Comparison of Love in the stories, "The Darling" by Anton Chekhov, and "Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Essay by gmikura March 2004

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The two stories "The Darling" by Anton Chekhov and "Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald both revolve around love. Olenka in "The Darling" and Dexter in "Winter Dreams", both make sense of the world around them through love. However in the case of Olenka, love is a means of having opinions for herself, which she derives from those whom she loves, while for Dexter, love helps him to be attuned to life and view the world as something in which he would glory and directs all his dreams on his lover, Judy Jones.

In the story "The Darling", the author portrays love in a way that cannot be viewed as love based on romance or money. Olenka did not love her husbands due to reasons such as physical attraction or impressive personalities. This is clear since her first husband, Kukin is described as "a small thin man, with a yellow face, and curls combed forward on his forehead" (Anton Chekhov 280), and he is certainly not the kind of man any woman would fall for naturally.

Yet Olenka agreed to marry him due to other reasons.

Olenka, in fact, was driven to her husbands because she had empathy for them for their sufferings. She sympathized with Kukin, for example, for his financial troubles and agreed to marry him and help him by devoting herself to her husband's work and life. She was dutiful to the people whom she loved and she never bothered love in return. This can be interpreted from her relationship with the young boy Sashenka. Sashenka was unwilling to accept her love which is evident when he made offending remarks such as "Oh, do leave me alone!" and "You'd better go home, auntie", when Olenka was actually trying to help him and...