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Word Count: 1,176
Anton Chekhovs short story of a father and his great despair for his dead son has many translations The most commonly used translation is Misery In one word the title accurately summarizes the mood the story carries and leaves its reader to contemplate the harshness of human nature Written in 1886 Misery portrays the overwhelming grief of Iona Potapov a Russian sleigh-driver and his futile attempts to share with strangers the despair in the loss of his son The story takes place almost a week after his sons death Disturbing and inconclusive Misery is not unlike a documentation of human suffering specifically in the loss of ones child Chekhov achieves a detailed portrayal of one mans grief his attempts to ease his heartache and his final comfort in sharing his story with his horse Stricken with an immobilizing grief Iona Potapov has isolated himself from reality and his present surroundings And with a morbidity vivid description the central character is introduced Iona Potapov the sleigh-driver is all white like a ghost He sits on the box without stirring bent as double as the living body can be bent If a regular snowdrift fell on him it seems as though even then he would not think it necessary to brush it off Ionas physical body too has been effected by the onset of his great despair He has taken on a white cadaverous appearance and is physically doubled over in a fetal-like position The falling snow blankets him and he consciously decides not to brush it off Wallowing in his despair he seems almost dead to the world Even in his unstable frame of mind he must perform his duty as a sleigh-driver He is woken from his trance-like state
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