Classics English Literature

Posted: November 27th, 2013





Classics English Literature

Plot Summary of Gooseberries

The story begins with the introduction of two aged individuals namely, Ivan and Burkin. Ivan works as a veterinary officer while Burkin is a tutor. Ivan needs to share a certain story with Burkin and therefore the two decide to take a walk only to be chased from the same by a rainstorm. With Aliokhin’s residence nearby, the two flee towards it for protection and meet the owner by a storage area and he asks Ivan and Burkin to join him for a shower, to which they agree. Pelageia, a maiden in the residence, offers bathing materials and exits (Chekhov, 2011). Aliokhin is extremely dirty as noted by the fun-off water and he attributes this to lack of several baths. Ivan abandons the other men and in frenzy bathes in some water outside the house while screaming for God’s mercies. After bathing, Pelageia offers the men tea and Ivan recounts his childhood as shared with Nikolai, his brother, after their father’s demise.

Apparently, Nikolai and Ivan adapted to a carefree life owing to their auctioned family property in their early life. Nikolai worked as a government personnel and due to a high dissatisfaction, he opted to wed an affluent widow for the monetary gain. Ivan’s brother has an aspiration of becoming a gooseberry plantation owner, and after the demise of his wife, he acquired funds to achieve this. However, Nikolai is unsatisfied in most aspects and Ivan vows to overcome such an attitude. Sadly, Ivan never achieves this and with his age, he believes that it is unachievable. Therefore, he pleads with Aliokhin to address the issue. Aliokhin and Burkin hold that the account is disinteresting. With night having set in, the three individuals turn in. Burkin is unable to sleep owing to Ivan’s tobacco smell and is only attentive to the rainstorm (Chekhov, 2011).

Reading Response

Narratives that are set subsequent to the Second World War are largely termed as contemporary literature. Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children evidences various elements of such literature. First, the author employs the allusion aspect widely within the story, for instance, the being that is likened to an angel and the humongous lady-spider act as allusion elements. Secondly, the narrative uses metaphors especially with regard to the angel and this evidences a contemporary element. Thirdly, contemporary publications overcome the issue of traditional and belief practices as noted by the shunning of moral practices of patience as well as the ignorance accorded to the priest’s directives and analysis (Marquez, 2011). Fourth, the themes evidenced in Marquez’s writing utilize unrealistic elements in addressing communal and individual illnesses like greed and discourtesy as directed to the angel.

Fifth, contemporary writings always infuse elements of desolation, despair, and cynicism as mostly noted after the war period attributable to losses noted in various households. Pelayo and his wife Elisenda are poor individuals owing to the given setting due to societal and economic issues that have been largely negatively influenced; the community also evidences a parallel lifestyle. Cynicism is noted in that most community members lack hope and are disillusioned by the happenings such that they only look forward to ‘miraculous’ happenings probably as a response to their problems; hence, the attraction to the angel and the spider. Pelayo and Elisenda actually attain their ‘miracle’ into affluence by collecting the angel’s viewing funds (Marquez, 2011).

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. Gooseberries. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. < >.

Marquez, Gabriel. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <>.


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