You are on page 1of 4

GOOSEBERRIES

Analysis

Gooseberries as felt is an incomplete tale where the author examines two of his
favorite themes within this tale: social injustice and the quest for fulfillment.
Apparently the story potrays the hypocrisy of landowners who ignore the suffering
of those less fortunate than themselves an attempt by the author to criticizes the
banality of land proprietorship. The author raises a subtle issue that class divides,
as we see when Ivan asserts the futility of personal achievement. Ivan believes that
successful people are blind to reality because they believe they are insulated from
misfortune. What Chekhov strokes with proclamation “life will show him her claws
sooner or later" comes like a sting in the tail and jolts us out of complacent
neutrality. We are forced to question whether life is something to be sailed through
without the expectation of encountering problems or setbacks, or whether it
provides us with an opportunity to grasp "something greater and more rational"
than happiness. A philosophical query "How much land does a man need?" is
bulldozed by the author, when Ivan emphasizes that man requires only the freedom
to roam the globe, where he can "have room to display all the qualities and
peculiarities of his free spirit."
In real life, we also have to hypothesize about what drives people's actions. The
author in fact highlights idiosyncrasy in order to flesh out the personalities of his
characters when we read that the "oppressive smell" of "stale tobacco" emanating
from Ivan's pipe prevents Burkin from falling asleep. Similarly, we are shown how
the water around Aliokhin turns brown because he has not washed in a long time.
Ivan Ivanich speaks for Chekhov when he declares that young people should avoid
self indulgence and should dedicate their lives to good works which do make us
ponder the very fact that this piece of literature is wriiten during Chekovs old days.
Critic from one school of thought interpret "Gooseberries" as a clash between
illusion and reality, with Ivan Ivanich representing the demands of the realist and
Nikolai symbolizing a happy but stupid existence. The memory of the gooseberries,
the smell of Ivan's pipe in the bedroom, and the rain that never stopped makes
"Gooseberries" an ironic double edged tale with a clear message: "What is
happiness? inviting us to answer but eluding the basic structure of human nature as
an instrument playing tricks on itself. Some people view stress and pressure as a
bad thing while other people think that pressure and stress can actually be highly
beneficial. "Gooseberries" deals with the every day stress and the plans that people
make to counter them. Chekhov proves that the supposed stress-free events prove
to be more trouble than they appear to be.
The relevance of this story is not just out in the open. The man who lived with his
precious gooseberries is the brother of the narrator of this story. The narrator only
tells this story because he and a friend were out in the rain and the only shelter was
in a place similar to that of the gooseberry man. When they see the owner of this
land, he is covered in pure filth. The man even talks of not having bathed in many
days, and is complaining of reeking like a pig. Living under such conditions can not
be good for ones stress level; greeting your guests in dirty clothes and an even
dirtier self. The man was also just coming from the fields and doing some hard
laborious work. No one would want to spend their stress release time like that. This

he may have been able to relax and truly revel in the fact of attaining his true dream. They have already conquered their biggest obstacle. totally relaxed and ready to stir up more life. Finally. Once they reach these goals. This man worked very hard during his early years. This man made the common mistake that people have made over and over again. This story proves that people can get more stressed out living their dreams than working for them. Chekhov's story is about a man who had a dream. because he planted his own bushes. His life was more stressful than ever before and this was supposed be his stress relieving time. Dreams are supposed to be relaxing. he would put it away. and he saved almost all his money. who is to say that I cannot?" These men all thought that they were ready to relax and just watch the stress fly away like a bird. . This poses a question for the reader. "if they turned out this way. and have a nice quiet peaceful life. this man and his filth show up and the reader realizes that he has turned out the same way. Rather than spend this money on the new clothes or some extra food. and this is one factor that leads to his high stress problem. and think that they would never allow their dreams to become that stressful. The reader thinks about the brothers way of life. He was constantly worrying over his precious gooseberries. This was everything he wanted. fun. and his dirtiness. so they would give him little donations. If this man had set a more reasonable goal. Goals are what people spend their lives trying to reach. which he really needed. they set their goals and dreams so high that they are one ladder rung away from being attainable. and when they are finally attained the person feels born again. Dreams are meant to be the thoughts that get people through their mundane and almost trivial jobs. and they knew what they wanted.man. This man wanted to live in the country. or perhaps waited until he was more ready financially. and stress free. People might see this story as pointless when they look at it on the surface. that he never really got to look around and enjoy his country living. People would view his situation and think he was having hard times. The man was so worried about money that he only hired the absolute minimum number of people he needed to help him. he felt he had enough money to accomplish his dream(it lacked the gooseberry bushes he yearned for so badly). Then. and felt total relief from stress. That is not any way to release the stress that built up over all those years. are a key point to the story. doing back-breaking labor and constantly worrying about little things will not lower ones blood pressure. but yet he still was not happy. people can start all over again. but deep down it rings a bell and people know that the clock is ticking. He lived under extremely meager conditions so not to have to spend much money. He had to do the rest of the work.

This of course leaves him in a no-win situation which becomes a vicious cycle -. We all feel we should do a better job and get rid of our bad habits. saying he is sick and dying and wants to sleep.the more he wants to do -. Another protagonist school of thought say rules are made to be broken. But in one form or the other either as parents. the collector goes back his compartment to have another drink. This repeats. One of the passengers argues with him. As a critic the ploy used by Chekhov to illustrate how alcohol instigate the conscious of a disinterested ticket checker whose conscious pricks at him for his sluggishness and he decides to give his best to the job but since he is in a state of heavy drunkenness his attentiveness goes overboard. That he goes back to drinking in the end and so he would be feel bad at some point for this escapist attitude of his scored by actions that he drinks too much and doesn't do his job and so will be into the viscious cycle to repeat this story again and again. Finally. teachers. Oh! The public indeed is a very poignant story characterised by Podtyagin who is overcompensating in trying to make up for all the time he was neglecting his duty.OH! THE PUBLIC Oh! The Public!.the less effective he becomes. His acrid obedience is not well received by the travellers and doesn’t extract the kind of response he had hoped for.Podtyagin working on a train. A school of thought says rules are black and white -. The imbalance potrayed by Chekov is so aligned with our lifestyle that Podtyagin potrays. officials .whatever we are we behave like Podtyagin. but the rules have to include a human element. make a New Year's resolution and go Gung-ho about our task but usually we find ourselves going back to our old habits until we we start again on the path of reformation. This assiduous urge to be attentive and pretentious hardwork which is not accoladed by the public makes him believe that there is no point working hard. The punch line that Chekov manages to pull is what I term “ Spirit of Law-at discretion of oneself”. is a story told by a self-critical drinking ticket collector. citizens. he has no ticket. . The author emphasises on honoring the spirit of the law. The story aptly portrays todays so called “System” wherin the rules are fixed but if every rule was actually enforced then we would have an impossible situation.but we have to know when to apply them and when not to. Chekhov is right in enlisting the cocophony that when something goes wrong we conveniently blame officials for not doing their duty. In truth.

we'd feel just as unsatisfied as the shoemaker.but the truth is if you want to be happy then work on being happy -. But quickly the shoemaker realizes that what he wished for might not be what he really wanted. The grass is always greener on the other side. .not on envying the rich or anyone else -.but real happiness depends on love -. Of course.friendships -. won't believe it.family -. Studies repeatedly have shown lottery winners who became rich overnight -.and then your happiness will be genuine and not measured by how many cars you own and no one will be able to take it away from you. if like this story we became rich in an instant -.as long as I don't have to sign anything -- no -. Be careful what you wish for.their happiness quota doesn't in fact go up in the long run. forget it.intangibles that money just can't buy. They'll eventually be just as happy or unhappy as they were before hitting it big.then you'll probably enjoy what you made -. Being happy has nothing to do with being rich or poor but with how well you handle your inner self. Sounds naive and childish to think that money can't buy happiness -.we'd all love to be handed millions -. And that's why this story hits home. That hurts.develop your inner being -. There's a side to us that no matter how much we realize that money won't buy happiness -. However.THE SHOEMAKER AND THE DEVIL “The Shoemaker and the Devil” is a humoristic morality tale about a shoemaker who dreams about selling his his soul to devil in return of becoming rich. Still -. Being rich has responsibilities and obligations which he doesn't want to deal with. I think if you do become rich because you worked hard and truly made it with your sweat -.if you have a few million to spare -. we all want to fantasize about being rich and having all the benefits we imagine comes with wealth. The poor shoemaker makes a bargain with the devil.without truly earning it -. He becomes rich and the devil gets his soul.