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Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya

by Anton Chekhov

Uncle Vanya Analysis

Literary Devices in Uncle Vanya

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

An Empire on the VergeAt the time of Uncle Vanya, Russia was still ruled by tsars (basically, Russian kings; "tsar" comes from the word Caesar and means "emperor"), even if their power was being ch...

Genre

All right, the first genre on our list, drama, is pretty easy to check off. It's a play, meant to be staged in a theater. No narrative points of view, just what people say and do. Get it? Got it? G...

Tone

Even though in a play tone isn't as obvious as it might be in a short story or novel, we can still kind of see, by the way the whole thing is structured, what the author's attitude is toward the sa...

Writing Style

Uncle Vanya is a Realist play, so it's no surprise that the writing tries to be true-to-life, capturing the way that real people talk. The way the characters speak also reveals their socioeconomic...

What's Up With the Title?

The play could have been called Ivan Petrovich Voynitsky, or Jean, or even just Vanya. But Chekhov decided to call it Uncle Vanya and we doubt that it's just a coincidence. Vanya, the nickname, tak...

What's Up With the Ending?

The curtain falls on a quiet, domestic scene. Telegin plays the guitar, Mariya makes notes in one of her political pamphlets, Marina knits, and Sonya comforts her sad uncle Vanya. Vanya was just on...

Tough-o-Meter

Uncle Vanya's plot is fairly straightforward, but there are a lot of elements of life in the 19th-century Russian countryside that might be unfamiliar to you, like the samovar for drinking tea, or...

Plot Analysis

Thrown Off ScheduleThe country house is in an unusual state. Everything ran like clockwork before, but now that Serebryakov and wife #2 have arrived, everything's out of whack. This wrench in the w...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

We're going to call Vanya our hero, since he's the title character and his actions are what make the play really move. At the beginning of the play he's unfulfilled and dissatisfied. He's set his s...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Well, the play begins with the country folk griping about the city folk, and continues up until all of the lovers have expressed their feelings in one way or another, which would be right at the en...

Trivia

Uncle Vanya was produced in New York City in 2012, starring Cate Blanchett as Yelena. You know what Uncle Vanya is missing? Zombies. At least the University of Hawaii's theater program thinks so.In...

Steaminess Rating

As one Russian woman on TV famously said, "There is no sex in the Soviet Union."Yeah, yeah: Uncle Vanya is pre-Soviet. But there's no sex here, either. What there is is some smooching and unwanted...

Allusions

Ivan Ivanovich Dimitriyev, 18th- and 19th-century Russian poet (1.115-17)Don Juan (1.141)Nikolay Aleksandrovich Ostrovsky, The Girl with No Dowry, 19th-century Russian play (1.265)Konstantin Nikola...

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