Discuss The Various Frustrations Experienced By The

Characters In Chekhov?s ?The Seagull?. Essay, Research Paper

??????????? Chekhov?s

play ?The Seagull? is very much centred on the themes of relationships and

ambitions for self-fulfilment.? This

intriguing combination of themes gives rise to a selection of unusual

characters, intent on their own aims and ambitions.? It is this portrayal of an element of human character that makes

the play so interesting and captivating to read.? It is clear that the play focuses on the theme of unrequited love

and this is one of the reasons for the frustrations experienced by the

characters, however, perhaps more integral to the plot is the desire within the

characters for self-fulfilment, and it is perhaps more interesting to first

focus on this aspect of the play. ??????????? The dreams

of the characters seem to be almost entirely centred on bigger, better more

fulfilling lives.? They all seem to be

discontented with their position, whatever their current circumstances.? The endless search for a more fulfilling

existence seems to stem from an inner discontentment with the people that they

are.? They look for material fulfilment

because they think that it will make them happy, when and if the goal is

achieved, they find the discontentment still exists, and therefore they try to

fill the gap with more material or superficial things. One feels that a closer

examination of themselves and a greater degree of self-knowledge might give

rise to a degree of self-worth.? Inner-contentment

is what they seek and perhaps they would be better to realise that this comes

from a knowledge and acceptance of oneself, than to continue the endless search

for something that appears to be what they want, and ends up being unattainable

goal. Unless they are fulfilled within themselves, no amount of superficial

status will change their dissatisfaction.?

What they are not all ready they will never be. ??????????? This is

shown particularly well in the character of Nina, her one ambition in life is

for fame, as she believes this will bring her contentment and

self-fulfilment.? (?I?d willingly put

up with poverty, disappointment ?I?d suffer terribly, I?d be so dissatisfied

with myself, so aware of my own shortcomings but in return I?d demand fame.?)

Her ambition for fame is so overwhelming that she gives up her family, and

security in order to pursue her dream of being a famous actress like

Arkadina.? Her desire for

self-fulfilment, and genuine belief that when famous she will feel contented

leads her to flee to Moscow to become an actress.? Her dreams quickly become harsh realities and she is left

pregnant after a failed love affair with Trigorin, and desolate after her

career as an actress instead of being the glorious success she had hoped for,

turns out to be a dismal failure due to her own lack of ability as an

actress.? In her pursuit of her dream of

happiness through the means of love and fame she has been faced with the cold

fact that perfect dreams are shattered by cruel reality.? She returns at the end of the play as a

broken shadow, the symbolism of her phrase ?I?m a seagull? is evident to

all.? She is drawing a direct analogy

between the seagull Kostya shot and herself, both are broken creatures once

proud.? In her search for

self-fulfilment she has found nothing but pain and reality.? She has discovered that unless one is

satisfied within oneself then one will never be contented. ??????????? Similarly

with Arkadina, she has achieved what Nina has failed to achieve and become a

famous actress, but she is perhaps the unhappiest of all the characters. Her

fame has not brought her the self-fulfilment she expected.? Instead, it is distanced her from those

around her and made her all the more unhappy.?

Furthermore, her beauty is now fading with age and her son Kostya is a

constant reminder to her that her best years are behind her.? It is clear that she harbours some regret

that she did not make better use of the years when she was in her prime as she

refuses to talk about the past with Kostya.?

(Kostya: I remember?when you were still acting in the State

theatres?there was a fight in our yard, and one of the tenants, a washerwoman

got badly beaten.? D?you remember?? Arkadina: No) Her acting career, fame and fortune has not brought her the

joy or fulfilment that she expected it would, consequently what is left behind

is a bitter woman full of regret and deeply unhappy, who finds it impossible to

find any consolation in her son because of his constantly reminding her of her

wasted years. Her search for self-fulfilment has been utterly fruitless as she

has found that despite the fame, she is still the same imperfect person that

she was dissatisfied with in the first place, only much older.? ??????????? Perhaps the

best example of a character feeling discontented and unfulfilled is Sorin who

feels that he has wasted his life. He appears to be perhaps the bitterest

character.? He feels unfulfilled because

he feels he has not made good use of his time, but I would expect that again

this stems from an inner-discontentment with his life and himself. (Well,

it?s alright for you.? You?ve lived life

to the full, but what about me? I?ve worked in justice for twenty-eight

years?that?s why I enjoy a sherry at dinner and smoke cigars and all that.)? His drinking and smoking habits seem to stem

from his discontentment, he drinks and smokes to remove the regrets and forget

his worries for a time. His dreams of self-fulfilment are thwarted because in

his opinion he has wasted many years of his life, but in reality, he is

probably not content with what he is or has been within himself. Trigorin again presents us with a

character to whom fame, as a writer has brought nothing but more pain.? With Trigorin, his inner-discontentment is

expressed in his writing.? He is forever

striving to write the perfect piece, an impossible target for which he

tirelessly aims.? His pain and

disappointment after each failed attempt is due to his belief that he will be

fulfilled when he finally writes his tour de force. Once more his dreams

shall never be fulfilled, as he will never be able to write something that

satisfies his own ambition.? Therefore,

his dreams of self-fulfilment will always be thwarted, and he is doomed to be

unhappy. (?I feel as if I?m devouring my own life: in order to deliver honey

to someone out there somewhere.?) ??????????? Chekhov?s

characters are extremely difficult to analyse in depth and their motivations

for actions are more difficult to understand in comparison to other writers

that I have studied.? This is partly to

do with the fact that the characters appear in a play and there is therefore no

authorial voice telling us information about how the characters are thinking

and feeling.? However, I feel that there

is more to it than this. The play is very much concerned with relationships

between the characters; hence we learn little about many of the characters

except how they feel about other characters.?

The only obvious exceptions to this rule are Nina, Kostya, Arkadina and

Trigorin who we learn more about as the play goes on.? Therefore, it is difficult to analyse the motivation or feelings

of a character such as Sorin as we learn so little about him. ??????????? Chekhov

seems to effectively show through his characters how all dreams of

self-fulfilment through achievement or contentment seem to be shattered when faced

with reality.? This clear picture

conveys a very moral picture that self-fulfilment can only be achieved within

oneself by being happy with what you have, rather than endlessly looking for

what you have not. The lack of self-fulfilment through realisation of one?s

ambitions or the failure to achieve one?s ambitions forms part of the

frustrations felt by the characters in Chekhov?s play ?The Seagull.?? However, perhaps more important is the

frustration felt within relationships, due to unrequited love.? In some ways the ambition to love and be

loved within the book forms part of the desire for self-fulfilment as

particularly in the case of Kostya, he feels that he will find what he lacks

inwardly in his relationship with Nina. ??????????? Kostya has

a great need for love from some external source, as he feels rejected by his

mother. It is Nina that initially fills this void in his life.? However, even during his time with Nina at

the start of the novel, he is still deeply unhappy.? His problems stem from a want for parental love from his mother,

and he is very jealous of Trigorin and the love he receives from Arkadina. This

jealousy eventually develops into an inferiority complex as Nina also falls in

love with Trigorin and his own writings are always described as inferior to

Trigorin?s.? In this way Kostya?s life

is dependent upon others value of him, he needs to be loved and valued in the

same way that every human being does.?

His feeling of self-value and self-fulfilment is clearly affected by the

way he is treated by others. In this way, Chekhov shows us as readers that it

is not simply our own opinion of ourselves that matters, as a human being is we

are constantly devalued and put down by others, our own self-worth can be

affected.? This is shown in Kostya?s

attempts to get attention through his killing of the seagull, which acts as a

sort of premonition and an indication prior to his two suicide attempts.? The initial suicide attempt appears to be

simply to get attention, and after this fails and people refuse to notice or

care about the state into which he has degenerated, he feels the only thing to

do is to end his ?worthless? life.?

Kostya?s frustrations are very much due to the lack of care and

attention bestowed upon him by the other characters. He has a simple desire to

be loved. ??????????? Kostya?s

frustrations are not so much to do with his relationship with Nina, as to do

with the attention and care paid him by others, and in particular Arkadina and

Nina.? On the other hand characters such

as Polina, Masha, Medvedenko and even Nina all feel the pangs and frustrations

unrequited love during the course of the novel.? For Nina, her love for Trigorin appears to be to do with her

desire for self-fulfilment.? To be the

lover of a famous actor gives her a status that she craves, little does she

realise that status and position does not make one happy and her relationship

with Trigorin ends in heart-break, disgrace and torment which appears to have

driven her mad at the close of the play. ??????????? We learn little of Polina and Masha in

the play as characters.? We know that

Polina is the wife of Shamraev, who is the manager of the estate and that she

is in love with Dr. Dorn.? However, it

seems that in this frustration too there is a point to be made about

self-fulfilment.? It seems that part of

the attraction held by Dr. Dorn for Polina is the fact that he does not return

her affection.? The illusive target is

more attractive to Polina as he cannot be hers.? She convinces herself that it is only him that can make her happy

and fulfilled and therefore she strives towards a target that can never be

realised, as the target is not what she thinks it is. ??????????? Masha

similarly looks for self-fulfilment in a relationship with Kostya. I feel that

Masha?s love for Kostya is genuine, but it is also selfish, as it seems to me

that Masha feels she needs Kostya in order to feel self-value.? When he rejects her, she looks to drink for

consolation.? She needs to fill the void

of dissatisfaction and discontentment within herself, and when Kostya does not

provide what she feels to be the solution, she tries to blot out reality

through drink. ??????????? In

conclusion, it is clear that the characters in Chekhov?s ?The Seagull?

experience many frustrations due to broken dreams, harsh realities and

unsuccessful love affairs.? The key

theme to all of this failure is the lack of self-fulfilment felt by the

characters due to their dissatisfaction with themselves as people. This causes

them to search for fulfilment through other means, trying to feel fulfilled by

achievements or partners.? At the end of

the play it is clear to us as readers that the characters are no happier

whether they have achieved their objectives or otherwise, showing us that the

only answer to feeling self-fulfilment is to be content with what one is, rather

than constantly striving for something that is unattainable.? The characters dreams of self-fulfilment are

thwarted because the things they dream of do not lead to self-fulfilment.? This leads to more frustration and




Все материалы в разделе "Иностранный язык"

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ  [можно без регистрации]
перед публикацией все комментарии рассматриваются модератором сайта - спам опубликован не будет

Ваше имя:


Хотите опубликовать свою статью или создать цикл из статей и лекций?
Это очень просто – нужна только регистрация на сайте.

Copyright © MirZnanii.com 2015-2018. All rigths reserved.