Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Chapter 1 - The Lament by Anton Chekhov

  1. Comment on the indifference that meets Iona's attempts to share his grief with his fellow human beings?

    Iona the main character in the story is a poor cab driver, who has lost his son and is mourning his death. As a human being he wants to share his grief to his fellow human beings but non of them pay any attention to it. 

    In the story he first tried to talk to the officer who hired him to go to Viborg Way. The officer is in hurry to reach his destination and doesn't pay any attention when Iona says "My son Barin, died this week". 

    After the officer, the three young men hired his cab to go to Police Bridge. These young men not only cursed Iona but also made fun of him. They also expressed the least concern when Iona told them about the death of his son and jokingly said "We must all die". The three young men are busy arguing with each other and show no sympathy towards Iona. 

    Next, Iona tries to talk to a Hall Porter but the hall porter orders him to "move on". 

    Finally he tries to tell his grief to a half a sleep cab driver at the tavern but this fellow is just interested in drinking some water and falls a sleep soon after without paying any attention to Iona's request to listen to his grief.

  1. What impression of the character of Iona do you get from this story?

    When the story opens we find that the cab driver, Iona Potapov, is quite white and looks like a phantom. He is bent doubled literally as well as metaphorically because he is grieving the death of his son.

    He is a poor men, who is struggling to earn his livelihood as a cab driver. He is married, with two children, Kuzma the son and Anissia the daughter.

    He is a normal human being and throughout the story he is searching for an emotional outlet to unburden his grief. He is having a very positive and simplistic approach towards life. He does not react violently to the disrespect and curses that his passengers hurl at him.