Ivan Ivanovitch, the veterinary surgeon, and Burkin, the high-school teacher, were already tired from walking, and the fields seemed to them endless. Far ahead of them they could just see the windmills of the village of Mironositskoe; on the right stretched a row of hillocks which disappeared in the distance behind the village, and they both knew that this was the bank of the river, that there were meadows, green willows, homesteads there, and that if one stood on one of the hillocks one could see from it the same vast plain, telegraph-wires, and a train which in the distance looked like a crawling caterpillar, and that in clear weather one could even see the town. Now, in still weather, when all nature seemed mild and dreamy, Ivan Ivanovitch and Burkin were filled with love of that countryside, and both thought how great, how beautiful a land it was. And five minutes later heavy rain came down, covering the sky, and it was hard to tell when it would be over. Ivan Ivanovitch and Burkin stopped in hesitation; the dogs, already drenched, stood with their tails between their legs gazing at them feelingly. Soon they saw poplars, a garden, then the red roofs of barns; there was a gleam of the river, and the view opened on to a broad expanse of water with a windmill and a white bath-house: this was Sofino, where Alehin lived.
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Shelves: classics , penguin-l-b-c , 3-star-reads Now this was a pessimistic short story, but, in a sense, realistic. Chekhov suggests that happiness is flawed and is meaningless.
The only way a man can be happy is by shutting out the misfortune of others, and living in a state of ignorant bliss. But, according to him, this gives no real purpose to life. The only way to live a purposeful life is by being kind to others unto death. This is all brought to the realisation of the narrator through a gooseberry. Yes, a gooseberry. I like the way Now this was a pessimistic short story, but, in a sense, realistic. I like the way this was done because it shows the self-serving nature of happiness.
He has convinced himself that they are delicious. This is juxtaposed against how he has shut out the realities of the world; he has shut out the realities of how a gooseberry should taste. His happiness has only been achieved by ignoring the poverty and destitution of Russia. Comparatively, his fine gooseberries have only been created by ignoring how a proper tasting gooseberry should taste. His happiness simply serves himself. He, essentially, says that no man should be happy whilst others suffer.
So, by his logic, no man has the right to happiness because of it. This is a bleak outlook, and an unfair observation of the world. He cannot change poverty nor world hunger.
His happiness may be selfish, but it is happiness he has earnt. Should he be miserable and destitute simply because others are? I liked this short story simply because it was thought provoking.
This again is true but, unobtainable. I shall post a short review after reading each one. No doubt it will take me several months to get through all of them! Hopefully I will find some classic authors, from across the ages, that I may not have come across had I not bought this collection.
Gooseberries (short story)
Shelves: classics , penguin-l-b-c , 3-star-reads Now this was a pessimistic short story, but, in a sense, realistic. Chekhov suggests that happiness is flawed and is meaningless. The only way a man can be happy is by shutting out the misfortune of others, and living in a state of ignorant bliss. But, according to him, this gives no real purpose to life. The only way to live a purposeful life is by being kind to others unto death.
Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov
Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is a framed narrative written firstly in the third person and then in the first person. What is also striking about the story is the sense of paralysis that both Ivan and Nikolay feel though for different reasons. Ivan feels paralysed because he is fully conscious that there are people in the world who are unhappy and he knows that there is very little he can do to help them. Though he knows he must try. Nikolay on the other hand feels stuck in his job and longs to have enough money to be able to buy his own farm. Something that he eventually achieves though the process of buying the farm changes Nikolay. If anything he becomes greedy and ends up marrying not out of love but because his wife has money.
Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov: Summary & Quotes
Summary Gooseberries Summary The sky is overcast with heavy clouds, but it does not rain. Two old men—Ivan, a vet, and Burkin, a teacher—walk across the fields. Ivan prepares to tell his friend a story and lights his pipe in preparation. They find the forty year-old standing in one of his barns near a winnowing machine. Aliokhin is dirty from his work, and he invites his friends into the main house to bathe. A beautiful young girl named Pelageia brings the men towels and some soap, and all three start to wash.