Themes In The Seagull Chekhov

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Question: How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?
Works used: The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
Many ideas were brought up through our reading of Chekhov’s play, which lead to an interactive oral where several ideas about the different aspects of The Seagull were discussed. This discussion lead to a greater understanding of the cultural and contextual considerations of the play, including place and time. Chekhov writes in a time period when the aristocracy is dying out which helps convey his opinions on such people.
Chekhov’s writing was heavily based on the aristocracy and the problems they brought along. It was easy to understand that the female characters are
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One of the main relationships explored in the play is the relationship between Masha, Paulina’s daughter and Shamarayev, the manager for Sorin’s farm and Medvedenko, lower middle-class schoolteacher with a great deal of worries about his financial status. Masha is always seen wearing black, “I am mourning for my life. I am unhappy” she states (Chekov, Anton, The Seagull, Translated by Ann Dunningan, Signet Classics, Middlesex, 1964, page 105). She does not have a positive attribute towards life; she is a heavy drinker and often takes snuff (Chekov, 106). The reasoning behind her negative approach to live is not due to her economic problems, which seems to be the main concern for some characters such as her husband, but rather the fact that she cannot return Medvendenko’s love; “Your love touches me, but I can’t return it. That’s all.” (Chekov, 106) What Masha does not understand that is the fact that this unrequited passion that medvedenko expresses is not towards her but his passion for money and material goods. Masha’s lack of sympathy remains after the birth of her child. Her reluctant attitude towards Medvedenko is also seen towards their child. While visiting Sorin in is house Medvedenko imploringly asks Masha to leave with him as their child has been left alone to which she replies “Nonesense. Matryona will feed him” (Chekov, 152). Chekov makes a social comment with the baby of Masha and…show more content…
Arkadina’s son Treplev struggles to find his place in the writers’ community, and is living in the shadow of his mother’s success. Treplev has a constant need of love and attention from people around him, especially his mother. When Treplev attempts suicide he requests his mother to take care of him, “Mother, change my bandage. You do it so well.” (Chekov, 143) This is a way in which Treplev asks his mother to show him affection and to love him as she neglects her son very often. Aside from love, Treplev also seeks approval from his mother hence gets angry and upset when Arkadina snobbishly mocks his work. Right after Arkadina mocks Treplev’s stage affects he flares up and loudly says’ “The play is over! That’s enough! Curtain!” and takes off shortly (Chekov, 116) On the other hand the nineteen-year-old Nina is Sorin’s neighbor. Nina is portrayed as a naive romantic who aspires for a career on the stage. Nina eventually moves away to fulfill her dreams, which leaves Treplev devastated. When Nina returns after her failure to become an actress she tells Treplev she loves him. Even then she is distracted by the presence of Trigorin, “Ah well… So he’s here to… well it doesn’t matter… he didn’t believe in the theater, he always laughed at my dreams, and gradually I too ceased believing and lost heart.” (Chekov, 167) Even in a conversation where she says she loves Treplev,
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