Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

MARINA: Perhaps you'd like a little vodka?

ASTROV: No. I don't drink vodka every day. And it's so close today… (1.8-9)

Marina is a caring figure, so when she offers Astrov vodka it's like a grandma offering her grandchildren their favorite dessert. And his answer proves to be a lie, because he drinks in every act of the play. We're a little puzzled by the last line, "and it's so close today"… maybe he's so close to reaching his goal of going without vodka for a whole day?

Quote #2

ASTROV: [...] [To the workman] Be a good chap and bring me a glass of vodka. (1.262-63)

And there he goes. Astrov has just been asked to come assist someone medically, and his first order of business is to order up a glass of vodka. Maybe it's to warm him up, but it's summertime. Maybe he'll use it to sterilize his hands, but we've got a feeling it's more of a numbing agent, if you catch our drift.

Quote #3

SEREBRYAKOV: It's stuffy… Sonya, give me the drops on the table!

SONYA: Here. [Gives him the drops.]

SEREBRYAKOV: [crossly] No, not these! One can't ask for anything! (2.82-85)

Serebryakov's grouchiness isn't usually directed at his daughter but here, in the night, his pain is getting the best of him. The medicine that should help him isn't coming as quick as he likes, and it's probably his discomfort that makes him snap at her. Either way, he is acting like someone who is dependent on the drugs.

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