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The Seagull By Anton Chekov Essay

1672 words - 7 pages

Fate has commonly been perceived by humans as an immaterial but also binding “plan.” Fate is, “a power that is believed to control what happens in the future,” and is also commonly regarded as being inescapable (Fate 1). The ancient greeks built up this modern idea of fate. The Moirae in greek mythology were the gods which decided everybodies fate. They were split up into three different gods, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Clotho spun the thread of life when women were in the ninth month of pregnancy to decide the child’s fate. Lachesis would then measure the thread of life given to each person, and Atropos would cut the thread of life, deciding when each persons life would end. In greek, atropos literally translates to “inevitable.” This is where the idea that fate is given to every human being and already decided even before the human being is born (David and Sharon Hoffman 1).
Throughout The Seagull, written by Anton Chekov, there is a recurring theme of the inevitability to escape fate. This is an extremely fitting theme because of the inescapable impact The Seagull had on Chekov’s life. When The Seagull was first played in Moscow, Chekov absolutely abhorred it. He saw it as a shameful play because of how the play was portrayed. It was illustrated in a completely different way than he imagined. “The Seagull provided the occasion for the greatest trauma of Chekhov's life,” (Curtis 1) which is only fitting as all the characters who were in The Seagull were all inevitably set up to have extremely traumatic lives as it was set up since the first act of the play. Anton Chekhov's The Seagull displays the parallelism between the young and old generation and how their choices will ultimately all lead to failed ambitions. The foreshadowing and the imagery of various characters display similarities in both generations choices and lives. The character imagery between Masha and Polina, Nina and Arkadina, and Kostya and Sorin reveals similarities between both of their lives in the present, as well as it foreshadows their future.
In The Seagull by Chekov, Masha’s character imagery reveals the similarities between her life and her mother’s life, Polina. Masha is first shown in the play during the first act, through her conversation with Dorn. Dorn asks Masha, “Why do you always wear mourning?” (Chekhov). This is a direct description of how Masha is now unhappy, and since she is described as always wearing mourning, one could deduce that her current state of despair will only continue throughout most of her life. Later in the story, Chekhov describes Masha as being unhappy after she has married Medviedenko, the school teacher. This is when the similarities between Masha and Polina become clear. Polina has been unhappily married with Shamraeff and is still unhappy with her life when Masha marries Medviedenko. We can assume the rest of Masha’s life will follow a pattern similar to that of her mother. Throughout her life, Masha has also been trying to get...

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