Uncle Vanya Themes

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Anger and Hatred

Recognizing that he has wasted his life furthering the professor's scholarship, Vanya responds in anger, a new and unaccustomed emotion for him. Although Vanya's displeasure simmers throughout the play, it erupts into violence after Serebryakov announces his plan to sell the estate so that he and Yelena can buy a villa in Finland. Vanya then attempts to shoot the professor, only to miss, emphasizing the futility of his rebellion. Vanya's full name, Voynitsky, hints at his potential for belligerence (the Russian word for "war" is "voyna").

Choices and Consequences

Vanya's mother, Maria Vasilyevna, chides her son for railing against his fate, when he's taken so few steps to change the course of his life. "It looks as if you are challenging your former convictions," she says to Vanya. "But they are not guilty, it's you are guilty. You keep forgetting that a conviction in itself is...

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This section contains 1,247 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Uncle Vanya Study Guide
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Uncle Vanya from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.