Olga Plemyannikov has no autonomy; she imitates her husbands; what they love, she loves, what they believe, she believes.
After each of her two husbands die, Olga has no personality, no opinions; she is "nobody." She cannot live happily without "some attachment." Therefore, each time her husbands die, she must find someone else to love, someone else whom she can mirror.
Even as she ages, Olenka desires
a love that would absorb her whole being, her whole soul and reason -- that would give her ideas and an object in life, and would warm her old blood.
So, she attaches herself to the son of her friend and at times lover, the veterinary surgeon, Smirnin. But, little Sasha would beg her to leave him alone. Because she smothers him so with her affection and attentions, in his sleep Sasha cries out in his sleep, "I'll give it to you, get away! Shut up!" These words are a enigmatic, indeed. However, Sasha must feel that Olenka seeks part of his soul in her demanding attachment to his essence. He tells her "Shut up" in order to stop her from repeating his own words; he wishes to live his own life without Olenka's smothering love.