What is the Chekhov story "Joy" about?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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“Joy” is the story of a young man who got drunk, slipped and fell under a horse, and got his name in the paper for it.

The story is plainly satirical and actually pretty humorous.  The young man runs home and wakes his family up, thrilled to share his good news.  He brandishes a paper and talks about what a neat thing newspapers are.

"It's because I am so delighted, Mamma! Do you know, now all Russia knows of me! All Russia! …”

It turns out he is delighted just to have his name in the paper, even though the story reveals him to be a bumbling idiot.  His parents placate him, thus satirizing them as well.  They will praise anything he does, including getting his name in the paper for being an idiot.