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The Seagull Essay

2438 words - 10 pages

“For a sufficiently detached observer, who views human life under the aspect of eternity, the absurd, self destructive behavior of neurotics appears essentially comic. Why are people such fools?” (McLean). The Seagull is a play that can portray two different viewpoints. One, the view expressed above, that the play is so overly dramatic it is comedic. On the flip side, a reader may choose to merely believe that the play portrays the sad miserable lives of a few, and the fact that the play classifies as a comedy necessitates change. View two invalidates itself however, because Chekhov intended for the poem to be a comedy. From there the reader can assess how Chekhov treats his characters and ...view middle of the document...

The search to find identity is a pervasive theme in many coming of age stories. The idea that the individual does not know who they are and believes that their current life is unsatisfactory is the most common reason for the so called “search” to find who the person believes they really are. Within the story, all members of the play to some degree search for their selves however the results are ultimately unsuccessful and the search never fulfilled. Trigorin is the epitome of this example. The concept that wealth and fame does not make a happy nor honest man astutely describes the situation. Trigorin could not ask for anything more in the world. His books are incredibly successful, he has the ability to take time off, and he has a beautiful if not superficial woman who seemingly loves him. This is exactly what many want in life, but even still Trigorin is incredibly unhappy and spends much of his time commenting on how useless his life is and how he wished he could be someone else and discover who he ought to be. When speaking with Nina in the garden he remarks that he would like to spend some time in Nina’s place and further goes on to comment about how his life had “nothing lovely about it.” (Chekhov Act II) His musing and apparent thoughtfulness to the point that "...the continual ironic parodying of the characters' self-conscious poses which undercut the authenticity of their words and action" (Johnson) Trigorin spends an abundant amount time on musing and thinking to the point that it becomes pitiful and fake when he voices an idea. He spends a lot of time down by the lake just fishing and thinking. The lake being a symbol of calmness and tranquility for Trigorin, he often likes to return and contemplate his life. To him, he has accomplished very little in his life and believes it to be dull and boring. He says to Nina in reference to his life that “he didn’t see anything bright or beautiful” (Chekhov Act II) about it. Even in the last moments of the play, Trigorin still continues to be regretful of his current life with no solution to his woes. Treplev acts as a foil to Trigorin though their goals are still of similar ideals. Treplev from the time he is introduced does nothing but mope and more often than not have long siloqueys about his feelings towards the theatre and art. He feels as if no one understands him and believes his ideas about new forms of theatre should be taken into consideration. In addition to constantly searching for new forms of art, which is Treplev searching for his own self, he maintains a relationship with a girl who eventually does not return his affections. In the end, after a final denouncement from Nina that she will never love him, by announcing her feelings towards Trigorin “I love him passionately, I love him in despair” (Chehkov Act IV), Treplev commits suicide, the most laughable moment of the play. Constantine felt as if he would never find love, and ultimately gives up on finding who he was...

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