Pessimism In Gooseberries

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Introduction Gooseberries was written in 1898 by Anton Chekhov in a trilogy of stories named, The Little Trilogy. Each of the three stories has a story within it recounted by the one of the characters. In Gooseberries, one of the characters, Ivan Ivanovitch, tells the tale of his brother and his obsession of owning a farm someday and living in the countryside. The story deals with the themes of quest for happiness, obsession, self-deception, cruelty, social injustice and socialism. Anton Chekhov is a renowned short story author and playwright. Chekhov’s stories almost always explore the human spirit with layers of humour, epiphanies of characters, juxtapositions of pessimism and morale of a human being. In Gooseberries, the theme of…show more content…
Chekhov published his trilogy in 1898, the same year the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was formed. The party was a socialist party and supported the ideology of social democracy. The main purpose of this party was aimed at minimizing discrimination, inequality, oppression of underprivileged groups and poverty. Socialism was introduced because the idea of equality was becoming more popular by the minute. The Russians were becoming frustrated with their monarchy and were attracted by the rising popularity of communism. It was socialism that led to Russia becoming a communist country. The workers and peasants wanted to emerge from their condition of poverty to a class who had power. Chekhov introduces the concept of socialism in Gooseberries through his tale of Nikolay, a dictator, who mistreats those serving him, the workers and peasants. Ivan reflects on the subject and bursts into a passionate speech in the end of the story and says, “the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying. . . .” (Chekhov 492) emphasizing the problems in society. The chaos in society can be felt through Ivan’s passionate, yet disturbing speech leaving the readers in a state of discomfort and restlessness, the same note on which the

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