The short story «Man in a case» by A. Chekhov: a new look at heroes

in Russian

  • Olga Bogdanova Institute of Philological Studies, St. Petersburg State University
Keywords: A.P. Chekhov, the short story «Man in a case», character, motive system, «ring» composition, narrative complex, the idea of the narrative


Aim The article deals with the analysis of the figurative system of the short story «Man in a case» by A.P. Chekhov. The purpose of this article is an attempt to depart from the sociological approach in the understanding of the main idea of the story. The author intends to get rid of bias in the perception of the well-known text.

Methods In the article there has been applied the system approach. The author uses the synthesis of the basic methods and principles of scientific research. The article relays on historical, comparative, intertextual, biographical, typological and other methods. The principles and methods used in the article are interrelated and completed each other.

Results The article presents a new character of the figurative system of the story and its specific structural and compositional features, deals with the narrative signs of presentation, the objective narrator and subjective narrator. The study shows that the traditional antithesis of «Belikov ↔ citizenry» is not as straightforward as suggested by the researchers before. The article shows that the motive “case life” incorporates more capacious philosophical motive of human loneliness. In the process of the study revealed the semantic roots of the differences between character and behavior of Belikov and Kovalenko, Belikov and Burkin, Belikov and Varya. Shown differentiated relevant details and stylistic markers that allow to identify philosophical intentions of the writer.

Scientific novelty The study achieved a new reading of the text of Anton Chekhov. The article offers an innovative understanding of the ideological and image system of the story. It deals with a new point of view of the imagery and compositional structure of the narrative. The author saw the new direction of philosophical orientation of the story « Man in a case ». The philosophical thrust of the story «Man in a case» seen in new ways. Sociological image of the “covering” hero has acquired traits of a tragic hero, worthy of regret and sympathy. Belikov considered as a hero of the past time and as a liberalists the mid-nineteenth century. On the contrary, the heroes of «rebels» Michael and Varvara Kovalenko seen by the author as reduced the democrats-nihilists, in the spirit of parody images of the Sitnikov and Kukshina from the novel I. Turgeneva «Fathers and children».

The practical significance The obtained results can be used for further studying of creativity of A. Chekhov from the standpoint of modern literary criticism. Scientific observations and insights can form the basis of undergraduate lecture courses on the history of Russian literature of the ХIХ century, and used on the school teaching of history of Russian literature.

Slavonic literatures