In the Dark- Anton Chekhov



‘In the Dark’ is a darkly humorous short story by Anton Chekhov about a couple awoken during the night by a sneezing fit. This absurdist scene quickly becomes terrifying as the wife attempts to convince her husband that a haunting figure has entered the house. Chekhov uses humour to cut the tension that rises both between the couple and for the reader.
This dialogue-driven character study displays the blend of wit and morbidity that the author and playwright would later become celebrated for. The diverging thoughts of the couple are used to examine themes of marriage and feminism as the glib husband continually dismisses his wife’s fears as her overstimulated imagination. Subtle class commentary is also present as the wealthy couple and their valuable possessions are vulnerable to the possible terrors of the night. This unnerving and thrilling story by the master of short fiction is perfect to read in the dark.

A prolific writer of seven plays, a novel and hundreds of short stories, Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is considered one of the best practitioners of the short story genre in literature. True to life and painfully morbid with his miserable and realistic depictions of Russian everyday life, Chekhov’s characters drift between humour, melancholy, artistic ambition, and death. Some of his best-known works include the plays 'Uncle Vanya', 'The Seagull', and 'The Cherry Orchard', where Chekhov dramatizes and portrays social and existential problems. His short stories unearth the mysterious beneath the ordinary situations, the failure and horror present in everyday life.
Constance Garnett
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Saga Egmont
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