The Symbolism Concepts in Chekhov’s the Seagull

In: English and Literature

Submitted By napocorn
Words 2277
Pages 10
The Symbolism Concepts in Chekhov’s The Seagull

Introduction
Anton Chekhov was categorised as a realistic writer. His drama scripts also are realistic. The plot in his scripts describes a short fragment of ordinary lives from ordinary people. But his realism is not completely as same as traditional realism, which contains a lot of symbolism concepts. The traditional realistic play sees life in terms of what it might be, as well as in terms of what it is through an objective view (Sprinchorn 1124). Also, the visual description of characters’ personality and plot details are necessary in realistic drama play. In Chekhov’s play, it is hard to easily judge the character good or bad. And the plots are not developed with strong conflict as tradition dramatic realism. Also, his play cannot be presented as the same method as traditional plays.
Chekhov’s plays have transcended the definition of realism because he already achieved a series of symbolist concepts in them. His plays can be regard as combinational works of realism and symbolism, which is different to previous playwrights’. Tolstoy has commented that:
He cannot even be compared with the old Russian writers — Turgenev, Dostoevsky, or myself. Chekhov has his own manner, like the Impressionists. You see a man daubing on whatever paint happens to be near at hand, apparently without selection, and it seems as though these paints bear no relation to one another. But if you step back a certain distance and look again, you will get a complete, over-all impression. Before you there is a vivid, unchallengeable picture of nature (Simmons n.pag.).
So, while those symbols apply to readers’ impressions, the symbolism applies to the play simultaneously. In this essay, it will introduce the plot of The Seagull (Chekhov) briefly first. Next, it will discuss the symbolism concepts in Chekhov’s play The Seagull through…...

Similar Documents

Symbolism

...Symbolism in Literature In literature, symbolism is used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is actually being described. The plot and action that take place in a story can be thought of as one level, while the symbolism of certain things in the writing acts on another level to enhance the story. It is a product of the culture of the day and reveals the culture in return. Symbolism can take place by having the theme of a story represented on a physical level. A simple example might be the occurrence of a storm at a critical point, when there are conflicts or high emotions. The storm might symbolize these. Similarly a transition from day to night, or spring to winter, could symbolize a move from goodness to evil, or hope to despair. A river in a scene could represent the flow of life, from birth to death. Flowers can symbolize youth or beauty. Take The Loons as an example, it is just a typical novel with symbolism from beginning till the end, with “the loons” throughout as a symbol of Piquette. Through the parallel of loons and Piquette, it is easy to find their common inability to change themselves and their environment——loons are unable to adapt to modern human invasion; Piquette is unable to escape the cultural stereotypes imposed on her. The novel reflects the ecological and ethical crises between man and nature and among humans for conquest and criticizes the power ideology embodied in the crises. Vanessa casually describes Piquette’s......

Words: 3198 - Pages: 13

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Reflection

...Jonathan Livingston Seagull Reflection Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard Bach The novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a very fantastic novel. I have judged this novel very wrongly because I really thought that’s it’s all just about a dump of boring seagulls that search for enlightenment and predictably ends finding it. But it wasn’t! It suddenly became one of my favorite novels of all time. Living in this world full of people, pretending to be something they’re not, I realized that every one of us is trying to fit in. For me, this novel will really help out those people who fear to be uncovered and I should know. This novel is all about creativity and individuality. To stand up for something you strongly believe in is really brave indeed. Creativity, I should say, makes us smarter. Routine living dulls our mind. Creative expression gives our brain a workout, activating new circuits in our grey matter. Creativity does not necessarily require an act of will or sweat on the brow. It’s about getting beyond logic and to see more than meets the eye. Creativity asks us to change the way we live our lives, to turn away from the “normal” way of doing things and express individuality. Conformity isn’t creative. Neither is routine. Jonathan did exactly the same. He turned away from the norm and started up all on his own as an outcast. Later, he found out the true meaning of life which is to touch perfection and show it forth. All this he learned in a very......

Words: 346 - Pages: 2

Symbolism

...Symbolism of the Journey in "The Road Not Taken" and "A Worn Path" ENG125: Introduction to Literature Instructor: Deborah Cunningham Amber Huntley April 9, 2013 Symbolism of the Journey in "The Road Not Taken" and "A Worn Path" When reading a short story or a poem it is not possible to comprehend the author’s true meaning of his or her written word without using symbolism to bring the literary work to life. Oftentimes the symbolism can be interpreted differently by each individual. We do know that the symbolism of literary works are created in the imagination of the writer to show certain events or interrelated facets of the literary work. Moreover, the joy of reading is so that the reader can interpret what these symbols mean to them and begin the wonderful journey into the world of literature. As we read, we begin to unravel and decode the symbolic nature of the characters journey throughout the written word. Also; the journey is not only in the reading of the literary work but, in deciphering the symbolism to find its true meaning as it relates to you, the reader of the short story or poem. Therefore, we can see from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and Eudora Welty’s short story, “A Worn Path” that the symbolism a writer uses is the journey to discovering the path of the literary work itself. The best example of this symbolic journey is Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken.”. In this poem we read about a man...

Words: 1792 - Pages: 8

The Journey of Symbolism

...SYMBOLISM OF THE JOURNEY The Journey of Symbolism September 2012 SYMBOLISM OF THE JOURNEY A poem and short story, no matter how different are two literary pieces where a story is told. Authors of these works use a blend of different literary elements to take simple script and turn it into something captivating. This lets the story come alive to the reader and seem like so much more than a simple story. For this paper I chose to write about “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost as it has always been a favorite poem of mine, and the short story “I Used to Live Here Once” by Jean Rhys as it was the story that spoke to me the most from our text. These two literary works both share a similar story dealing with symbolism of their journey, which have several similarities as well as some differences. I the three literary works I have chosen to discuss are; the poem “The Road Not Taken” the short story “Used to Live Here Once” and the short story “A Worn Path” all share a common theme, even though they were all differently written. The theme for all three writings shows that no matter how long or how tough life’s journey is the end of the road still depends on the choices and decisions made by the journey person. The person on life’s journey essentially finished their own story. In the poem “The Road Not Taken” there is a traveler who comes to a split in a path in the woods. The traveler is......

Words: 2888 - Pages: 12

Symbolism

...Symbolism The period of romanticism is the period after the Enlightenment era and it deals with many concepts and such as symbolism, individualism, myths and emotion. The literature of this period was not just concentrated on the theory of romantics with the thought of love being the center of romanticism even though some of the works may be about love and affection, plenty of works like those assigned deal with different types of romanticism. Williams Wordsworth shows romanticism with his different uses of symbols in his writings and the same can be seen with works done by Leo Tolstoy. The lines that are taken out of the Tintern Abbey, he speaks about the light and darkness and describes them in certain ways. The “joyless daylight” (Wordsworth, 436) represents the truth and the light helps an individual see the truth. Sometimes the truth may not be what the individual wants to see and the darkness that he mentions represents hiding the truth from people and whoever the individual may be making them feel better. The symbolism he uses shows a grim type of romanticism that the period brings into sight. The next piece of literature would be the works from Leo Tolstoy. Like William Wordsworth, it shows a grim type of symbolism in the piece of The Death of Ivan Ilyich. The story gives symbolism that can be analyzed with the five stages of death developed by Elisabeth Kubler Ross. The different stages can be seen throughout the story showing symbols of him going through the...

Words: 509 - Pages: 3

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

...This is a story for people who follow their dreams and make their own rules; a story that has inspired people for decades. For most seagulls, life consists simply of eating and surviving. Flying is just a means of finding food. However, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is no ordinary bird. For him, flying is life itself. Against the conventions of seagull society, he seeks to find a higher purpose and become the best at doing what he loves. This is a fable about the importance of making the most of our lives, even if our goals run contrary to the norms of our flock, tribe or neighbourhood. Through the metaphor of flight, Jonathan’s story shows us that, if we follow our dreams, we too can soar. ‘Richard Bach with this book does two things. He gives me Flight. He makes me Young. For both I am deeply grateful.’ RAY BRADBURY Jonathan Livingston Seagull a story RICHARD BACH PHOTOGRAPHS BY RUSSELL MUNSON The most celebrated inspirational fable of our time Element An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77-85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith, London W6 8JB The website address is: www.thorsonselement.com To the real Jonathan Seagull, who lives within us all and Element are trademarks of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd First published in Great Britain by Turnstone Press 1972 This edition published by Element 2003 17 19 21 23 25 24 22 20 18 16 Text copyright © Richard D. Bach 1970 Photographs copyright © Russell Munson 1970 Richard Bach asserts the moral right to be identified as......

Words: 9512 - Pages: 39

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

...This is a story for people who follow their dreams and make their own rules; a story that has inspired people for decades. For most seagulls, life consists simply of eating and surviving. Flying is just a means of finding food. However, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is no ordinary bird. For him, flying is life itself. Against the conventions of seagull society, he seeks to find a higher purpose and become the best at doing what he loves. This is a fable about the importance of making the most of our lives, even if our goals run contrary to the norms of our flock, tribe or neighbourhood. Through the metaphor of flight, Jonathan’s story shows us that, if we follow our dreams, we too can soar. ‘Richard Bach with this book does two things. He gives me Flight. He makes me Young. For both I am deeply grateful.’ RAY BRADBURY Jonathan Livingston Seagull a story RICHARD BACH PHOTOGRAPHS BY RUSSELL MUNSON The most celebrated inspirational fable of our time Element An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77-85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith, London W6 8JB The website address is: www.thorsonselement.com To the real Jonathan Seagull, who lives within us all and Element are trademarks of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd First published in Great Britain by Turnstone Press 1972 This edition published by Element 2003 17 19 21 23 25 24 22 20 18 16 Text copyright © Richard D. Bach 1970 Photographs copyright © Russell Munson 1970 Richard Bach asserts the moral right to be identified as......

Words: 9512 - Pages: 39

Symbolism

...By the Bog of Symbolism By the Bog of Cats is a play that takes place in present day Ireland. Filled with suspense and tragedy, it tells a story of a woman by the name of Hester Swane, who copes with the separation of her and her husband. Throughout the play there were significant parallels between the setting and the plot. The landscape created by the author, Marina Carr, helps shape the characters and its outcomes of the play. She uses history and tradition of the Bog, use of time of day, the dead black swan and its color contrast, as well as the caravan; in order to create and set a presence. By the Bog of Cats, by Marina Carr takes place on a terrain of land known as the Bog. Bogs are one of the most distinctive pieces of wet lands. "its spongy ground consist mainly of partially decayed plant matter called peat. They are found in cooler climates that have poorly drained lakes and lake brazens" ("Ireland's Peat Bogs."). Bogs, also referred to as blanket bogs are deeply interwoven into Irish history, and have been useful in many ways. The peat found on bogs, were widely used to heat homes. They were also used for water storage. Because of the lack of drainage within bogs, rain water would be stored there, which prevents flooding. The bog also holds history; literally. Due to its denseness and many layers of turf, bogs are an excellent habitat for preserving things. A prime example of this would be a recent discovery made in 2011. The body of a man was found who is......

Words: 1604 - Pages: 7

Imagism and Symbolism

...ENG340b Professor V. Levchev Final Paper Imagism and Symbolism: American Poets in Europe The key aspects discussed in this paper are American Imagists in Europe in the beginning and the middle of 20th century. However, everything has its roots and its beginnings. The same way imagism movement initially developed from symbolism, very popular literary movement of the end of 19th century, which influenced most of the imagist poets. Symbolism was an art movement originated in France, Belgium and Russia in the end of the 19th century, which remained prominent almost until the end of the World War II. This movement was a reaction to the predominating at that time standards and rules of realism. It appeared as a new manifestation of the romanticism and was concerned about preserving individualism in the modern world, absorbed by the mass culture.1 Usually being enclosed in free verse, symbolism was about expression of author’s personal emotions. It handled very composite feelings that appeared from the everyday life in the world and was rather about evoking than about describing. It used an object, person, colour or just a word in order to represent or describe something else. It was used when an author wanted to create some specific mood or any given emotion in his piece.2 Being tired of realism, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, introduced symbolism to the America. Nevertheless, Pound was looking for something else, for something new in his poetry and, along with some...

Words: 1878 - Pages: 8

Seagull

...so Funny? Section 1 As depressing as Chekov’s The Seagull is with attempted and successful suicides, hopeless love triangles, and lack of healthy relationships between almost every single character; I personally enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong, I felt the sadness and hopelessness of the characters and plot, however, it was almost the pure paradoxical mannerisms that allowed me to actually enjoy it. It was almost as if every single character set up or created their own happiness and in some alternate reality the sad ending of the play could have been avoided. This was my reaction from just reading it. Upon actually watching the play in class, all of my inhibitions and fear of being judged for my cruel sense of humor dissipated. Physically watching the play made my thoughts more apparent and clear. I really started to feel badly for Nina due to the fact that she was, in a sense, stripped of her innocence, whereas reading it made me dislike her naivety. Section 2 In Anton Chekov’s The Seagull, there can be many debate as to what the genre of the play falls into. Some argue it is pure tragedy, others argue drama, but there are others, including Chekov, that argue it is a comedy. While these are very matter of fact and binary answers, I argue that the genre is not so black and white. Due to the paradoxical characters and their tragic demise, the genre of The Seagull can be categorized as a, “tragicomedy.” The Seagull possesses many elements of tragedy such as:......

Words: 542 - Pages: 3

Analysis of Act I in Chekhov's the Seagull: Theme of Suffering

...Analysis of Act I in Chekhov's The Seagull: Theme of Suffering Have you ever wished for something and didn't get it? This kind of wishfulness is prevalent throughout Act I of Anton Chekhov's play The Seagull. Through his use of dialogue, relationships between characters, and setting, Chekhov creates a theme of suffering and self-imprisonment within many of his characters as they long for the unattainable. The way Chekhov chooses his speech between characters is an important method in relaying the message of internal suffering. Many of the characters give up trying to convince another of an idea, therefore showing no end or resolvement to their torment. For example, Masha begins to explain to Medvedenko why she feels the ways she does saying "All you ever do is philosophize or talk about money. The way you think, there's nothing worse than being poor, but I think it's a thousand times easier to wear rags and beg in the streets than...." when she abruptly stops her explanation by saying "Oh well, you wouldn't understand" (Chekhov 137). Telling Medvedenko he wouldn't understand is in fact ironic since he actually has the same problem of unrequited love that she does, but her willingness to give up the explanation further shows their internal struggle. Similar to Masha's and Medvedenko's unresolved problem, Act I is full of many other unresolved problems and avoided private conversations. Sorin eventually gives up trying to convince Treplyov that his mother does not hate him by......

Words: 870 - Pages: 4

Symbolism

...The Scarlet Letter: Symbolism For symbolism we used this illustration as a way to show the connection between all the symbols and their relation to sin. The path of sin starts at the prison door. The break in the door shows that a person cannot run from their past and sins, they will come out eventually. Notice how the river expands to include more and more symbols. We chose that to show how the longer these confessions are repressed the larger and more difficult to deal with they become. The symbol closest to the prison door is the rose. The rose is a direct parallel to Pearl as they both serve as a stark contrast to the surrounding environment. The rose bush’s main function was to symbolize a moral blossom in the story as it shows that justice will eventually prevail. The rose bush also reflects the moral values in proportion to the nature. Because within the bonds of the nature everything acts in a way than what it is really like and what it should do by its nature without resisting to its essential needs. But civilized man especially puritans rejected the mostly part of human needs like enjoys and spices of the life especially sexuality. But to deny means nothing because you can change nothing by denying it or covering the truth. So the roses symbolized normally passions and desires thus we can deduce that here it symbolizes how the freedom of the human nature is imprisoned by the conventional wisdom. Under this circumstance the nature will resist to the later......

Words: 1212 - Pages: 5

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Reflection

...Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard Bach The novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a very fantastic novel. I have judged this novel very wrongly because I really thought that’s it’s all just about a dump of boring seagulls that search for enlightenment and predictably ends finding it. But it wasn’t! It suddenly became one of my favorite novels of all time. Living in this world full of people, pretending to be something they’re not, I realized that every one of us is trying to fit in. For me, this novel will really help out those people who fear to be uncovered and I should know. This novel is all about creativity and individuality. To stand up for something you strongly believe in is really brave indeed. Creativity, I should say, makes us smarter. Routine living dulls our mind. Creative expression gives our brain a workout, activating new circuits in our grey matter. Creativity does not necessarily require an act of will or sweat on the brow. It’s about getting beyond logic and to see more than meets the eye. Creativity asks us to change the way we live our lives, to turn away from the “normal” way of doing things and express individuality. Conformity isn’t creative. Neither is routine. Jonathan did exactly the same. He turned away from the norm and started up all on his own as an outcast. Later, he found out the true meaning of life which is to touch perfection and show it forth. All this he learned in a very dramatic way. He meets this powerful seagull,......

Words: 470 - Pages: 2

Symbolism of the Journey

...displayed the same theme there are two different viewpoints that the readers must clearly establish between Frost and Welty. Both of the authors have shown that the particular journey within their writings is one of which that life can have hurdles and hardships that must be dealt with and come to peace with. Both pieces of literature have different characters, context within historical means and symbolism to show each journey in their full light. Journey has a different meaning to each person that experiences it within their life. Many view a journey as a mode to travel to a destination forgets the meaning beyond each step that they have taken. While the focus is upon the destination, people neglect to recognize the whole process that they have undergone. The joy and thrill of voyage allows people to learn both negative and positive things of other cultures and people that one will meet. This allows the person upon the voyage to learn new experiences within life that will be useful throughout the whole of their lifetime. Going upon a journey allows one to broaden their thinking, concepts along with their ideals that can ultimately change whole individual. The theme of journey within literature was and is very well described by many authors and poets that have shown the different aspects of traveling within life. Within Frost’s “ The Road Not Taken” and Welty’s “A Worn Path” the journey is explored in two different ways of each other yet both still have the same......

Words: 2099 - Pages: 9

Seagull

...Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life. One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a "higher plane of existence" in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him "pretty well a one-in-a-million bird." In this new place, Jonathan befriends the wisest gull, Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to "begin by knowing that you have already arrived." Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks. Part One Part One of the book finds young Jonathan Livingston frustrated with the meaningless materialism and conformity and limitation of the seagull life. He......

Words: 728 - Pages: 3