Stories of Anton Chekov Characters

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Stories of Anton Chekov Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Nikolai Stephanychappears in A Boring Story

Nikolai Stephanych's name is very popular and respected. He is a famous professor of medicine and a councillor. Stephanych is very old, with false teeth and wrinkled face. Stephanych describes his failing memory and his growing propensity toward insomnia. Even though he has aged and becoming decrepit, he is very disappointed that his wife aged as well. He looks at his fat, ungainly wife and tries to find in her the slender beauty he married. She only worries about poverty and bargains.

Stephanych is still supporting a grown son in the military, which he seems to resent. He is embarrassed that his daughter Liza is aware of her parents' money concerns, that they even have trouble paying the servants. Stephanych is a guardian for a young girl, Katya, who lost her parents when she was young. As Katya matures, she decides she wants to be an actress and leaves town with an acting troupe. This move leads to heartache for Katya, who eventually returns to Stephanych. He is supportive of her even though his wife and daughter are cold and non-receptive to her. In his declining years, Stephanych turns more and more to Katya for support. He feels that his wife and daughter do not support him and do not understand him. He starts spending evenings talking with Katya and her guests. His family begins to resent the time he spends with Katya and lures him away to go on an extended trip.

The old man is a lecturer extraordinaire. Stephanych compares his lecturing skills with that of a orchestral conductor. He must do and be aware of many things at one time. When he notices the students fidgeting, he cracks a joke to regain their attention. With advancing age, however, he is losing his skills and is ashamed. He feels he should retire but cannot bring himself to do so. Stephanych fears it would kill him. At night he is plagued with insomnia, forgetfulness, and failing health. He has become increasingly dissatisfied with his family and friends and is generally dispirited. Nearing the end of his life he comes to the realization that his famous name means nothing, and he becomes very introspective and examining what he wants in life.

Dr. Andrei Yefimych Raginappears in Ward No. 6

As a young student, Andrei Yefimych Ragin had been interested in a philosophic career but was goaded into pursuing medicine by his father. After being a practicing physician for a number of years, Andrei is assigned to the local hospital and is appalled at the the poor conditions of the hospital, and in particular Ward No. 6. Although he had good intentions, he soon becomes disheartened and discontinues daily visits, stopping by the depressing ward only when necessary. Though a highly educated and learned man, Andrei is reserved and timid by nature. It is difficult for him to give orders or resolve conflicts. As a result, Andrei is socially reclusive and spends much of his free time reading and alone in thought. However, because of his nature and long-time interest in philosophy, he yearns for the the exchange of intellectual ideas and philosophic thought. Unfortunately, there are no individuals with similar interests in the small town in which he lives

Upon a routine visit to Ward 6, Andrei encounters one of the inmates, Ivan Dmitrich. After speaking with the brilliant though insane young man for just minutes, Andrei realizes that he has finally met someone in the town who is interesting and intelligent and who thinks in the same deep, philosophical manner as he does. Andrei begins stopping by to converse with Ivan several times a day. Ivan is bitter, telling Andrei he has led a simple life free of suffering while he, Ivan, has suffered unduly. Andrei enjoys the exchanges with Ivan so much that he begins to visit the patient as much as three times a day. Doctors and staff begin to notice the inordinate amount of time Andrei is spending with Ivan and question his sanity. In an effort to help him, an old friend, Mikhail Averyanych, invites Andrei on an extended trip to Moscow, Warsaw, and other locations. During the trip, Andrei becomes so annoyed by the mindless prattle of Mikhail that he feigns illness and stays in the hotel to escape being subjected to Mikhail's endless chatter. He misses his daily conversations with young Ivan.

Upon returning, Andrei discovers that he has been replaced at the hospital by another physician, Dr. Khobotov. Andrei is destitute and moves to a small apartment. Khobotov and Mikhail visit one evening, yet their banal conversation causes Andrei to scream at them to leave. A short time later, on the pretense of needing his advice, Khobotov takes Andrei to Ward No. 6 and leaves him there to remain as a patient. After repeated attempts to leave, he is brutally beaten by the caretaker. Andrei realizes the horrid situation he finds himself and the next morning dies of a stroke.

Varkaappears in Sleepy

Varka is the nanny in "Sleepy" who is so deprived of sleep that she becomes delusional and kills the baby she is watching.

Gusevappears in Gusev

Gusev is a discharged private returning by ship from duty in the Far East to Russia.

Olga Ivanovnaappears in The Fidget

Olga Ivanovna is the woman obsessed with celebrities and who does not appreciate her husband until he becomes ill and dies.

Andrei Kovrinappears in The Black Monk

Andrei Kovrin is a masters of arts. He sees a vision of the legendary Black Monk.

Yakov Ivanovappears in Rothschild's Fiddle

Yakov Ivanov is a coffin maker in his town and also plays a fiddle in the Jewish orchestra.

Grigory Tsybukinappears in In the Ravine

Grigory Tsybukin is a tradesman in the small village of Ukleyevo

Bishop Pyotrappears in The Bishop

Bishop Pyotr is reunited with his mother after not seeing her for nine years.

Anna Sergeevnaappears in The Lady with the Little Dog

Anna Sergeevna is the mysterious lady with the dog that Dmitri Dmitrich Gurov meets in Yalta.

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