Syncretism and Personification in Anton Chekhov's The Steppe

in Canadian-American Slavic Studies
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Abstract

In his most famous early work, The Steppe, Anton Chekhov makes extensive use of diverse sensory phenomena including color, sounds, smell, taste and touch. In addition to syncretism, he uses the device of personification which serves to vivify the steppe, makes us feel closer to it, to understand it, to sympathize with it and to be in communion with it. Various other devices help draw up parallels between steppe and human existence and establish a symbiotic relationship between nature and man. The article examines how, using these devices, the author succeeded in achieving a common tone and conveying a sense of beauty and mystery of the steppe. The article shows that the accumulation of sense impressions of various kinds and their attribution to both the human figures and the surrounding environment alike creates a syncretic world in which everything is intertwined with everything else: man is in the world and the world in man.

Syncretism and Personification in Anton Chekhov's The Steppe

in Canadian-American Slavic Studies

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