The Analytical Journal 2

The Analytical Journal 2 - The Analytical Journal #2...

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The Analytical Journal #2 Professor Juliya Basina English literature 0325 04/14/2009 Anton Chekhov “The Death of a Government Clerk” and “Chameleon” Anton Chekhov was a realist who examined the foibles of individuals rather than those of society as a whole. In “The Death of a Government Clerk,” there are two main characters, a fine government clerk, and a general. The surname of the official – Worms (Tchervykov) - should speak for itself. As in Gogol’s "Overcoat”, the general shouted at the small, defenseless, dependent person - and killed him. However, here the general has shouted at the visitor only after too many apologies, after many visits, many explanations, and all on the same theme, to full exhaustion. The human advantage of Tchervykov humiliates persistently, only by himself. In addition, he did that at his will and kind of a pleasure. Tchervykov was the government clerk not because of his functional position in the society, but because of his internal moral-psychological essence. This essence is opened in the story by the few, but surprisingly exact and capacious details. The main basic words here - the person, a worm, to apologize and explain. The high bureaucratic rank of Brizzhalov has not prevented him from being a normal person. Tchervykov, on the other hand, is the personification of the bureaucratic system based on a strict worship of its subordinate members above higher, irrespective of individual qualities or merits. For Chekhov’s main character, such worship in the form of self-belittling is a need for him. Tchervykov is not just a simple clerk but personifies the officials. He a clerk not on a sort of service or a post, but he is a born clerk. It is type not so much social or socially psychological, how many moral. In the beginning of the story the hero "has sneezed", and in the end - "has died". When Tchervykov sneezed, that symbolized that his emotions have exited; nobody can always keep their emotions inside. But our hero thinks that his limitation does not allow him to
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feel free. Another important detail is that he died without taking off his uniform, which is proof that even during death he cannot relax. It is as though Chekhov tells a joke: he laughs at the hero, but hints at and suggests very serious things. Based on the plot it would be possible to tell of very sad history about a “petty clerk” who humiliates and offends authorities. Nevertheless, Chekhov acts in another way: it is dared, and not about the general, which anger is quite clear. The object of a sneer becomes that “petty clerk,” with whom, the reader should sympathize. In Chekhov, this person is ridiculous and pitiful simultaneously. The ridiculous persistence and pity that meaning subjects itself to humiliation completely loses human advantage. In fact, nobody forces him to kowtow to the general. No, he chooses to behave this way. Chekhov shows that is angrily concluded at all in perversity of authority, and is much deeper - in voluntary self-
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2011 for the course ENGLIT 0325 taught by Professor Juliyabasina during the Spring '09 term at Pittsburgh.

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The Analytical Journal 2 - The Analytical Journal #2...

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