In the late 80’s – early 90’s Chekhov refuses a humorous approach to life and turns to problems of a socio-political nature. The characters of heroes are made more acute. He exposes the dull, sleepy Russian citizen, shows his dull life, speaks of his ignorance, savagery, cruelty: “The Man in a Case”, “The House with a Mezzanine”, “The Lady with a Dog”, “Chamber No. 6”.
The hero of the story, a retired non-commissioned officer – a voluntary spy and a stupid self-styled administrator. He in his own way understands the laws and norms of human behavior. This man terrorizes the village where he lives, believes that he alone knows the order, how to deal with people of inferior rank. The figure of Unther grows into the figure of the all-Russian policeman, personifying the autocratic power in Russia. In stories like this, the funny does not entertain, but makes you think that in a small work Chekhov speaks of great phenomena.
The stories and stories of the 90s are directed against cruel and vulgar life. This story was written after the return of Anton Pavlovich with Fr. Sakhalin. The image of the prison haunts the writer, and Chamber No. 6 is a prison.
“Everywhere – chamber number 6. It’s Russia” (Leskov). The story begins with a description of the hospital wing, there are insane persons. A painful
Patients are similar to prisoners, hospital to prison, where everything is mixed up and it is difficult to distinguish a normal person from a madman. The only person capable of sound reasoning is the insane Gromov. Dr. Ragin says, visiting him in a terrible room: “If you knew, my friend, how I’m fed up with general mediocrity, thoughtlessness, dullness, and with what joy I always talk with you.” You are an intelligent person and I enjoy you. ” Life among normal people drove him crazy, and he fell ill with a persecution mania – a very common disease of that time. Gromov goes to the institution where patients are not treated, but are tortured.
Gromov painfully reacts to evil, injustice, lawlessness. He does not cease to protest, resent, and does not lose faith in the fact that sooner or later the truth will finally triumph.
Dr. Ragin looks at life differently. “Under all circumstances, we can find rest in ourselves.” Following this idea, Ragin does not interfere in the affairs of the hospital, does not try to change the situation of patients: “It’s not me, but time that is to blame for my dishonesty.”
Chekhov rebels against the view of life, convenient for those who do not suffer. Through the mouths of Gromov, the author condemns Ragin: “We are kept here behind bars, rotting and torturing, but this is fine and reasonable, because there is no difference between this room and the warm cabinet.”
“Suffering despises, but, I suppose, pin your finger on the door, yell at the top of your throat.”
Only before his death did Ragin understand the truth of Gromov, the truth of those who do not want can not tolerate violence. When in the ward N6 Nikita beats him, this event illuminates with a piercing light the lie of his life and his philosophical outlook. There comes an awakening of conscience, the appearance of a sense of guilt, a terrible, unbearable pain flashed through his head, that these people must have experienced the same pain exactly for years. Ragin did not die of Nikita’s beatings, but of the pain of an awakened conscience.
“House with mezzanine”
The second name of this story is “The Artist’s Story”. Hence, in it the reader will find the memories of a rethought and experience, a confession. There are ideological arguments, a love story unfolds, which ended sadly, but not tragically. Opponents in the dispute are the narrator-artist and the elder sister of the heroine, Lida Volchaninova. The careless and eccentric artist to some extent expresses the author’s thoughts. He claims that all human misfortunes are from gross physical labor. It is only necessary to free a person from this, but until this happens, it is necessary to divide the work into everyone. From this alone he expects the great and good consequences of humanity.
Such views are utopian and naive, but they like the author, but the author and the author do not like the thoughts and deeds of Lida, which sees in her medicine kits and libraries as the main means of improving the life of the people. Its limitation is not that it is carried away by small matters, but because it restricts everything by these small businesses. They satisfy her, as well as the county game of the zemsky parliamentarian.
“The people are shrouded in a great chain, but you do not cut it, but only add new links.” Obviously, the artist is closer to the truth than the judicious Lydia, but in life she is the winner, and not the artist along with his love and useless landscapes. But nevertheless, in the light of the highest values, the painful exclamation of the artist: “I’m afraid, where are you?” Means more than all Zemstvo victories.