In “About Love” we read the dynamics of romantic love which tries to show that ‘love’ as such is not bound by marital relations. Anton Chkhov presents accounts of love affairs expressing his personal experience which makes him feel that love is just a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation.
The story begins in a country house where Alyohin, the narrator was having breakfast with his guests Burkin and Ivan Ivanych. Meanwhile, Nikanor the cook came to ask what to prepare for dinner. Then Alyohin revealed the love affair of Nikanor and Pelageya, one of his servants. According to him, Pelageya loved Nikanor very much. She did not want to marry him, but was ready to live with him just so. The cook was deeply religious and therefore he was ready to live with her if she married him.
Alyohin has been living a farmer’s life at Sofyino since he graduated from the University. As a graduate, he was not fit for rough work but his father had spent a lot of money on his education by mortgaging the estate. So he had to work hard until he paid off the debt. Although he was a landowner, he would work with his men and women like a peasant. He also tried to maintain his civilized life by reading books and by drinking coffee and liqueurs after lunch and dinner. Later in summer he would be so tired that he could not go to upstairs to his bed. He would sleep anywhere and began to eat in the servant’s kitchen.
He had been elected honorary magistrate many years before. And sometimes he had to go to town to take part in court sessions. Then he would lead a luxurious life and meet educated persons. He made friends in the town. One of the friends was Luganovich, who unexpectedly invited him to dinner. In his house he met Anna Alelxeyevna, Luganov’s wife. Her first baby was born just six months before. She was a young, beautiful, kind, intelligent, fascinating woman. When he was near her, he felt as if he had been familiar with her long ago in his childhood. Her husband was good-natured and simple-minded. He could not express his personal opinion on the decision of the court even at dinner and in private conversation. Both the husband and the wife entertained the guest. Their active participation made him think that they lived in peace and harmony.
Alyohin spent the whole summer at Sofyino. Her memory remained in his mind all those months. He felt as if her shadow was lying lightly in his soul.
In the late autumn, Alyohin attended a charity show in the town and he saw Anna there. She looked wonderfully beautiful with her lovely and caressing eyes and she gave him the same feeling of nearness. She said that he looked dull and old, and that she expected that he would come to the theatre. The next day he lunched with the Luganoviches. After that he would visit the family every time he went to the town. He went into their house as though he were one of the family. She would welcome him and ask why he hadn’t seen them for so long. Her gaze, her beautiful hand, her simple dress, her hairstyle, her voice, her gait would make him feel new, extraordinary and very important. They would talk for hours. If she was not in the home, he would wait for her. When she came home from the market, he would take all her parcels from her as a boy.
Alyohin was unhappy. He wondered why Anna had married Luganovich, not him. Luganovich was not energetic, but old and obedient. Whenever he went to the town, he would find that she was expecting him. They would talk for a long time, but they never told that they loved each other. They tried to conceal it. He loved her deeply, but had no strength to fight against it. He supposed that his gentle love could ruin the life of her husband, her children and it was not a good thing. If he had married her, she would not have been happier in his country house. They might not have loved each other afterwards. Anna also might have thought like this. She might not make him...
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