Rus Articles Journal

About what Vasilisa in the story of Chekhov “Student“ was silent?

Teaching literature within ten years, I never doubted what I do. But a year ago me, for a long time not the teacher, but the psychologist, ninth-graders to whom “set“ the composition, asked to explain them sense of the story of Chekhov “Student“. Took the text “to refresh“ the story in memory, mentally smiled to Ilf and Petrov (“if the person says that it should refresh in memory, so he never read it“) and … became engrossed in reading.

The most favourite and “the most trimmed story“ of Chekhov … Thousands of reviews note “a limit saturation symbolical details, symmetry and severity of composition, deeply philosophical judgment of the main issues of life, concentration within one text of many main motives of prose of Chekhov“. What here unclear?

And still … Teenagers felt something like that to that did not find an explanation at a lesson. And everything is clear to us in this story?

In psychology there is such concept - a blind spot. These are obvious objects and events which the person does not perceive due to various reasons - so the computer “does not see“ programs, incompatible with it. Detection of the of “a blind spot“ - a thing quite painful, but absolutely necessary for the person for personal and professional development. I am afraid that when studying the Russian literature at school this blindness became a norm.

We habitually call Chekhov “the master of details“, without thinking of their role obvious to his contemporaries. Only two - three details to which usually do not pay attention. When business - that was? On Friday the Holy Week of the Lent. Now about the Lent most of Orthodox Christians knows it only that before it - Maslenitsa, and after it - Easter. And at the time of Chekhov the Holy Week believers, irrespective of estates, tried to carry out to churches. The hero of the story - the son of the clerk and the student of spiritual academy, for which service these days - a sacred duty. If it is the nobility, then a strict question - the statement to Vasilisa “Probably, was on Twelve Gospel?“ can quite be mute surprising: “I - that was …“.

Twelve Gospel - special church service on which twelve fragments from the Gospel telling about the last meeting of Christ with pupils, the night which is alone spent by It in Garden of Gethsemane waiting for death, treachery by pupils, its crucifixion and death are read... Sufferings of the Lord are endured and become part of personal spiritual experience. In empathy to Christ sense of this service.

A here the student - the seminarist instead of service was on draft, that is on hunting which is forbidden Orthodox Christians for the period of a post, and to priests - in general.

In such context of philosophizing of the student get the sense opposite to that which in is mute authors of textbooks on literature and school compositions “find“. With enthusiasm retelling simple peasants history of Peter`s denial of Christ, savouring these scenes: “I imagine: silent - silent, dark - a dark garden, and in silence deaf sobbings … are hardly heard“, the hero draws a blasphemous parallel among themselves and Pyotr - as, at them there is a lot of general - Friday, a fire. Let`s add: and treachery which the apostle Pyotr will expiate the sufferings. And whether the student of spiritual academy Ivan Velikopolsky who so far does not even realize the recreancy here will expiate it?

The become despondent hero feels that “this suddenly come cold broke in all an order and a consent that to the nature it is terrible...“ Feels it and the reader, however without judgment of the reasons of this melancholy and a hopelessness the story becomes only a graceful sketch.

A. Chekhov is ironic, ruthless and thin. So that it is almost not perceived. However, it concerns nearly all works studied at literature lessons.