Study Guide

Uncle Vanya Act 2

By Anton Chekhov

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Act 2

  • In the evening, in the dining room, Serebryakov and Yelena sit dozing. He complains about his pain, and she tries to comfort him.
  • Serebryakov picks a fight with Yelena for being young while he is old and disgusting. Because that's a great thing to fight about.
  • Sonya comes in and scolds her father for sending for the doctor and then refusing to see him.
  • Vanya comes in and offers to stay up with Serebryakov so that Yelena and Sonya can go to sleep.
  • In the end, it's Marina who takes care of Serebryakov (are we surprised?), and she and Sonya take him off to bed.
  • Vanya, who is drunk, lingers with Yelena and tells her that he loves her. She leaves, and he laments the fact that he could have fallen in love with her ten years before, but didn't.
  • Astrov shows up, also drunk, along with Telegin, and Astrov tries to start a party.
  • Astrov teases Vanya for his feelings for Yelena, and makes Telegin play his guitar, even though everyone else is trying to sleep.
  • Sonya comes in and asks everyone to stop drinking so much. Someone forgot to tell her she's in a Russian play.
  • Sonya and Astrov have a midnight snack together, and he takes the opportunity to criticize everyone in her family and complain about his life.
  • Sonya makes Astrov promise not to drink anymore so that he won't destroy himself.
  • Sonya hints that she loves Astrov, but he doesn't take the bait. He says he doesn't love anyone.
  • Astrov leaves, and Yelena comes in. She and Sonya, who haven't gotten along well up until this point, decide to make friends and drink some wine together. At least it's not vodka.
  • Sonya starts opening up and reveals that she is in love with Astrov.
  • Yelena reveals that she is very unhappy in her life and marriage.
  • Sonya and Yelena want to play the piano, so Sonya goes to ask her father if he minds. Yelena is happy to play, but Sonya comes back with the answer: no.

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