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Deconstructionism - Assignment Example

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Name Instructor Class 14 July 2012 Doing Good Versus Being Good in Chekhov’s “Gooseberries” In Chekhov’s “Gooseberries,” Ivan Ivanich talks about his brother, Nicholai. He narrates to Aliokhin and Bourkin that Nicholai wants nothing more than to have a farm of his own, which includes a farmhouse, a cottage, a vegetable plot, and a gooseberry bush…
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Deconstructionism

Download file to see previous pages... Furthermore, it dissects binary issues, particularly nature versus modernity, truth versus deception, and essence versus appearance. “Gooseberries” examines the difference between being good, which can lead to the illusion of happiness and power, and doing good, which results to action, truth, and a meaningful life. One of the initial binary oppositions is between nature and modernity, where Chekhov proposes a paradoxical view of nature. In the beginning, nature is separated from modernity, because of the distinction between the towns and the farms. On one side, “endless, telegraph-posts, and the train” occupy the eyesight, while on the other side, people can see the “bank of the river; meadows, green willows, farmhouses” (Chekhov 1). Chaos and tedium seem to infiltrate the symbols of modern living, while nature is full of action, diversity, color, and life. Nevertheless, as rain pours on n Ivanich and Bourkin, nature acquires a more sinister disposition. What used to be a lovely setting of hills suddenly becomes “wet, muddy, and unpleasant, and the river looked cold and sullen” (Chekhov 1). At the same time, because the mud made walking a chore, Ivanich and Bourkin look like “they were angry with each other” (Chekhov 1). ...
Nicholai is a perfect example of a wasted life, because all that matters to him is having a happy life with no ideology and care for disadvantaged sectors of society. He worked at the Exchequer Court, but he did nothing of significance, as he held this important job. Instead of ensuring the spread of social justice and equality, he is more concerned of his self-interests. He is obsessed with the idea of having a farm of his own with a gooseberry bush. This obsession drives him to be stingy, not only with money, but with human compassion. For Ivan, his brother unintentionally kills his rich, old wife through starving her to death and making her feel miserable about her life. Through his brother’s case, Ivan argues for the difference between happiness and misery. Nicholai seems to be happy, because he attained his dream, but his gooseberries are “hard and sour” (Chekhov 4). It suggests that he appears to be happy, but he has a miserable life. He is fat and dying for no evocative purpose at all, except to deceive himself that he has a good life and that he is a good man. Nicholai insists on being called “His Lordship,” and yet his sloth and vanity are far from the qualities of a true God (Chekhov 4). Nicholai also believes that the masses do not need education and that corporal punishment is justifiable to some extent (Chekhov 4). Ivan expresses disgust for his brother, who has lost in touch with his nature, the nature with real ideals worth living and dying for. Gooseberries are motifs for the difference between doing good and being good. Having a farm and doing nothing to improve its state, especially the state of its people is “…egoism, laziness; it is a kind of monasticism, but monasticism ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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