#171 A Woman’s Kingdom

Please find today’s 16,216 word novelette story here http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/171.html

Travis review:

Anna Akimovna is a frustrating character. Because she is in a unique position of power and resources, she can change several of the situations that upset her. Anna is filled with insecurities and although she is aware of people cheating her and taking bribes at the expense of her company, she does nothing. Instead of owning her inherited power like Pavel Andreitch did in “The Wife,” she shrinks from it. While Pavel Andreitch is demonized for his inflexible morality and social obtuseness, Anna is on the other extreme: hypersensitive to a fault and awash in indecisiveness. Also both stories feature lawsuits and the politics of distributing charity. While Pavel is married and his rocky relationship with his wife is the core of that story, Anna is a bachelorette. Her story takes place over the course of Christmas Eve and Christmas. Chekhov spends a lot of time on with Anna’s indecisiveness on different issues as well as well as details about the dilapidated houses of the workers, the formalities of receiving Christmas guests, her sleazy, sycophantic lawyer and many other interesting characters (including a woman called “Stinging Beetle.”) Although Anna is wealthy, she would rather be in a working class family, like the way she was raised before her father came to own the factory. She also may have finally met a perfect match — one that would be perfect for modern day romance novels — but unfortunately Anna is too pliable, bending to the opinions of people who don’t matter. And of course, Chekhov, who is no romance author, is writing out her actions. Ultimately what is the most frustrating thing about Anna is the truth she reveals about ourselves. She represents a part that many of us have and don’t like to admit. It’s the part that pleases others even at our own detriment and doesn’t stand up for ourselves when we should.

Rating: 6

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