Poet - Ray Young Bear
-Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
"About Love" is a famous Russian story written by famous story writer, Anton Chekhov. In the story, Chekhov presents the differences between two love stories and tries to prove that "Love" like that is not bound by conjugal relations. He views that love is true and spiritual. Happiness, unhappiness, mortality, sin, virtue, social status, class, prestige, etc. have nothing to do with love.
The love affair between Nikanor and Pelageya, as presented in the story, was not very mutual because of the fact that Nikanor usually drank and had a bad temper, who would, at times, even beat "the beautiful Pelageya". The source of this story was Alyohin and this fact holds a great significance. It is because this same anecdote inspires Alyohin to reminisce his unconditional and unexpressed love affair with Anna Alexeyevna whom he had met while living at Sofyino. The anecdote has also forced Alyohin to ponder over such matters as to what extent personal happiness counts in love or if it is a good thing to needle the beautiful fabric of love with such questions that would embellish the love with dissatisfaction and irritation.
In the course of conversation, Alyohin discloses his love affair with Alexeyevna which is quite different from that of the two servants. The love affair between Nikanor and Pelageya was not unconditional in the sense that Pelageya wanted to live with Nikanor just so but his religious convictions did not let him do so. As a matter of fact, there was not any love between them but only repugnance. On the other hand, Alyohin truly loved Alexeyevna. Their love could not mature only because Alexeyevna was married. However, this did not bar them from loving each other. It has shown that love is not always a matter of achievement but sometimes even the loss of one or both sides makes the love truly beautiful and immortal.
Alyohin was a University Graduate and so, naturally, his education did not fit him for rough work. However, when he discovered hat the estate of Sofyino was heavily mortgaged and his father had gone into debt, Alyohin was compelled to work in the fields and in the farm. Despite being a qualified scholar, he could not do a job that suited his qualification. Thus, Alyohin was commented to have rushed around like a squirrel in a cage.
Alyohin was much desperate and compelled. He himself plowed and sowed and reaped and yet he was like a village cat driven by hunger to eat cucumbers in the kitchen garden. At night, because of pain in the body, he couldn't drag himself to bed at all. Alyohin, an educated man with a knowledge of languages, lived in the country, worked hard and yet always remained penniless.
The repetition of this judgement can also be viewed from the perspective of his love towards Anna Alexeyevna. Despite many attempts, Alyohin couldn't disclose his love to her and suppressed his feelings inside his heart. He became a squirrel in a cage who frantically tried to find a way out but all in vain.