Anton Chekhov Writing Styles in Uncle Vanya

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One way to understand the construction of Uncle Vanya is to contrast it with its earlier incarnation, The Wood Demon. Eric Bentley, in Critical Essays on Anton Chekhov, called The Wood Demon "a farce spiced with melodrama." In that version, Chekhov emphasizes the romantic interests of the characters and the play concludes with the coupling of Astrov and Sonya. No one is successfully paired up in Uncle Vanya. In The Wood Demon Vanya commits suicide. In Uncle Vanya Vanya survives only to have his bleakest fears about life confirmed. Wrote Bentley: "To the Broadway script-writer, also concerned with the rewriting of plays (especially if in an early version a likable character shoots himself), these alterations of Chekhov's would presumably seem unaccountable. They would look like a deliberate elimination of the dramatic element." Uncle Vanya is constructed in a purposefully unconventional way, one that illustrates certain ideas about how...

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This section contains 544 words
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Buy the Uncle Vanya Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Uncle Vanya from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.