Mihailo, the porter who opened the door to her, was excited and red as a crab. Loud voices were heard from upstairs. In the hall and in the corridor she met maid-servants. One of them was crying. Then Mashenka saw, running out of her room, the master of the house himself, Nikolay Sergeitch, a little man with a flabby face and a bald head, though he was not old.
|Published (Last):||2 September 2011|
|PDF File Size:||14.48 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||18.16 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Mihailo, the porter who opened the door to her, was excited and red as a crab. Loud voices were heard from upstairs. In the hall and in the corridor she met maid-servants. One of them was crying.
Then Mashenka saw, running out of her room, the master of the house himself, Nikolay Sergeitch, a little man with a flabby face and a bald head, though he was not old. He was red in the face and twitching all over. He passed the governess without noticing her, and throwing up his arms, exclaimed: "Oh, how horrible it is! How tactless! How stupid! How barbarous!
There was a search going on in her room. I upset it accidentally. My sleeve caught in it. Mashenka looked round her room with wondering eyes, and, unable to understand it, not knowing what to think, shrugged her shoulders, and turned cold with dismay. What had Fedosya Vassilyevna been looking for in her work-bag? If she really had, as she said, caught her sleeve in it and upset everything, why had Nikolay Sergeitch dashed out of her room so excited and red in the face?
Why was one drawer of the table pulled out a little way? The money-box, in which the governess put away ten kopeck pieces and old stamps, was open. They had opened it, but did not know how to shut it, though they had scratched the lock all over. The whatnot with her books on it, the things on the table, the bed -- all bore fresh traces of a search. Her linen-basket, too. The linen had been carefully folded, but it was not in the same order as Mashenka had left it when she went out.
So the search had been thorough, most thorough. But what was it for? What had happened? Mashenka remembered the excited porter, the general turmoil which was still going on, the weeping servant-girl; had it not all some connection with the search that had just been made in her room? Was not she mixed up in something dreadful? Mashenka turned pale, and feeling cold all over, sank on to her linen-basket. A maid-servant came into the room. They stripped us all naked and searched us.
God knows, miss, I never went near her toilet-table, let alone touching the brooch. I shall say the same at the police-station. The mistress has been rummaging in everything with her own hands. She even searched Mihailo, the porter, herself. Nikolay Sergeitch simply looks on and cackles like a hen. They found nothing here. What right had she to suspect me and to rummage in my things? Never in her life had she been subjected to such an outrage, never had she been so deeply insulted.
She, well-educated, refined, the daughter of a teacher, was suspected of theft; she had been searched like a street-walker! She could not imagine a greater insult. And to this feeling of resentment was added an oppressive dread of what would come next.
All sorts of absurd ideas came into her mind. If they could suspect her of theft, then they might arrest her, strip her naked, and search her, then lead her through the street with an escort of soldiers, cast her into a cold, dark cell with mice and woodlice, exactly like the dungeon in which Princess Tarakanov was imprisoned. Who would stand up for her? Her parents lived far away in the provinces; they had not the money to come to her.
In the capital she was as solitary as in a desert, without friends or kindred. They could do what they liked with her. They will believe that I could not be a thief!
She felt hot all over, and was ashamed at the thought that her little secret was known to the lady of the house; and all this terror, shame, resentment, brought on an attack of palpitation of the heart, which set up a throbbing in her temples, in her heart, and deep down in her stomach. There they had already begun dinner. At one end of the table sat Fedosya Vassilyevna with a stupid, solemn, serious face; at the other end Nikolay Sergeitch.
At the sides there were the visitors and the children. The dishes were handed by two footmen in swallowtails and white gloves. Every one knew that there was an upset in the house, that Madame Kushkin was in trouble, and every one was silent. Nothing was heard but the sound of munching and the rattle of spoons on the plates.
The lady of the house, herself, was the first to speak. I just ordered it. Let us forget the brooch! Health is worth more than two thousand roubles! I cannot put up with thieves in my house. A lump rose in her throat; she began crying and put her handkerchief to her lips. My head aches. How out of place it was! And I will find the brooch! Meanwhile Mashenka, reaching her room, flung herself on her bed. She felt now neither alarm nor shame, but she felt an intense longing to go and slap the cheeks of this hard, arrogant, dull-witted, prosperous woman.
Lying on her bed she breathed into her pillow and dreamed of how nice it would be to go and buy the most expensive brooch and fling it into the face of this bullying woman. Oh, if only she could come in for a big fortune, could buy a carriage, and could drive noisily past the windows so as to be envied by that woman! But all these were only dreams, in reality there was only one thing left to do -- to get away as quickly as possible, not to stay another hour in this place.
It was true it was terrible to lose her place, to go back to her parents, who had nothing; but what could she do? Mashenka could not bear the sight of the lady of the house nor of her little room; she felt stifled and wretched here.
She was so disgusted with Fedosya Vassilyevna, who was so obsessed by her illnesses and her supposed aristocratic rank, that everything in the world seemed to have become coarse and unattractive because this woman was living in it. Mashenka jumped up from the bed and began packing. His eyes looked dim and his red little nose was shiny. After dinner he used to drink beer, and the fact was perceptible in his walk, in his feeble, flabby hands.
Forgive me, Nikolay Sergeitch, but I cannot remain in your house. I feel deeply insulted by this search! Only you are wrong to go. Why should you? You will be none the worse for it. Nikolay Sergeitch pinched his moustache, as though wondering what he should say next, and went on in an ingratiating voice: "I understand, of course, but you must make allowances. I ask your pardon.
This exhausted, irresolute man was of absolutely no significance in the household. He stood in the pitiful position of a dependent and hanger-on, even with the servants, and his apology meant nothing either. You say nothing! In that case, I will apologise for my wife.
She behaved tactlessly, I admit it as a gentleman. You want my conscience to torment me. I entreat you. Nikolay Sergeitch stopped at the window and drummed on the pane with his finger-tips. Or do you want me to tell you what I would not tell as Confession? Do you? Are you satisfied? Yes, I. But, of course, I count on your discretion. Now, after this candid avowal on the part of Nikolay Sergeitch, she could not remain another minute, and could not understand how she could have gone on living in the house before.
I need money, and she. And she took it, took possession of everything. I beg you most earnestly, overlook it.
Though aesthetics is relative, those who did not like this story are missing out on its many commendable aspects. This particular story is probably one of the best works of Anton Chekhov in terms of characterization. Moreover, they would act and react in very realistic manner. And of course, the most intricate in characterization is on the protagonist of the story, Mashenka Pavletsky. Through her character, Chekhov had shown us basic human flaws like pride and ungratefulness. Mashenka Pavletsky is roughly described in the first paragraph of the story.
“An Upheaval” by Anton Chekhov: Character Analysis of Mashenka Essay