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The Return of Chorb

The Return of Chorb

by Vladimir Nabokov

Suffering Theme

"The Return of Chorb" deals with the grief felt over a lost loved one. Rather than ignore or escape the pain, the story’s main character forces himself to re-live every moment of the past, as painful as that may be. There may be a lesson here in the importance of mourning: we can’t simply move on, but rather have to undergo the pain of suffering before we can put certain ghosts to rest.

Questions About Suffering

  1. What is the nature of Chorb’s reaction to his wife’s death? Is it grief? Guilt? Anger?
  2. Is the reader made aware of the Kellers' suffering? Why or why not?
  3. What is the effect of our not knowing Chorb’s wife’s name? Or the prostitute’s name? Or the lackey’s name?

Chew on This

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

Chorb’s actions are designed to intentionally cause himself suffering.

Chorb’s actions are designed to intentionally avoid suffering through the grief of his wife’s death.

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