Nina as Chekhov's Seagull Book Review

Nina as Chekhov's Seagull
An examination of Nina Zarechnaya as "the seagull" in Anton Chekhov's play "The Seagull".
# 118577 | 3,201 words | 0 sources | 2010 | US
Published on Feb 08, 2010 in Literature (Russian) , English (Analysis)

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The paper contends that of all the characters in "The Seagull", Nina is probably the one that best represents the figure of a seagull. The paper looks at how Nina represents the seagull as the image of a pure, artistic muse who is used by a man to guide his artistic works--first by Konstantin, and then by Trigorin. This paper traces the way that she is seen by Konstantin and Trigorin and what the seagull therefore means, and traces her evolution from a subservient animal into an independent woman.

From the Paper:

"When Nina makes her first entrance, she is appears to be predominantly Konstantin's creature. Shaking off the sanctions of her family, she escapes to the lake like a spy on a mission, that mission being to perform in his play (in fact, to be his play; we're given no indication that there are any other principal actors in it.) Medvedenko says it best when he remarks, perhaps not without irony, that "they're in love, and today their souls will merge in an attempt to present a joint artistic creation" (Act I, p. 137). Though it's unclear exactly what Konstantin's artistic ambitions are, it can't be denied that he has them; his almost hysterical reaction when his play doesn't go well testifies to his deep emotional investment in it. And Nina is the central figure, the muse and puppet who will defy any cage to let him speak through her. "

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