Chekhov Assignment - Schroeder Joey 1 Literature In...

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Schroeder, Joey · 1 Literature In Translation 204 · Section 302 M AN IN A C ASE : B ELIKOV S F ALL F ROM P OWER Anton Chekhov’s Man in a Case is a story that follows the strict disciplinarian Belikov from his short-lived emergence from his case and his eventual confinement to it. As a determined protector of policy and oppressor of his colleagues, he is hated by most. The tale reaches its climax when Belikov confronts one of his fellow teachers, Kovalenko, for riding a bicycle with Belikov’s love interest, Barbara. In this scene, Belikov falls from his self-appointed thrown as his “case” is shattered. Chekhov uses detailed descriptions of Belikov’s clothing, and irony to illustrate Belikov’s removal from power. His great claim to fame was going around in galoshes, carrying an umbrella…and he invariably wore a thick, padded overcoat, ” (122). This description of Belikov, given by Burkin, demonstrates the physical case of clothing Belikov is surrounding himself with as a protector from anxiety and outside pressure. Burkin depicts it as “ a protective cocoon to isolate himself [Belikov] from all external influences, ” (122). This case is important as Chekhov describes its destruction during Belikov’s fall. The climax passage begins with the mention of Kovalenko grabbing Belikov’s collar. His [Belikov] face seemed to have its own cover… he…kept it hidden in his upturned collar, ” (122). When Kovalenko is grabbing Belikov’s collar, it is the first part of Belikov’s physical case to break. His face is no longer shielded from the frightening and irritating influences of the real world. After being pushed by Kovalenko, Belikov begins to slide down the stairs. Here, Chekhov mentions a second piece of Belikov’s
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course LITTRANS 204 taught by Professor Reynolds during the Spring '08 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Chekhov Assignment - Schroeder Joey 1 Literature In...

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