I. The Author and It’s Background : Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in the small seaport of Taganrog, southern Russia, the son of a grocer. Chekhov’s grandfather was a serf, who had bought his own freedom and that of his three sons in 1841. He also taught himself to read and write.Yevgenia Morozov, Chekhov’s mother, was the daughter of a cloth merchant.
“When I think back on my childhood,” Chekhov recalled, “it all seems quite gloomy to me.” His early years were shadowed by his father’s tyranny, religious fanaticism, and long nights in the store, which was open from five in the morning till midnight. He attended a school for Greek boys in Taganrog (1867-68) and Taganrog grammar school (1868-79). The family was forced to move to Moskow following his father’s bankruptcy. At the age of 16, Chekhov became independent and remained for some time alone in his native town, supporting himself through private tutoring.
In 1879 Chekhov entered the Moskow University Medical School. While in the school, he began to publish hundreds of comic short stories to support himself and his mother, sisters and brothers. His publisher at this period was Nicholas Leikin, owner of the St. Petersburg journal Oskolki (splinters). His subjects were silly social situations, marital problems, farcical encounters between husbands, wives, mistresses, and lovers, whims of young women, of whom Chekhov had not much knowledge – the author was was shy with women even after his marriage. His works appeared in St. Petersburg daily papers, Peterburskaia gazeta from 1885, and Novoe vremia from 1886.
Chekhov’s first novel, Nenunzhaya pobeda (1882), set in Hungary, parodied the novels of the popular Hungarian writer Mór Jókai. As a politician Jókai was also mocked for his ideological optimism. By 1886 Chekhov had gained a wide fame as a writer. His second full-length novel, The Shooting Party, was translated into English in 1926. Agatha Christie used its characters and atmosphere in her mystery novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926).
Chekhov graduated in 1884, and practiced medicine until 1892. In 1886 Chekhov met H.S. Suvorin, who invited him to become a regular contributor for the St. Petersburg daily Novoe vremya. His friendship with Suvorin ended in 1898 because of his objections to the anti-Dreyfus campaingn conducted by paper. But during these years Chechov developed his concept of the dispassionate, non-judgemental author. He outlined his program in a letter to his brother Aleksandr: “1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of political-social-economic nature; 2. total objectivity; 3. truthful descriptions of persons and objects; 4. extreme brevity; 5. audacity and originality; flee the stereotype; 6. compassion.”
Chekhov’s fist book of stories (1886) was a success, and gradually he became a full-time writer. The author’s refusal to join the ranks of social critics arose the wrath of liberal and radical intellitentsia and he was criticized for dealing with serious social and moral questions, but avoiding giving answers. However, he was defended by such leading writers as Leo Tolstoy and Nikolai Leskov. “I’m not a liberal, or a conservative, or a gradualist, or a monk, or an indifferentist. I should like to be a free artist and that’s all…” Chekhov said in 1888.
The failure of his play The Wood Demon (1889) and problems with his novel made Chekhov to withdraw from literature for a period. In 1890 he travelled across Siberia to remote prison island, Sakhalin. There he conducted a detailed census of some 10,000 convicts and settlers condemned to live their lives on that harsh island. Chekhov hoped to use the results of his research for his doctoral dissertation. It is probable that hard conditions on the island also worsened his own physical condition. From this journey was born his famous travel book The Island: A Journey to Sakhalin (1893-94). Chekhov returned to Russia via Singa.
II. The Tittle : The short story, namely The Lotter Ticket wwritten by Anton Chechov, is about a middle-class man and his wife who assumes that they won the lottery. Many things bothered the husband that made him thought of something absurd about his wife. With their minds consumed with selfishness and greed, they argued on what to do with the money. As the tension rises between the couple, they read each others mind and they thought the same thing.As they argue about the money, their love for each other gradually deteriorates and as if they no longer know each other
III. Point of View : Third Person Limited. A third person narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited point of view. It is limited to the one character with whom the story is being told through. IV. Dramatic Conflict : Man vs. Man. Husband against wife or more specifically husband’s vision against his wife’s vision. The couples contradict each other’s ideals that resulted to misunderstandings and arguements. V. Theme : Money definitely does not buy love and, in fact, it has the potential to destroy it. Don’t build castles in the air or build future upon a shaky foundation.
VI. Plot A. Exposition : Ivan Dmitritch is a middle-class man who lived with his family on an income of tweleve hundred a year and was very well satisfied with his living. After having supper, his wife asked him to check the list of drawings if ever they won the lottery. Their faces were filled with astonishment and exhilaration because of the unexpected turn of events. They paused for a second and rechecked it. They also found out that the prize was 75,000.
B. Development of Conflict : They began visualizing on how would they spend the money. Ivan thought that if it was his ticket, he would buy estates, immediate expenses, new furnishings, travelling, paying debts, and invest the rest in bank. However, in the course of their daydreaming, beause of Masha’s hope to travel too, Ivan’s feelings diverted into resentment towards her. He suspected his wife of absurd and trival things about going abroad too. Since it was her ticket in the first place, she can do whatever she wishes.
C. Turning Point : Ivan had a sudden thought about his wife. He thought why would her wife do abroad with the money. He thougt that she would just begrudge him every farthing. He also thought of his relatives that would come crawling about as soon as they heard of the winning ticket. He knows it’s not his ticket but still he doubts his wife about going abroad.
D. Denouement : Ivan’s wife does add to his reverie, but merely to endorse his spending choices at first. Then she realises what is going on in Ivan’s head. The contentment they had in other’s company is turning to frustration and anger as they realise their very different attitudes. Ivan’s thoughts dwell on the ways in which the people who are supposed to matter to him might now be obstacles in his way, preventing him from getting what he wants. He imagines his wife’s relatives as oily hypocrites who will come crawling out of the woodwork to beg or threaten for money.
E. Ending : His wife can see where this is all going and becomes angry too, as she watches the look on her husband’s face. Ivan and Masha’s hatred towards each other stirred up in their hearts. For Ivan to annoy Masha he quickly checked on the newspaper. He disappointed her by reading out triumphantly that the winning combination was not alike to hers. With the sudden realization, Ivan declared he would go and hang himself on the first aspen tree.
VII. Characterization A. Major Characters
1. Protagonist : Ivan Dmitritch. The point of view is told from his perspective so you get an insight of how he is feeling. This allows the reader to connect with him on a deeper level, to understand what he is thinking. When he realized he ‘won’ the lottery, the reader can understand the reasons behind why he wants the winnings. The husband almost seems dissatisfied with his life and the winning was the sight to a better future. (“And if we won,” he said – “why, it will be a new life, it will be a transformation!
The ticket is yours, but if it were mine I should, first of all, of course, spend twenty-five thousand on real property in the shape of an estate…” 199). One could feel his determination to try to make his wife happy and was hopeful she had the same outlook as he did. The husband is the wishful thinker and dreamer. Since he does not seem satisfied with his life, he has an almost unrealistic outlook on what he wants to do. Even thought the ticket was hers, he had a plan for the both of them to make their lives the best they could.
2. Antagonist : The wife in this short story “The Lottery Ticket” is the antagonist. She doesn’t seem to understand her husbands wants using the winnings. Since the point of view is with the husband, the reader can not fully be aware of what the wife is wanting with the money won. Since she won the money and not her husband, one can slightly understand how she does not want to share the winnings.
From hearing her husbands plans with the money, she is being doubtful that she will get what she wants with the money (“Somewhere in Tula or Oryol provinces…In the first place we shouldn’t need a summer villa, and besides, it would always bring in an income.” 199). The husband is pushing ideas into his wife head without her approval. She is a realistic lady. She is shown to be understanding of her husband’s wants, but also realizes her own dreams and needs through the winnings. She is appeared to be the antagonist for she is pushing away the character with the point of views perspective.
B. Minor Characters : None
VIII. Style : Anton Chekov’s use of style would be characterized as an impressionist style. Chekov’s use of style is similar to most of his other works of literature. Anton Chekhov gets to the action of the short story very quickly. A brief but information packed every paragraph to tells us without embroidery, what we need to know as readers. Thus, it only shows that the author mainly focuses on the story itself. Anton Chekov’s style avoids using unecessary words that are irrelevant to his story’s theme. We know for a fact that when Chekov describes or tries to relate nature to his stories, it has to have a connection to the story.
Otherwise, the connection between nature and the story will not be successful as the connection will not be relevant or with a point. Generally speaking, a few elements illustrating his use of style are: Use of sadness in all of his works of literature foreshadowing the story’s theme, absence of basic information in introductions and conclusions, and always writing to the point.Introductions in Chekov’s literary works lack excess, additional and even basic information purposely. Although information such as the story’s setting and background information in the introduction does not exist, one can get hints of such information in other parts of Chekov’s stories.
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