Style and Technique

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

Unlike many other well-known Russian authors, such as Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevski, Chekhov is famed for an economy of words and a sparing use of detail. Almost every word is important and is used to convey a single impression of a person or situation. Chekhov portrays Olenka in three very different romantic situations with the identical result; the reader cannot fail to grasp the point. The fourth situation occurs when the time for romantic love has passed, yet the love for the boy, Sasha, produces the same result: complete adoption of the opinions of the person loved. In the limited space of the short story the various characters are well-defined, demonstrating the ability of the author to impart much information in a very small space.

The Darling Historical Context

Russian Literature in the Nineteenth Century
Chekhov’s innovations as a short story writer appeared on the Russian...

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The Darling Literary Style

Chekhov’s short story is in the style of realism, which predominated Russian literature throughout the...

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The Darling Compare and Contrast

1890s: Russia is under the reign of the czars Alexander III (1881–1894) and Nicholas II (1894– 1917). Russia is in the...

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The Darling Topics for Further Study

Critics have long debated Chekhov’s perspective on women, especially as portrayed in his short story ‘‘The Darling.’’ In your own...

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The Darling Media Adaptations

The Short Story Collection: Classic Short Stories includes Chekhov’s ‘‘Lady with a Toy Dog’’ and was recorded on...

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The Darling What Do I Read Next?

The Seagull (1896) is one of Anton Chekhov’s most celebrated plays. It concerns two actresses and two writers...

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The Darling Bibliography and Further Reading

Gilles, Daniel, in Chekhov: Observer without Illusion, Funk & Wagnalls, 1967, p. xv.


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