Chekhov’s “Joy” Essay

Chekhov’s collection of short stories is characterized by similarity of themes, most often, the portrayal of Russian life in the early stage of industrialization. The most evident theme, one which Chekhov explores thoroughly through satire, is the huge gap between classes that existed at the time.

In “Joy,” Checkhov uses protagonist Mitya Kuldarov to represent a status quo problem. For Mitya, recognition from the local newspaper, despite being about his alcoholic antics, is a blessing in disguise.

Mitya shows no remorse or embarrassment. The state of economic classes in Russia at the time the story was set, availed people with little hopes of climbing the economic class ladder. Mitya is convinced that appearing on a local newspaper presented an opportunity to be known countrywide, to be named alongside the most distinguished and hence, higher chances of acquiring what everyone in the lower economic classes was chasing after, wealth. Mitya is unaware of the negative light that the paper presents him in. He is eager to show the newspaper article, which he carries with him in his pocket, to all the neighbors and friends. For him, this is an achievement that his entire community should learn about.

Chekhov explores two modern fallacies, the bewildering manner in which humans seek to experience joy and the rise of an overwhelming desire amongst modern generations to gain fame. Mitya’s case exclusively represents the scenario in today’s world. There is a growing fascination with online ratings, views, comments, likes and following, more so among the youths. Consequently, Extreme cases of people who are willing to go that extra mile are evident in every aspect of life, from sports, to entertainment, to politics, and so forth.

Work Cited
Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich. “Joy.” The Complete Early Stories of Anton Chekhov. Megapolis Publishing Company, 2001.