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Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya

by Anton Chekhov

Guilt/Blame Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

YELENA ANDREYEVNA: When you speak of your age your tone is as if we were all to blame for your being old.

SEREBRYAKOV: You are the first to find me repulsive. (2.27-29)

Serebryakov is acting like a big baby. He's old, sick, and uncomfortable, and doing everything he can to let everyone know. If he can make them feel miserable while he's at it, even better. Of course, that's no way to live, and it just makes everyone wish they could avoid him. But ye gods, his wife had better not actually confirm any of the nasty (but true) things he says about himself. Sounds like the old geezer is just fishing for compliments—but compliments he totally doesn't deserve.

Quote #2

YELENA ANDREYEVNA: How long are you going to be offended with me? We've done no harm to one another. Why be enemies? Let's stop it… (2.394-96)

Yelena is speaking to Sonya here, and her plea, to become friends, is quite a big deal when you think about how fraught relationships with stepmothers can be. She feels that Sonya is "offended" with her, but that feeling of guilt or blame seems to be unfounded because they haven't done any "harm" to each other. Maybe just marrying Sonya's father makes Yelena feel a little guilty toward the girl. And let's face it: she also probably feels guilty that she's so much hotter than Sonya. It's kind of nice of her to feel that way, though it doesn't really change anything.

Quote #3

YELENA ANDREYEVNA: Probably some matter of business.

VOYNITSKY: He has none. He writes rubbish, grumbles and is jealous, that's all. (3.8-10)

Yelena and Vanya want to figure out why Serebryakov, everyone's favorite hater, has called a family meeting. And of course, Vanya doesn't lose the opportunity to throw some hate on his rival. His accusations, that Serebryakov has no business, that he's bad at his work, unpleasant, and also jealous, shows that he blames Serebryakov for his own failures in business and love.

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