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Sound And Dark Imagery In “The Witch” By Anton Chekhov

623 words - 2 pages

“The Witch” by Anton Chekhov, is about a couple who is visited by the postman and his companion during a harsh storm. The wife, Raissa, is unhappy with her husband and enamoured with the young postman. The husband, Savely, accuses his wife of being a witch because of all the young men who keep disappearing and accuses her of using her witchcraft on the postman. Raissa tries to remain calm with her husband, but she eventually refuses to hold in her feelings. In the beginning passage of the story, Chekhov uses sound imagery, dark imagery, and similes to convey Raissa’s misery of being in a loveless marriage.
Like many of Chekhov’s works, this story also employs the use of sound imagery, While describing the atmosphere of the night, he mentions that “a plaintive lament sobbed.” He later goes on to describe it as a “cry of misery” from someone who consciously realized that “there is no salvation.” That entirely described Raissa’s situation. The cry of misery is from her because she is not content with her marriage, if anything, the complete opposite of it. To add to that, she knows that there is no way out, so salvation, because he is her husband and there is nothing she can do about it. So, instead of getting into bed with him, she sits by the window and sobs.
T add to the atmosphere, Chekhov uses dark imagery to describe the world around the unhappy couple. He uses phrases such as “dark slush” and “dark night” to convey the bleakness of the atmosphere. He even describes the snow as unsettling at that the wind “whirled it round in the darkness at random.” Not only is the atmosphere bleak and dark, but unsettling as well. The darkness describes the misery in Raissa’s heart and the bleakness shows the loss of options. But then there also is the chaotic...

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