Summary of “The Chorus and Kalinych”

The story “The Chorus and Kalinich” by IS Turgenev was first published in 1847 in the journal Sovremennik. The work opens the cycle of the writer “Notes of the Hunter”, dedicated to the life of the simple Russian people. Turgenev’s story “The Chorus and Kalinych” refers to the literary realism direction.

Main characters

The chorus – “bald, short, broad-shouldered and dense” old man, “a positive, practical, rationalist”, lived with a large family in the forest.

Kalinich – “a man of about forty, tall, thin”, “belonged to the idealists, romantics, people enthusiastic and dreamy,” engaged in the apiary, helped the master to hunt.

The narrator is a gentleman, a hunter, a story is narrated from his face in the story.

Other characters

Polutykin – a small Kaluga landowner, “passionate hunter.”

Fedya is the son of Khory, a

boy of twenty.


The narrator notes a sharp difference “between the breed of people in the Orel province and the Kaluga breed.” Orel men are short, stooped, sullen, live in “aspen huts”, wear bast shoes and go to corvée. Kaluga peasant masters are tall, “look boldly,” live in pine huts, trade in oil and tar, and on holidays wear boots. Orel villages are usually among the fields, while Kaluga are more often surrounded by forests.

Arriving in Zhizdrinsky county hunting, the narrator meets with “avid hunter” and “a great man” – small Kaluga landowner Polutykin. On the first day the landowner invites the narrator to himself. Before the estate of Polutykin was far away, so they stopped by the landowner’s muzhik-Horia.

The chorus lived in a solitary estate, towering on a cleared clearing in the middle of the forest. Guests met a young tall guy – the son of Khor Fedya. Soon other children of the peasant came. After half an hour the hunters reached the master’s estate.

Over dinner, Pomeshchik told why

Horus lives separately from the rest of the peasants. Twenty-five years ago, his hut burned down, and the peasant asked Father Polutikin to settle in the woods in the swamp, promising to pay fifty rubles a year in debt. The chorry quickly set up the farm and now pays a hundred rubles. Polutykin repeatedly suggested that he pay off, but he dismissed the fact that there was no money.

The next day the men went hunting. Soon Kalinich joined them, who “went out every day with the master to hunt, carried his bag, sometimes a gun… without him Mr. Polutykin could not take a step.” When it became very hot in the daytime, Kalinych took the hunters to his apiary and treated them with honey. In the evening, at dinner, Polutykin shared that Kalynych was a kind man, “diligent and obliging,” but he could not keep the economy in good order, as he went hunting with him every day.

The next day Polutykin had to go to the city. The narrator went hunting alone, and in the evening he went to see Khori. On the threshold of the narrator met the “broad-shouldered and dense” old man, similar to Socrates – “the Chorus itself.” The host invited the guest to the hut, the men started talking about the peasant way of life. The narrator remarked to himself that Chor “is on his mind,” but stayed with him for the night.

In the morning after tea the guest asks the owner about his children – as it turned out, everyone except Fedya has been married for a long time, but live with her father of her own free will. Kalynych comes to Khoryun with a bunch of wild strawberries. The narrator was surprised, as “I did not expect such” tenderness “from the peasant.”

The next three days the narrator held at Hary, his new acquaintances occupied him very much. “Both friends did not at all resemble each other” – The chorus was a rationalist, Kalinych is a dreamer. The chorus was able to save money, get along with the master and the authorities, Kalinich also “walked around in bast shoes and interrupted somehow.” He had many children, Kalinich once had a wife whom he feared, but there were no children. “The chorus saw right through Mr. Polutykin, Kalinich reverenced his master.” Kalinych knew how to talk blood, fright, keep an apiary, get along with animals, “stood closer to nature”, while the Chorus – “to people, to society.”

Learning that the narrator was abroad, Chor was interested in administrative and state issues. Kalinych “more touched the description of nature,” of large cities. The chorus could not read, but Kalinych could. Kalinych loved to sing, played on a balalaika, and Hor’s willingly sang along.

In the evening of the fourth day Polutykin sent for the narrator. The narrator felt sorry for parting with Khorem and Kalinych.

“The next day I left the hospitable shelter of Mr. Polutykin.”


In the story “The Chorus and Kalynych” Turgenev depicted two completely different people – friends of Khory and Kalinych. Despite the fact that their views on the world do not coincide and they live in different ways, they are united by sincere friendship and love of music. They complement each other. The images of Horia and Kalinich in the story are the embodiment of the entire Russian people, in which economics and poetry harmoniously merged.

We advise not to dwell on reading the short retelling of “The Chorus and Kalinych”, paying attention to the full version of the work.

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Summary of “The Chorus and Kalinych”