by Anton Chekhov
Uncle Vanya Dissatisfaction Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Line)
ASTROV: [...] Yes, and this life itself is boring, stupid, dirty… It drags one down. (1.25-26)
Wow, what a way to start the week. Doctor Astrov is not exactly the happiest guy on the planet, and his assessment of life (boring, stupid, dirty) might have something to do with his profession. At another point in the play he mentions a patient of his that died, and it seems that these professional disappointments really get to him and his possibilities for satisfaction.
VOYNITSKY: [...] You've got a retired professor, a dried-up old crust, a scholarly fish… Gout, rheumatism, migraine, a liver bloated from jealousy and envy… This old fish is living on the estate of his first wife, he has to live there because he can't afford to live in the city. He's always complaining about his misfortunes though in fact his luck is exceptional. (1.118-23)
Well, tell us how you really feel, Vanya! Our hero doesn't hold back in his assessment of Serebryakov, and the old, crusty fish's greatest crime seems to be not knowing how good he's got it. Everyone's working for him, when they could be working for the weekend, but he's too blind to see it and be happy about it.
VOYNITSKY: [...] At nights I don't sleep from vexation, from anger that I so foolishly lost the time when I could have had everything that my age now denies me! (1.225-27)
Vanya could check his pillow, buy a new mattress, and even move Astrov's work desk out of his bedroom, but we're pretty sure it wouldn't help. His insomnia is rooted in the deep dissatisfaction he feels when he reflects on his life. He feels that he's too old to make any changes, so the only thing he does is look back in regret.