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The importance of the Russianess of the play Uncle Vanya

            For the first nineteen years of his life, Chekhov himself lived in Russia's remote countryside, the place of his birth, Taganrog. Inevitably therefore, Chekhov was fully aware of the primitive way of life and the rhythm of typical Russian country life. Returning at a later stage, he perceived local customs as lacking of culture and in the second volume of Chekhov's letters one can even find him writing about the idle talk of the philistines who only "eat, drink, breed and have no other interests" . However at the same time, Chekhov loved his country. This combination strongly influenced his plays and gives them a substantial notion of Russianess. .
             The play Uncle Vanya is placed into a geographical setting of vastness. In many ways it can be said that the sheer size makes Russia's country life unique; different from the life experienced in any other rural areas. Throughout the play, small comments reveal the vastness of the country, as for instance on page 193 where the doctor Astrov criticises: "I've galloped twenty miles at breakneck speed to get here" or, when he proudly talks of his orchard on page 196: "such, you won't find for hundreds of miles around". Naturally, a country characterises its inhabitants, which is why, when looking at the Rusianess of Chekhov's characters, many features can be related to the geography of Russia.
             Russian attitudes towards life are noticeable throughout the play and Chekhov conveys most of these, using his characters. Teleyeghin and his wife may be considered as an example. Teleyeghin loves his wife, as it seams, for eternity although she ran away with another man the day after their marriage. On page 192, he loyally says: "I never failed my duty towards her".
             The vastness of the country and remoteness, arguably affects the personalities of people. Uncle Vanya's underlying depression, can surely, to some extent, be related to the monotonous, primitive country life-style.

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