Symbolism In Seryozha's Drawing

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Even though many people believe Seryozha smoked due to a fixation in the oral stage, he actually was just growing from one stage to the next. In the first section of the story we learn that Seryozha, a young 7 year old boy, has been seen smoking. Many thoughts instantly run through your brain, but first let’s test and see if his actions were justified. “To-day, and the day before yesterday, I have noticed that he is smoking. When I began to expostulate with him, he put his fingers in his ears as usual, and sang loudly to drown my voice.” This gesture is seemingly immature, but is however justified. Seryozha is going through the stages of development. Fortunately, it is easy to tell when he exhibits certain characteristics of each stage. This…show more content…
The word smoke is a dead give away symbol. In a literal context, Checkhov is not referring to chimney smoke in the drawing. Slyly, he is trying to show Seryozha’s thoughts about smoking by using the symbols of chimney and smoke. Another symbol in the same drawing is “zigzags.” Supposedly in the story, he was talking about lighting but I highly doubt this is the case. Zigzags is a brand of rolling papers that are very common to tokers and those who roll their own cigarettes. Since smoking was on Seryozha’s mind, this comparison is very…show more content…
This was demonstrated through his use of ethos. An example of Checkhovs use of ethos states, “So you see it was not once, but twice….I am very, very much displeased with you! You used to be a good boy, but now I see you are spoilt and have become a bad one.” Logic tells the reader that if someone is spoiled too much, they will become misbehaved. Seryozha did just this in the story during his transformation from a young boy into an adult. Another example of ethos in the text comes later when the father is done talking to Seryozha about smoking. In a sad voice Seryozha whispers to his father, “I am not going to smoke anymore.” After the story was told about a kid dying young from his smoking habit, logic would tell anyone that smoking is unhealthy and that if they smoke they should quit.
The last example given where the kid states he will not smoke anymore, Checkhov was doing more than just stating that Seryozha will quit, he was using superego. Superego is the angel on your shoulder, telling you what is right and trying to have you make the right decision. By choosing not to inhale a cigarettes harsh toxins anymore, Seryozha is acting mature and going with the right choice that his superego presented him
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