In this post, I am going to give you a summary of “The Looking Glass by Anton Chekhov“.
One of the best things about this summary is that it will give you a clear idea of the story so this will help you to complete the exercises given in the textbook.
Unit 5: Life and Love (Language Development)
Summary of The Looking Glass
The Looking Glass is a story written by Russian writer Anton Chekhov. The main character of this story is Nellie who was a daughter of a landowner and in general, she was a young pretty girl whose mind was strongly occupied with getting married as she had a problem of dreaming a New Year Eve while staring at the looking glass, she felt asleep and saw a dream about her future after getting married. She dreamed about living with a handsome man in a beautiful house. Then in one winter night, her husband was sick suffering from a high fever so she went to doctor Stepan Lukitch to ask for help. Although the cook informed her that the doctor was asleep, she didn’t listen and rushed to the doctor’s room. The doctor said that he could not help her as he was sick. He has been treating or take care of people for 3 days so he felt very exhausted and he would come on the next day. He also suggested her going to the next doctor but she said her husband was seriously ill and impossible to reach another doctor. She implored him and tried hard to convince and finally, he was ready to go. The doctor’s health condition is not so good so she supported the doctor up to the road and went on a carriage. At 5 in the morning, they reached Nellie’s house where she found that the doctor was as sick as her husband. She thought of going to see another doctor and also remembered her house and her property were in the bank for a mortgage and could not pay the interest, she has six children who were sick, could not study well. Her husband was dying and there was the preparation for the funeral at last. The looking glass fell on the floor then she woke up and realized, it was just the dream.
Now, she has stopped dreaming and is facing the reality of life. Now, the realities don’t necessarily disturb Nellie despite having previously longed to be married. There is a sense that Nellie is contained with her situation and fully aware that what has occupied has been no more than the dream, whether Nellie persuades her dream is difficult to say such as her relief at the end of the story. She may very well marry in the future though it is also possible that she may focus on herself rather than her husband and family. In the end, she realizes that marrying is not necessarily needed and a husband to be happy.
Here in this story, the looking glass symbolizes Nellie’s essential qualities like her obsession with marriage. Her vanity and her tenuous connections with reality. She is also searching for happiness and trying to escape from the boredom and isolation of life in her father’s country state. Like the glass, Nellie is pale, tense, and motionless whereas the grey background gives the glimpse of dark, emptiness, and meaninglessness. She has a habit of escaping her dull life into her elaborate fantasy. In accents, she is seeking happiness through marriage. Before her dream’s ending, she began to question what life be, how can individually die, how a bank can repossess a home. But as the looking glass breaks at the end, she sees her reflection and comes into reality. Now, no longer she sees a reflection of all her hopes and aspirations. Nellie has stopped dreaming and is facing the realities of life.
You can check out the complete exercise solution for this lesson in the following post.
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