Anonymous Story cover

Anonymous Story

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

1. Chapter 01
2. Chapter 02
3. Chapter 03
4. Chapter 04
5. Chapter 05
6. Chapter 06
7. Chapter 07
8. Chapter 08
9. Chapter 09
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18

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Genres

Summary

In "An Anonymous Story," Chekhov continues to explore his favorite themes of superfluous men, ironic rakes, exploited women, and the dangers of social conventions to human happiness. The Anonymous Narrator is a feckless, would-be revolutionary who gets himself hired on as a flunkey in the household of the young useless aristocrat Orlov, hoping to spy out some useful information for the Cause. Orlov seduces the beautiful Zinaida Fyodorovna away from her husband but quickly tires of her. The Narrator, another in the long line of Russian literary superfluous men, allows Orlov to use him to deceive Zinaida Fyodorovna, hating himself for it all the while. In the end he does his weak best to rescue the spurned mistress and her newborn child from their sufferings. Chekhov's subtle sympathy for the women victimized by conventional marriage is demonstrated in his narration of Zinaida Fyodorovna's tragic unraveling, ending in a masterful final chapter of heartbreaking ambiguity.