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A Problem by Chekhov - the Character of Sasha - Essay Example

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This paper "A Problem by Chekhov - the Character of Sasha" focuses on the fact that Anton Chekhov’s short story, A Problem, revolves around the Uskov family conclave concerning the problem of a forged promissory note cashed by Sasha Uskov, a young man of twenty-five. …
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A Problem by Chekhov - the Character of Sasha
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Download file to see previous pages By finally making Sasha aggressively confront Ivan Markovitch, the only uncle who is sympathetic towards him, the author effectively develops situational irony in the story. This ultimate act of betrayal shows Sasha to be beyond redemption. Chekhov uses the character of his protagonist, Sasha Uskov, to express his criticism of the aristocratic youth of nineteenth-century Russian society, who fritter away their lives in the wanton, criminal pursuit of pleasure.

Sasha Uskov is an immature young man of no ability, who is ruled by an “inward emptiness” (Chekhov, 3). His dissipated lifestyle has sapped his vitality. On the very threshold of manhood, he has acquired the jaded personality and ennui of an older man who has gone through the vicissitudes of several decades of life. He is mired in debt, due to leading the life of a reprobate. He has made it a habit to sponge on his companions. He does not have a single loving relationship to redeem the barrenness of his life. His world consists only of “his friends and his women” (Chekhov, 3), with who his relationship stands only on a monetary basis. Their respect is only for the money in his pocket: once his money runs out, they will drop him. In this context, the lust for money, as the only means of purchasing pleasure, becomes the motivating factor of his character – “He must get hold of some money, come what may!” (Chekhov,6). Sasha leads a worthless existence, with no profession or aim. In spite of a lifestyle devoted to the pursuit of pleasure, he is moved by self-pity and considers his lot in life to be a hard one. He is a weakling who boosts his own self-esteem, and consoles himself, by considering himself to be “soft, emotional” (Chekhov,3). He does not have the courage to accept responsibility for his actions. He justifies his forgery, asserting that “He was not to blame; it was the fault of circumstances” (Chekhov, 3).   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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