“Indifference is the paralysis of the soul” (according to A. Chekhov’s story “Chamber No. 6”)
No one before him could not so mercilessly, but truthfully draw people a shameful and dreary picture of their life in the dim chaos of the philistine meanness. M. Gorky
In the 90 years of the XIX century Anton Chekhov wrote one of the most significant stories – “Chamber number 6” – a work relating to the late works of the writer. There is no longer any irony and sarcasm characteristic of the early period; in the foreground now serious and profound problems of the Russian society of that time. “Chamber No. 6” is a story where both the characters, the situation, and the whole meaning are very symbolic. The action takes place in a wretched wing, surrounded by a “gray hospital fence with nails,” in a room “disfigured with iron bars.” This description of living conditions prepares the reader for
an understanding of the hopeless situation in which the main character turns out to be.
In the center of the story – a representative of the intelligentsia, Dr. Ragin – “a wonderful man of his kind.” He is remarkable because he is able to see the evil and injustice of the world in which he lives, and is indifferent to it. His passivity and indifference disturb the author, they force the doctor to practice his principles in practice, to prove his case. Antipode Andrei Efimych, oddly enough, is the crazy Ivan Gromov – a representative of the intelligentsia, suffering from a persecution mania. Living in a “wicked institution, highly harmful to health,” he is the only heartless and intuitive against violence and untruth. Honest and noble Ivan Dmitrich attracts Ragin his judgments about life, love, future. He speaks of himself: “I am neither a wise man nor a philosopher”, but his reasoning is more than true. Gromov’s simple truths refute all that “philosophy” that Dr. Efimych lived, point to his parasitic existence. The dispute between Ivan Dmitriev
and the doctor does not last long. For calm and inaction Ragin is severely punished; Only in the ward for the insane comes a late enlightenment.
The hero becomes a victim of his own passivity, but the protest is now meaningless, and it is already impossible to restore justice. Ragin dies of moral and physical pain, but his death, unlike all life, becomes meaningful. It is the awakening of the hero from a long and aimless existence, from indifference to excitement, anxiety and other people’s suffering, from his own passive attitude towards truth, good and truth. He is punished for “laziness, fakirstvo, sleepy foolishness”, because he saw “universal madness, lack of talent, dullness” and accepted them. Anton Pavlovich Chekhov entered Russian literature at a time when everything in life seemed drowsy, indifferent, gloomy and hopeless. He became the creator of a small story, where he posed great problems of modern times, deeply investigated life phenomena, exposed the causes of social disorder.
Until the end of his short life, knowing that he was mortally ill, AP Chekhov taught a kind, clean, eternal, taught to remain a person in any situation.