#162 The Grasshopper

Find today’s 9,960 word here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/162.html

Travis review:

I wonder if Chekhov wrote this story thinking about contradiction or at least a conflict within himself by being both a doctor/man of scientist and a writer/artist. The married couple are named Osip and Olga, both four letter names that start with the letter O. Osip is “a simple, very ordinary, and in no way remarkable man” in the eyes of Olga’s artistic friends, but she knows that is not the case… until she forgets. This heart wrenching work borders on melodrama, yet it felt real and genuine. As Olga falls into adultery, she vacillates between self-contempt, satisfaction, jealousy (over her lover), guilt, and hate for a her husband who she claims “crushes me with his magnanimity.” It is interesting that Olga refers to her husband by his last name, Dymov, until he becomes ill. As if by finally saying his first name, Osip, she recognized his importance… but a bit too late. Also, I am not certain why the story is called grasshopper as the term never comes up. Olga acts like a grasshopper, jumping from celebrity to celebrity, but it might also have something to do with The Ant and The Grasshopper fable. Dymov was hard working and Olga all play.

Rating: 9

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