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The Return of Chorb

The Return of Chorb

by Vladimir Nabokov

Love Theme

Love transcends death in "The Return of Chorb." The story’s main character has lost his wife in a freak accident, but his feelings for her are unwavering and dictate his (rather bizarre) actions. In this tale, love is pure and can be understood only by the couple in question. It is chaste – they didn’t have sex on their wedding night – and almost holy in its motives.

Questions About Love

  1. How can we understand Chorb’s love for his wife? What does "pure" and "chaste" love really mean, anyway?
  2. From the brief descriptions we have, what do we know about Chorb’s wife? Why are we provided with such little information? Is it enough?
  3. Once the "ordeal is over," how does Chorb feel about his wife? Has he successfully re-created her image, or not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Once his wife dies, Chorb is unable to love her.

Chorb only truly loves his wife after her death; he prefers the "image" of her to the woman who really existed.

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