Identifiy three examples of indirect characterization used to portray Sasha in "A Problem" by Anton Chekhov.

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have assumed this question is refering to the short story, "A Problem." I have edited your question to indicate this. Let us just remind ourselves that indirect characterisation is when we are given some clues about a character and their traits but we are told this information indirectly, through things they do or say or what others say about them. Note Sasha's response as he hears his family debate his future so vigorously:

Sasha Uskov sat at the door and listened. He felt neither terror, shame, nor depression, but only weariness and inward emptiness.

Note the way that this quote identifies Sasha's feelings of detachment and his apathy. He doesn't care about his future and has no emotional involvement in what is going to happen to him.

Note what he says in response to what he hears:

"If Siberia, then let it be Siberia, damn it all!"

Again, his lack of investment in what happens to him and where he might be sent reinforces his general sense of pessimism and how superemely indifferent he is abotu his future.

However, it is clear that he is not that detached, for he still cares enough about his name to desire to defend himself from false charges:

Sasha was indifferent, and was only disturbed by one circumstance; on the other side of the door they were calling him a scoundrel and a criminal. Every minute he was on the point of jumping up, bursting into the study and shouting in answer to the detestable metallic voice of the Colonel: "You are lying!"

This clearly does indicate that, as apathetic and detached as Sasha feels, his name and reputation is still important to him, as it provokes anger in him when he is slandered and a desire to defend himself.

reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We learn many character traits about Sasha Uskov through his speech and actions in the short story, "The Problem."

First of all, at the onset of the story, Sasha appears totally disconnected with the situation in which he has placed himself with the IOU he cannot pay as he sat "meekly in the hall" (1), and he gains the reader's sympathy. However as the story progresses, the reader discovers, "he was sick of life and found it insufferably hard" (1). When Sasha shares this emotion with the reader, we begin to question just how hard his life has been which is questionable. He has run up many debts that he cannot pay while enjoying his easygoing, partying lifestyle. At this point, his character seems to evolve into something else as Sasha ponders, "'Criminal' is a dreadful word—that is what murderers, thieves, robbers are; in fact, wicked and morally hopeless people. And Sasha was very far from being all that. . . ." (1) At this point, Sasha rationalizes that his mistakes are just what is Uncle Ivan believes, a problem of youth.

However, his character is finally revealed indirectly at the end of the story when he thinks, "Now I see that I am a criminal; yes, I am a criminal" (3). Sasha forces his Uncle Ivan to give him a hundred rubles, so he can go out and drink with his friends. No remorse is evident on his part for the forged IOU, and his true character is finally revealed. He is a selfish, shallow, deceptive youth . . . certainly on his way to being a criminal.

muckyduckling | Student

Sasha is indifferent about his future, yet he still cares about his name being charged with false charges.