#169 The Two Volodyas

You can find today’s 4670 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/169.html

Travis review

Chekhov works an interesting four character strategy in this story. (I’m not including the fifth wheel Rita since she provides cynical commentary without participation in the antics.) There are two men and two women. Olga, a nun, and Colonel Yagitch are from an older generation while Sofya and her childhood friend, Volodya are in their early twenties. Yagitch has ruined Olga’s reputation (and several women’s as well) before marrying the thirty years younger Sofya. Her interest is in his money, while his is in settling down with nubile flesh. Volodya is following in the colonel’s footsteps as a the next generation’s lady killer. The colonel even seems to be playing the role of mentor for the younger Volodya. Sofya seems to be taking up Olga’s torch of ruin. Chekhov bookends the story with Sofya in a sledge. By doing he is able to contrast Sofya’s mental state. In the beginning is at the reins, in drunken joy, believing herself empowered to love both men and at the end she cold sober, hiring a sledge and having no power over either man. It seems that she is laying the groundwork to follow Olga’s path.

Rating: 6

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