Passive female figures in Chekhov’s “The Darling”, “Anyuta”, and “A Gentleman Friend”

Known for his ability to recreate Russian life succinctly through representative anecdotes, Anton Chekhov creates female protagonists who uphold morals and expose flaws of Russian society through silent suffering and endurance. Due to their honesty and innocent malleability, these females are wronged and exploited as marginalized members of society. Olenka, Anyuta, and Vanda, from “The … Continue reading Passive female figures in Chekhov’s “The Darling”, “Anyuta”, and “A Gentleman Friend”

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The Sacrifice of Silkworms

Silkworms, like butterflies, have to die once at the risk of not living again, only they are all the more unselfish. We want the butterflies to hatch a second time to admire their beauty, but we boil the silkworms when they are the most defenseless and turn them into thread. If our own death is just another step in the life cycle, will we have used up all our silk before we have gone? Will we be brave enough to? Are we dedicating all our waking hours to growing, not necessarily physically, but in intellect, strength, character? Yes, perhaps the silkworms understood the risk of their last endeavor just as well as we do, when we fear using up all our talent and energy that we have now for the possibility of something not guaranteed in the future. But there's perhaps a greater risk not to try.