© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya


by Anton Chekhov

Uncle Vanya Theme of Love

What's love got to do with it? Well, a whole lot of nothing, it turns out, in Uncle Vanya. The characters are pretty much all pining over each other, but no one manages to connect. You've really got the makings for a soap opera, with Sonya crushing on Astrov, who's into Sonya's stepmother, who's also fighting off her husband's first wife's brother! Oh, the humanity. Unrequited love is where it's at in this play. And it really is a way of showing how no one in the society portrayed in Uncle Vanya is getting what they want, romantically or otherwise.

Questions About Love

  1. What are the different kinds of love that are represented in the play?
  2. How do the characters in Uncle Vanya use love as an indirect way to show their lack of love for others?
  3. What is the difference between love and lust in the play?
  4. Are there any two characters that actually seem to love each other? Or are all the loves unrequited?

Chew on This

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

In Uncle Vanya, "love" is actually a way for the men in the play to position themselves in society, using the women as their stepping stones.

Astrov's love for Marina is the only true love in the play.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...