Semiotic analysis of Anton Chekhov's stories “Moroz (frost)” and “Bez zaglavia (a story without a title)”: a macrostructural figure of irony

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2015, Vol. 1. №2(2)

Semiotic analysis of Anton Chekhov's stories “Moroz (frost)” and “Bez zaglavia (a story without a title)”: a macrostructural figure of irony

About the author:

Pierre Marillaud, Dr. of Linguistics, Associate Researcher, University Toulouse-Jean Jaurès (France); Inspector of the Honorary Academy;


In this article the author chooses to analyze the story “Moroz (Frost)” by Anton Chekhov in the French translation of Edward Pareyra, which was once redesigned by Lily Denis Note and Claude Frio. In this story, the author finds the traces of bovarysme, which is manifested both in the development of the storyline, and in an ironic presentation of characters. In addition, this property manifests itself in social differentiation of characters. Frost, the phenomenon of physical properties, in the course of the story takes on the character of social catalyst and reincarnation or a symbol of death. In the story the ladies of high society who enjoy a holiday in a warm hall are contrasted to musicians, playing in the cold, to gendarmes in thin coats, to firefighters, and to messengers. Thus, social differentiation and symbols, ironic compatibility isotopy arouses the conceptual opposition life/death. The author concludes that such a representation to some extent is due to the facts of the biography of Anton Chekhov (his medical education, traveling across Siberia to Sakhalin, his sympathy for the common man). This, in turn, unites A. P. Chehov with another humanist, the great French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885). We often read that the Golden Age of Russian literature is represented by such great writers as A. S. Pushkin, L. N. Tolstoy, F. M. Dostoevsky, while A. P. Chekhov belongs to the Silver Age. This comparison, which goes back to Hesiod, implies that the works of great authors, whose works constitute the Golden Age, live longer than the works of authors of the Silver Age. With regard to A. P. Chekhov, one cannot agree with this premise. He is on a par with the great Russian writers, whose works are included in the treasury of the world literature.


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