The Darling Essay

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In the following essay, Evdokimova examines "The Darling" to discover why critics, including Leo Tolstoy and Maxim Gorky, have viewed "The Darling" as both positive and negative in terms of its portrayal of femininity.

"All men are scoundrels, and all women are charming creatures," concluded one of Chekhov's contemporaries after reading "The Darling" (1899). "This is a mockery offensive for a woman," complained another. The way the story was received by Chekhov's contemporaries not only reveals the readers' uncertainty about the role of the woman in society and about the masculine ideal of femininity but also testifies to the inherent ambiguity of the story itself.

When the story first appeared in print, several critics believed that Chekhov's plan was to mock a dependent and unemancipated woman, who had no opinions of her own but was capable only of repeating the words of her husbands, her lover, and even...

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This section contains 4,040 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Darling Study Guide
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The Darling from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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