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Portrayal of Society in Checkhov's Collection Of Short Stories and So Long a Letter

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World Literature Assignment 1 HYDER. Soud.Alhad Eng SL (Grp 3) Portrayal of Society. Society can be portrayed in various ways, depending on customs, traditions and to some extent geographical location. Although the society portrayed does not necessarily have to reflect onto the authors own society, there is usually a link between the author and the society being portrayed. This is witnessed in the two books which I am going to deal with in this essay. In So Long A Letter; SLAL by Mariama Ba the typical West African society where Ba hails from is portrayed. On the other hand in A Collection Of Short Stories; ACOSS by Anton Chekov the emergence of the typical Russo-Siberian civilization with links to Anton Chekov is noticed. Women being part of society are extensively and effectively portrayed in both the West African and Russo-Siberian societies. In SLAL; women can be seen as a commodity in society especially to their husbands. This effectively brigs out the themes of male dominance, female exploitation and male chauvinism. Women are seen as the property of their husbands as is evidenced on the dowry being paid to the parents of the bride as a down payment for the exchange cum "sale" of the bride to be married. ...read more.


It is ironic nonetheless contrasting to not the Grigory actually consoles his wife on the way to the doctor and yet he is the one that caused his wife's suffering, he even seems to sympathise with her. This is evident from the dialogue where Petrov says "Don't cry Matryona.... Put up with it a little longer! ... God willing you'll be alright in no time."*2 It is known to the reader that Petrov has battered his wife to an extent that his battering causes the death of his wife. As his poor wife succumbs to her injuries and dies. The author clearly expresses the fact that Petrov takes advantage of his wife as she is seen as the sole breadwinner while Petrov abuses her and discriminates against her as well as enjoying the fruits of her labour. It is contrasting to note that this is a case of reversed roles where the societal role of a man is taken over by a woman in this case Petrov's societal duties are taken over by his wife Matryona I believe the author emphatically uses the name Matryona to connate a martyr. A martyr not only symbolic to Matryona's life as a hero but as a tribute to all women in society who work very hard who are caring and loving and yet they are not treated they way they deserve to be treated but are discriminated against. ...read more.


- virgin and the twins; brothers Pablo an Pedro Vicario kill Santiago Nasser as a Traditional Practise of restoring honour to their family. The prevalence of loose sexual morals in society is clearly evidenced. In SLAL the unwanted pregnancy of Ramatoulaye's daughter brings out the issue of pre-marital relations. In ACOSS; the story of Agafya clearly brings out these issues where Agafya although married involves herself in extra-marital affairs. Also in Chronicle Of A death foretold loose sexual morals are evidenced in the relations of the boy narrator, the twins, Angela Vicario and Santiago and his father. In literature society may be portrayed in different ways and ideas. Whether it is positive or negative the important point to consider is the authors' mechanism in communicating his or her various ideas. Many modern activists are using literature in order to overcome any societal problems or to express societal harm and exploitation. Thus I believe society is a very important aspect in literature. Nevertheless "Society goes on and on. It is the same with ideas."*3 Word Count:: 1243 *1 So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba. Heinemann African Writer Series. Pg 4 *2 A Collection of Short Stories by Anton Chekhov. Pg 15 *3 Ramsey MacDonald (1866-1937) British statesman and prime minister. Speech 1935. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 ...read more.

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