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Analysis Of "the Darling" By Anton Chekhov

             The short story "The Darling-, by Anton Chekhov, tells of a woman who loves three men, .
             and how her beliefs and ideas change with, and as often as, her husbands. Nicknamed "darling-, Olenka never allows for thoughts or opinions of her own, as if she never learned how to think for herself. A look at the principle characteristics of Olenka shows her significance as the author intended. Through this story, Chekhov suggests that many people employ the "selfless self- characteristic, and that this trait can inconvenience, as well as comfort.
             The central and protagonist character, Olenka, is attractive, kind- hearted, and eager to help other people. The nickname "darling- arises from "her full rosy cheeks, her soft white neck with a little dark mole on it, and the kind, nave smile, which came into her face when she listened to anything pleasant - This name bears irony: Olenka is "darling- to everyone and becomes indulged like a favorite pet. Directly presented to the reader is the trait of Olenka only finding happiness in reflecting the beliefs of her husbands. This causes Olenka to embody female disempowerment- she subordinates her will to male intellect. A foolish but affectionate wife, Olenka does gain happiness when married to her first two husbands- theater owner Kukin, and timber merchant Pustovalov- because she has someone to dote on, and Olenka "could not exist without loving."" Olenka never evolves within the tale; she only becomes lonelier and more desperate for male affection. When Olenka can not turn to any more lovers for attention, the protagonist focuses all of her attention on Sasha, the abandoned son of her former lover. Olenka begins parroting the opinions of Sasha, and embarrasses him by following him to school. Readers see that, although Olenka can win affection from anyone, Olenka never earns any respect.

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