#122 Bad Weather

Find today’s 1919 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/122.html

Travis review:

Today’s story had an ominous feeling throughout, although it did not end as dark or tragic as expected. Starting with the title and the opening sentence: “Big raindrops were pattering on the dark windows,” one would assume bad things were on the horizon. Chekhov makes an interesting choice by having the nervous wife, Nadyezhda Fillippovna, go into town, while the readers stay with her mother instead. In a way this keeps up the suspense as readers are expecting the worst and even increases our suspicions when the daughter comes home early and distraught. Perhaps if she caught her husband, Kvashin, with another woman it would have merited the audience watching the wife’s journey versus a conversation with a porter that can easily be summarized to her mother. It is also interesting that the husband has a casual name, while the wife is always addressed with two names (Nadyezhda Fillippovna) and the mother is given no name at all. Yet readers spend time in each of their heads. Also, Chekhov confirms Nadyezhda Fillippovna’s suspicions. Not that her husband is cheating (though he may), but that she and her mother are boring. “We are dull, but it is duller still for him, you know, mamma.” At the end, after being fussed over by his wife and mother-in-law Kvashin thinks: “Though they are regular tradesmen’s wives, though they are Philistines, yet they have a charm of their own, and one can spend a day or two of the week here with enjoyment.” Many questions linger. Like does Kvashin have a woman on the side? Does he even have a job or is he spending the dowry on booze? None-the-less he is content at the end of the story having fooled the two women. All serene!”

Rating: 5


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