Alyohin – narrator/speaker of the story
Talking with his guests Burkin and Ivan Ivanych about Russina perspective of love.
Initiates the story of two servents Nikanor, the cook and the beautiful girl Palageya. Its like a mismatch of love. The girl Palageya was so beautiful whereas Nikanor was clumsy, fat and very bad looking.
Alyohin present the violent love affair between two servants where the cook Nikanor was high temper. She didn’t want to marry him but live with him. When he was in drunk; he used to swear and beat her and she would hide in down stair and sob.
Alyohin analyses the love between the servants. Why did not she fall in love with somebody more like herself inwardly and outwardly? Personal happiness does not count in love and it uncertain and vague as well as mysterious. Love is not the absolute solution of happiness and several questions regarding love are unanswered.
The speaker continues to state more about love on Russian perspective. “Russians who are cultivated have a weakness for these questions that remained unanswered. Love is usually poeticized, embellished with roses, nightingales; but we Russians embellish our love with these fatal questions, and choose the least interesting of them, at that.”
He recalled that he was fallen in love with a girl when he was a student in Moscow but she did not perform the act of love. “When we are in love, we never stop asking ourselves whether it is honorable or dishonorable, sensible or stupid, what this love will lead to, and so on”
When Alyohin was telling a story about love to his guest; the atmosphere was not good. There was grey sky and drenched (wet) tree and he was telling a story being so lonely.
He continued that he returned to his home at Safyino; after graduated from the University and started farming to pay off the debt of his father for his education. While staying in village; he was a bookish fellow who read The Messenger of Europe.
He was elected as honorary justice of peace and went to town for circuit court and met several educated people; lawyers including Luganovich; the assistant president of circuit court.
Luganovich invited the Alyohin for dinner where he had an opportunity to meet with Anna Alexeyevna; wife of Luganovich. Alyohin was fascinated by the beauty of Anna even after she gave birth to child in the age of 22.
Both husband and wife were so fond of him. He regularly visited their home for dinner. Alyohin was quite positive to save innocent people from the arson (firing in house) case in the court.
Alyohin was restless because of the natural; and elegant beauty of Anna; so he couldn’t stop without meeting her and soon returned to town from his home Safyino. He was in love with her despite the fact that she was married.
He received the parcel from Anna and remained so much excited. He thought that the Luganovichs understood his loneliness. So they became his friends. They also asked him if he required money; they would happy to help him.
He said that he was always thinking of Anna why she married the dull and simple hearted man of over forty and had children for him. Alyohin said the beauty of Anna didn’t match with her husband Luganovich.
He said that he had loved her tenderly, deeply, but he had reflected and kept asking himself what their love could lead to if they did not have the strength to fight against it.
Alyohin said that if she said her feeling to him and her husband; the result would be terrible.
As time rolled on; Anna had two children and the grown up children hung on his neck saying Uncle Pavel Konstantinovich.
He recalled that they had gone to theatre together and watched opera sitting side by side.
Anna tried to run away from her husband and children and stayed at her mother or sister. It was the dissatisfaction towards her own life and means of approach to Alyohin.
They did not utter their love to each other and remained silent.
Later Luganovich received an appointment in Western Province and they had to sell their villa and everything to go there. Several people were there to bid good bye to Anna Alexeyevna.
Alyohin rushed to station to bid good bye and to give her the forgotten basket.
Finally they met; and embraced with burning pain in their hearts. Alyohin finally confess his love to her. Before they parted forever; he kissed her and pressed her hands. The train was moiving and he was wandering here and there in the station and crying.
At last; according to Alyohin; he went to Sofyino missing her much. Burking and Ivan Ivanych were expressed pity over him whose condition was like the squirrel in the cage.
“About Love” is a famous Russian story written by a famous story-writer, Anton Chekhov. In the story, Chekhov presents the difference between two love stories and tries to prove that “Love” like that is not bound by conjugal relations. He views that love is true and spiritual. Happiness, unhappiness, morality, sin, virtue, social status, class, prestige etc. have nothing to do with love. Alyohin is the narrator in this story. He had been living as a poor farmer at Sofyino since he graduated from the university. The story begins when the narrator and his two guests-Bufkin and Ivan were hav,ing breakfast in a country house. Alyohin told about the violent love affair between his two servants Nikanor and Pelageya. According to the narrator, pelageya didn’t want to marry Nikanor but she was ready to live with him just so. On the other hand, Nikanor couldn’t stay with her before marriage for religious reasons. Alyohin says that love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation. To justify his statement, he began his own story.
Alyohin had to work hard at Sofyino to payoff his debt·as his father had spent a lot of money on his education by mortgaging the land. Though he was a landowner, Alyohin had to work hard in the farm with his servants. Many years before, he had been elected honorary magistrate and sometimes he had to go to the town to participate in the court session. Unexpectedly, one of his friends, Luganovich invited him for dinner. There, he was very much attracted by t.he young and beautiful Ana Alexeyevna, the wife of Luganovich. In the later days, he frequently visited her and they spent much time together falking for hours and going to the theatre. Though they couldn’t miss the company (mtr) of each other, they didn’t express their desires, love and feedings. They hid feelings fearing that it would ruin both of their lives.
At last, as a result of unexpressed feelings, Anna had got mental sickness and she had to go to Cremea for treatment. Many people gathered at the railway station to say goodbye to Anna. When the train started to move, Alyohin ran toAnna with her basket which she had forgotten. Their emotional eyes met together and their spiritual strength couldn’t stop them falling in each other’s arms. They kissed each other and expressed their deep love. However, they parted forever and Alyohin returned to his farm land (village) being sad and he would never meet her again in his life. The true love of Alyohin is the means of living. The moment of her memory often relieved Alyohin in his life.