Lillian Hellman

’s Little Foxes Essay, Research Paper

 Anton Chekhov is a Russian writer. He was born in 1860 in Taganro, Russia.

His childhood was spent in the slums of a poor neighborhood. He and his brothers

worked long hours in the shop owned by his father. Later, he develops pleurisy in

his lungs which develops into tuberculosis. One year later, his father went bankrupt.

His father had always dreamed of a better life, and had recently moved into a better

house on a better street. To escape from being thrown in prison for not paying his

debts, his father took part of his family and fled to Moscow. Anton stayed behind in

Taganro. While in Moscow, his father?s family sunk even deeper into debt. They

were living in a basement in the slum area of town. In 1879, Anton graduated from

the university and went to Moscow to study medicine. During this time, he wrote

short stories, and drew comical sketches to help support his family. While he was in

Moscow, he and his best friend would save their money to go to the local theater.

Later, they made their way back stage, and were asked to perform in some plays.

This was the beginning of Anton?s theatrical performances. Even though he began

his medical studies in Moscow, his great love was writing short stories and plays.

Subsequently, he became famous in the literature field, but in 1889 his health was

deteriorating. By being a doctor, he knew that he had tuberculosis of the lungs and

the intestines. Later, in 1901, while writing The Three Sisters, he returned to

Moscow to be married to Olga, an actress who had leading roles in several of his

plays at the Museum Art Theater. During their marriage, they wrote numerous

letters back and forth. Chekhov was now in constant pain and would tire easily

while writing. He decided to travel with Olga to Berlin to see a specialist, but the

treatment only provided temporary relief. He died on July 9, 1904.


 Influence on Writings

Chekhov went from prosperity to poverty, became educated, and then ends

up a successful writer. During his early childhood of poverty, he has fun by

mimicking the ways of society people. Some writers say that these early actions

cause comedy to be inserted in his plays. On the other hand, other writers say that

when he portrays a sense of hopelessness in his characters, he is reflecting on the

real-life experiences of his childhood. In addition, it is also believed by scholars

that Chekhov was influenced when he visited a Russian state prison on Sakhalin

Island. Later when he wrote his book, Sakhalin Island, he describes the terrible

conditions under which the convicts lived. As far as change is concerned, by

reflecting on the real-life change from czar rule which was going on in his lifetime,

he portrays the different ways that his characters accept change in their status in

society. For example, in his play, The Cherry Orchard , he portrays the feelings that

the characters attach to the cherry orchard before it is sold at auction. Furthermore,

he displays the dismay on their faces when the estate is finally auctioned off, and the

new owner is the son of a peasant. During the last act of The Cherry Orchard, he

causes his characters to accept the loss of their home and the cherry trees.


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