there would be no order in the place if he did not.

Ivan Dmitritch Gromov

a man of thirty-three, who is a gentleman by birth, and has been a court usher and provincial secretary, suffers from the mania of persecution.

an official called Gromov

twelve or fifteen years ago an official called Gromov, a highly respectable and prosperous person, was living in his own house in the principal street of the town.

he was well educated

well read; according to the townspeople's notions, he knew everything, and was in their eyes something like a walking encyclopedia

He became persecution mania
? In

the morning Ivan Dmitritch got up from his bed in a state of horror, with cold perspiration on his forehead, completely convinced that he might be arrested any minute.

Andrey Yefimitch
"Andrey Yefimitch, what day of the month is it?" ? Having received an answer, the fairhaired doctor and he, in the tone of examiners conscious of their lack of skill, began asking Andrey Yefimitch what was the day of the week, how many days there were in the year, and whether it was true that there was a remarkable prophet living in Ward No. 6.


response to the last question Andrey Yefimitch turned rather red and said: "Yes, he is mentally deranged, but he is an interesting young man." They asked him no other questions.

Nikita tortures
? Nikita

Andrey Yefimitch

opened the door quickly, and roughly with both his hands and his knee shoved Andrey Yefimitch back, then swung his arm and punched him in the face with his fist.

? It

seemed to Andrey Yefimitch as though a huge salt wave enveloped him from his head downwards and dragged him to the bed; there really was a salt taste in his mouth: most likely the blood was running from his teeth.


waved his arms as though he were trying to swim out and clutched at a bedstead, and at the same moment felt Nikita hit him twice on the back.

Andrey Yefimitch dies

day Andrey Yefimitch was buried. Mihail Averyanitch and Daryushka were the only people at the funeral.

Ward No. 6 is a symbol of the Tzarist Russia
And its only function is to persecute the common people in Russia. ? Nikita symbolizes tools of the government.

The Man in a Case

? And

tried to hide his thoughts

Byelikov tried to hide his thoughts also in a case. The only things that were clear to his mind were government circulars and newspaper articles in which something was forbidden.

Byelikov always says,


is all right, of course; it is all very nice, but I hope it won't lead to anything!“


"Byelikov had a little bedroom like a box; his bed had curtains. When he went to bed he covered his head over; it was hot and stuffy; the wind battered on the closed doors; there was a droning noise in the stove and a sound of sighs from the kitchen -- ominous sighs. . . . And he felt frightened under the bed-clothes.

? He

was afraid that something might happen, that Afanasy might murder him, that thieves might break in, and so he had troubled dreams all night, and in the morning, when we went together to the high-school, he was depressed and pale, and it was evident that the high-school full of people excited dread and aversion in his whole being, and that to walk beside me was irksome to a man of his solitary temperament.


? "You

see and hear that they lie," said Ivan Ivanovitch, turning over on the other side, "and they call you a fool for putting up with their lying. You endure insult and humiliation, and dare not openly say that you are on the side of the honest and the free, and you lie and smile yourself; and all that for the sake of a crust of bread, for the sake of a warm corner, for the sake of a wretched little worthless rank in the service. No, one can't go on living like this."

One can't go on living like this !

Problems and Projects:
? Read

extremely miserable life of those so-called lunatic patients under the cruelty and stupidity of the authority. Pay attention to his criticizing and satirical style in the story.

Ward No. 6 and observe the

An introduction to Life & works of Anton Chekhov

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born

the small seaport of Taganrog, Ukraine on January 17th in the year 1860.

His grandfather used to be a serf

was the son of a grocer and the grandson of a serf who had bought his freedom, that and that his sons, 19 years earlier.

He lived an unhappy life in his childhood

spent his early years under the shadow of his father's religious fanaticism while working long hours in his store.

His education

attended a school for Greek boys in his hometown from 1867-1868. ?Later, his father went bankrupt

The family moved to Moscow.

only 16 at the time, decided to remain in his hometown and supported himself by tutoring as he continued his schooling for 3 more years.

While attending medical school Chekhov began to publish comic short stories and used the money to support himself and his family and by 1886 he had gained wide fame as a writer.
? He

wrote stories ironically satirized the servile character of the people

A Chameleon ? The Death of a Government Clerk

Chekhov was awarded the Pushkin Prize in 1888.

A Man in a Case. Byelikov. “One can't go

on living like this."

His travel in 1890

Chekhov made an arduous 9650-km journey across Siberia by train, river steamer, and horse-drawn carriage to conduct a sociological and medical survey in a Russian penal colony on Sakhalin Island, off the eastern coast of Russia. His findings, published in 1893 and 1894 as The Island of Sakhalin, had some influence in moderating the harsh prison rule on the island.

People in a Case

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