Dear all, Tomorrow we will return once again to "The Duel" in order to compare the psychological dynamics in this

work with those in "About Love." Here are several questions I would like you to think about as you read or reread these stories: 1. Think about the role of empathy in both works. In "the Duel" empathy seems to effect real psychological change. Think, for example, about Laevsky's transformation as he watches Nadezhda's "fall". Also, think about how the emotions experienced during the duel change von Koren. What role, if any, does empathy play in "About Love"? 2.To finish our analysis of "The Duel," here is a couple more questions. As the narrative progresses, the young deacon seems to play increasingly important role. How does the deacon's perspective contribute to the story and what do we learn from him that we cannot learn either from Laevsky or from von Koren? What is his function during the scene of "The Duel"? 3. What does Chekhov tell us about such emotions as pity, shame and pride? What (if any) is the relationship between these emotions and sexual love? or between these emotions and sympathy-love? 4. We need to say more about the place of sexuality in Chekhov. What do different characters say about sexuality? Are they all subject to the tyranny of sex? How does sexuality affect their emotions and actions? 5. Once again, what is the relationship between nature and human emotions in "The Duel"? What does the concluding metaphor of the story tell us about the human condition? 6. Please think about the significance of natural imagery/setting in "About Love" as well. What does this way of framing the story tell us about the nature of human desires and emotions? 7. Consider the emphasis on "truth" in "The Duel." What would you say about the status of truth in "About Love"? What can we say about the role of lying and cheating in both stories? What is the worst form of lying according to Chekhov? Which form of lying/untruth can be forgiven? which can not? 8. The final question is about the role of "work" in human life. "The Duel" emphasizes work ethic as a way of strengthening the will and building character. What role-- if any-does the work ethic play in "About Love"?

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