The Uncertainty Of Happiness In Anton Chekhov's About Love

1384 words - 6 pages

In Anton Chekov's "About Love" Alekhin also known as Pavel Konstantinovich shares a story within a story about his one true love Anna Alekeevna with Burkin, the high school teacher and Ivan Inanovich, the veterinary surgeon.  The story shares how he and Anna grew to share an unconditional love for each other.  The two sacrificed their love for each other for the happiness of others since Anna was already married and had two children.  Later on in his life, Alekhin realizes that he had missed his one chance of true love, when he had the chance they should have sacrificed everything and attempted to live a happy life together.  Although Alehin's tone while telling his story seems to doubt the possibility of true happiness, it is not until after he is finished that he seems to understand that by not sacrificing and taking chances in life, you hinder your chance of ever-attaining true contentment.


      Living in his own form of futliarnost, Alekhin enforces the idea that ones own happiness is set upon the ideal they have envisioned for themselves. 


I an educated man with a knowledge of languages, should, instead

of devoting myself to science or literary work, live in the country, rush

around like a squirrel in a cage, work hard with never a penny to show for it (198).


The term "futliarnost" is used to explain one who encasts himself physically, psychologically or morally in order to reduce the contact between oneself and the rest of the world.  Alekhin's state of affairs with Anna comes in the form of a rejection of love, forcing him to keep busy with daily routines to keep his mind from pondering upon his love for Anna although his heart did not follow.  In this quote he describes himself as like a squirrel in a cage, comparable to Belikov in "A Man In a Case" both men were occupying their lives to fill the spaces of their longing for their ideal love.  Alekhin wants so desperately to live a life with Anna but morally he knows this cannot be.  He could never think to betray her family whom he loved, by disrupting their life of "harmony and comfort."  Its seems that years later, Alekhin still to puts himself away in a diligent life full of hard work and demanding chores.  This means of every day routine has Alekhin feeling content with his life.  It is in his older age, in his heart he regrets missing his chance at happiness but then again, he seems to be happy, or at least is convinced he is at ease with himself.  It is as if Alekhin does not give himself time to feel unhappy with his life, he gives the impression that he is content and fortunate to be where he is.  It is after he has a chance to reflect upon his story, Alekhin realizes that not acting on his love for Anna, did limit his possibility of being a happier man.  But, similarly, he is content with...

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