The Darling - Olenka

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Olenka, the protagonist in the short story "The Darling"� by Anton Chekhov, is a static character. Throughout the story, she goes from one person to another giving what she believes to be her love, but actually, is her companionship. Olenka is a traditional woman who follows her mates because she does not know how to be independent and takes her love to a point where she is controlling.

Olenka is a conventional type of woman. She is a homemaker whom stays at home to cook and clean while her mate goes out to work or school. When guests arrived "she [always] poured out tea or served the supper"� (Pg. 291). Also, Olenka is very religious. After each of her husbands passed away or left her, she always came "home from mass . . . in deep mourning"� (288), which is a sign that when she is alone, she looks to God for comfort.

Olenka is like a mother without the children. She cares for her mates when they are sick, she worries about them when they are away and she loves them dearly but in a motherly way.

Some people are leaders but Olenka is a follower. Whatever her loved ones say and do, she mimics them. When Kukin, her first husband, exclaimed, "all [the public] wants is a clown!"� (285), she repeated the same line, with the same emotion, to her friends. All her husbands have very strong opinions on most subjects. If they were against something such as prices for timber, Olenka would follow their lead and take the same emotion into the subject. Following people makes Olenka "have no opinions of any sort"� (292), thus she becomes a tragic character.

Olenka is a person that does not realize when her love becomes a bad...