2Anton ChekhovA Russian physician, dramatist and writer of short stories.He influenced the way short stories were written (became the “master” of modern short stories).His stories were a reflection of reality. The dialogue and characters seemed real.Chekhov has a very good knowledge of the human condition. His writings show this deep knowledge.
3AnalysisPlot: A woman looks into a mirror and falls asleep, dreaming of a dark future (closed plot)Characters: Nellie (Major)Dr. Stepan Lukitch (exists only in Nellie’s dream)Setting:Place: RussiaTime: New Year’s Eve
4The role dreams play in our lives Selfishness .Themes:The role dreams play in our livesSelfishnessHelplessness, desperationFear from the futureNarration: Third person omniscient. The narrator goes into not only the thoughts and feelings of the character but her dreams also.
5Style: Clear, easy language that draws vivid scenes. Structure: Short, with quick “floating” scenes”. Mainly, it takes the form of a dream.Style: Clear, easy language that draws vivid scenes.Tone: Gloomy and dark: “windows were in darkness” , “The grey background was not untouched by death”.
6Dénouement: She wakes up from her dream, relieved. Exposition: Nellie falls asleep and a man appears in the “grey background”.Rising action: Nellie dashes into the doctor’s home and urges him to come see her husband.Climax: The doctor arrives at Nellie’s home, but falls sick on her sofa, helpless.Falling action: The shift to another scene where Nellie and her husband face financial problems.Dénouement: She wakes up from her dream, relieved.
7External conflict: between Nellie and the doctor (in the dream). Internal conflict: within Nellie (fearful of the future)Irony: Situational Irony: A daydream (imagination) which turned out be a dream.Symbol: The looking glass (mirror): looks into the future.Imagery: (visual): “Nellie’s motionless eyes and parted lips”(auditory): “The old dog hoarsely and lazily barked”.
8Discuss the themes of this story (with examples) In “The Looking Glass”, Chekhov introduces many important themes. First, the role dreams play in our lives. The whole story is based on (and takes the form of) a dream. Second, the theme of selfishness: both Nellie and the doctor appear selfish- hardly caring about anyone but themselves. Third, the theme of helplessness can be seen in the fact that not one character is capable of neither helping themselves nor others. Fourth, the theme of fear from the future: dreams are a reflection of the subconscious. Nellie conjures up a dark sad dream; obviously, she is scared from the future.