Gooseberries Historical Context

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Decline of Russia's Feudal Order

The end of the nineteenth century saw the end of the old feudal order in Russia. Political bodies and organizations were becoming obsolete in the face of new developments, and the economy (traditionally divided neatly along agrarian and aristocratic lines) was giving rise to capitalists and a new urban middle class. Unfortunately, the lower class suffered increased poverty, and although the middle class was growing, it was experiencing apathy and frustration. In fact, uncertainty characterized Russian society as a whole. Russian authors such as Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev were writing about weakened social institutions and structures in the 1860s and 1870s, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky was writing about the intellectual consequences of these changes. In the midst of the turmoil and upheaval, Chekhov emerged as a writer who depicted life without traditional heroes and villains.

Realism in Literature

Chekhov is considered the last...

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This section contains 332 words
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