Presentation on theme: "By Kate Brennan, Alex Lipp, and Amanda Ritter Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904) 19th Century Russian Realist,"— Presentation transcript:
By Kate Brennan, Alex Lipp, and Amanda Ritter Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy ( ) Anton Pavlovich Chekhov ( ) 19th Century Russian Realist, Author, Philosopher 19th Century Russian Realist, Author, Playwright, Physician
The Life of Leo Tolstoy Born in1828 to a wealthy, aristocratic family Parents died at age 9 (raised by Aunts on family estate) Lived in family estate near Moscow, Yasnaya Polyana – 4000 acres and 300 serfs Became master of the estate at age 19 – Claimed inheritance Gambled away a quarter of inheritance within three years Joined Russian army at age 23, and fought in Crimean War – Army experience profoundly changed Tolstoy; matured and humbled him Opened school for serfs children on estate Married Sophia Bers in 1862 Early works represent greatest literature of Tolstoy – War and Peace(1869) and Anna Karenina(1875)
The New Tolstoy In the last 30 years of Tolstoy’s life, he condemned ownership, capitalism, the Orthodox Church, and Russia’s czarist government – Rejected early works of life because they were preoccupied with Russian aristocracy Encouraged communism – Believed capitalism was a great evil Influenced his Christian pacifist views – focused on nonviolence, chastity, community (reflect religious roots) The Death of Ivan Ilych, What is to be Done?, and How Much Land Does a Man Need?, all published in 1886 – reflected new Tolstoyan ideals: ascetic, simple, peaceful lifestyle Died in 1910 – Pneumonia – May have been the most famous man in world at time of death (died in a random railroad station)
The Life of Chekhov Born in 1860 in Taganrog, Russia The grandson of a serf – His grandfather bought his and his family’s freedom Member of the working class – Grew up poor (opposite of Chekhov) At 16, father went bankrupt and fled to Moscow with family to avoid imprisonment – Chekhov stayed behind to finish school (had to support himself) Went to medical school and became a doctor – Quit job as a physician to focus on writing Devout Orthodox Christian – Highest values: humanity, reason, generosity Famous playwright – The Sea Gull (1896), Uncle Vanya (1997), The Three Sisters (1901), The Cherry Orchard (1904) – These are his best works; written while he was fatally ill Died in 1904 of tuberculosis at the of 44
Influences of Tolstoy: Martin Luther King Jr. (influenced by Tolstoy) *social justice, Utopian society Mahatma Gandhi (influenced by Tolstoy) (same as above ^^) Guy De Maupassant Victor Hugo and Joseph Proudhon (Met on aEuropean travel in1860; starting writing essays & fiction **Keep in mind: more influenced by war (Crimean war), religion, political views, life experiences AMANDA DO NOT SAY LIKE!!!!!!!!!!
Influences of Chekhov Yevgeniya Chekhov: Mother to Chekhov (Mother to Chekhov; good storyteller; Chekhov is supposed to have acquired his own gift for narrative and to have learned to read and write from her) helped shape as a writer Nicolas Leykin : Initial publisher (Publisher; supported efforts; restricted the length of Chekhov's prose in the Oskolki (Fragments) to a page in a half; Some believe that it was this limitation that developed Chekhov's trademark concise style.) Alexey Suvorin: Publisher; Patron; best friend (editor and owner of Novoye Vremya (New Times), popular paper in St. Petersburg; paid per line a rate double Leikin's and allowed him three times the space; Chekhov's closest friend) Dmitri Grigorovich (Chekhov’s writing was noticed by Dmitri-told Chekhov to take writing more seriously, rather than medicine) James Joyce (James Joyce was influenced by Chekhov’s stream of consciousness technique – not used in “A Problem” – and his disavowal of the traditional story structre) Katherine Mansfield Ernest Hemingway **greatly influenced by practicing medicine (helped the “everyday” people)
Literary Focus Parable: Short simple tale that has a moral lesson (realism) (Tolstoy: very Christian; parables are in the Bible) (Pahom’s greed for the land ultimately killed him) Allegory: A narrative with a double meaning; Can be read on two or more levels (related to parable) (Tolstoy: Devil = capitalism) (communism) Tone: Attitude a writer takes toward a character, subject or the reader (Chekhov’s tone is ironic) (Mood: characterization)
Literary Focus Irony: contrast between what is said and what is meant, between what appears to be true and what is really true, and between what is expected and what really happens. (Chekhov’s characters are often foolish but pathetically touching at the same time. ) (Tolstoy : at the end of story the narrator says that they bury him in an ordinary grave only six feet long, thus ironically answering the question posed in the title of the story. ) Characterization : the process of conveying information about characters in narrative or dramatic works of art or everyday conversation. Characters may be presented by means of description, through their actions, speech, or thoughts. (Chekhov’s stories are focused on portraying a group of characters and the moods they project. He explores the mood and “inner world” of these fictional characters. This goes against traditional plot structure – no climax, etc. ) (compare direct and indirect) Conflict: Man vs. Society; Man vs. Nature; Man vs. Self (Tolstoy: Pahom is striving for more land (wealth) to be ahead in society- happiness? Pahom has to beat the setting of the sun- has to beat time; Pahom has to realize how much is too much? – has to test his endurance) **ULTIMATE LOSER – In A Problem, the family’s dilemma is the conflict between family loyalty and justice
irony For example, in A Problem the uncles, more specifically Ivan Markovich, cover for Sasha’s debt, in order to defend the family honor, when in fact, Sasha as a member of the family, threatens to black mail the family in order to get another loan from Ivan. Additionally, after the turmoil the family is faced with over Sasha’s debt, they end up giving him even more money.
Themes Greed: Pahom’s lust for land is the his ultimate downfall. The more Pahom gained throughout the novel, the more he had to lose. Pahom’s greed resulted in death. Sasha does not care about the consequences (prison, his family’s honor) of his greed. He only cares about more money. Learning from your Actions: Although Sasha’s family paid his debt, Sasha did not learn from his mistake. He asked for even more money at the end of the story. Also, the family is enabling Sasha by giving him more money. Instead of learning from their mistake, they continue to spoil him. Sasha is not learning from his mistakes because there is no consequence. Chekhov’s father did not face his consequences. Instead of accepting his jail sentence, he flees and is a coward. This experience lead Chekhov to emphasize the importance of accepting the consequence of one’s actions. In How Much Land Does a Man Need, Pahom does not realize he was too greedy until he is faced with death.
Quotes “If I had plenty of land, I shouldn’t fear the devil himself” (page 1046). “Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed” (page 1058). “Crime is an immoral act founded upon ill-will. But is the will of man free?” (page 1064). “Now I see that I am a criminal; yes, I am a criminal” (page 1068).
Realism The attempt to depict people and things as they are, without idealization. Realist writers believed fiction and drama should truthfully depict the harsh, gritty reality of everyday life, without beautifying or romanticizing it. – Followed romanticism (emphasizing the emotional, rather than realistic) Both Tolstoy and Chekhov are considered realistic writers, but they both ventured beyond realism into naturalism.
Naturalism Radical offshoot of realism Naturalistic writers depict the harsh, gritty reality of everyday life (realism) while also exposing social ills and factors in a persons life (social class, economic conditions, education, upbringing, and environment) These everyday factors determine a persons behavior and ultimately their fate Communism and capitalism were the social controversies during Tolstoy’s life. Throughout How Much Land Does a Man Need, it is clear that Tolstoy believes capitalism is a great evil Due to his religious beliefs, Chekhov notes the greed and over all, the lack of moral value in his time period in A Problem.
In How Much Land Does a Man Need? do you agree with what the younger sister said in the beginning of the short story? Does having more wealth (land) make you happy, or are you better off having nothing to lose? Use textual proof.
Discussion Questions Where are the influences of Tolstoy’s views of communism apparent in How Much Land Does a Man Need? How does the theme of greed reflect his communist ideals? Support with textual evidence (look for symbols). Where have Chekhov’s past experiences influenced his writing style? Due to these experiences, does he convey his message in a more positive or negative light? Does this support realism?