The Suitor and Papa By Anton Chekhov
The story”The Suitor and Papa” authored by Russian writer Anton Chekhov describes the futility of marriage, relationship, and family in European society. It delineates a contemporary society in which marriage is given secondary importance rather than job and enjoyment.
Anton Chekhov uses wit and irony to add interest and humour to this story, which tells the tale of a charming lad who wishes to put off any real responsibility in life for as long as possible. Chekhov, whose greatest masterpieces are The Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanda, uses familiar themes and morals in The Suitor and Papa. This short story is not one of Anton Chekhov’s most famous works, but it still reflects his mental sophistication and exposes uncomfortable truths through expert storytelling.
Petrovich Milkin was a decent companion of Nastya. They hung out and the people thought they were lovers. Nastya’s father was not an exception for this misconception. People started to ask Milken about their marriage and the young fellow realized the danger he was in. Before he could flee from the country, Nastya’s father calked Milkin for a meeting to discuss the marriage.
Milkin attempted to avoid the looming fiasco of marriage by asserting he was a Kondrashkin’s a drunkard, he had fled with stolen money and that he was mad. But in spite of every allegation that he heaped upon him, Nastya’s father found the essential goodness in the young fellow. At last Milkin approached his friend and specialist to certify him mad.
On hearing Milkin looked for a medical certification to expel a marriage, the friendly doctor refused to confirm his friend insane because he believed that an insane person can’t escape from marriage!
Summary Points And Explanatory Notes
These critical notes and evaluation will help students understand the question/answer; reference to context; character analysis and also the content of the story. It will enable them to formulate their own comments and interpretations on the story and understand well its theme, plot setting, etc. These meaningful, value-based things enhance student creativity.
• Petrovich Milkin = A young Man
• Anastasia (Nastya) = Kondrashkin’s daughter
• Kondrashkin = Anastasia’s Father
• Dr. Fituyev = A Psychiatrist
• Petrovich Milkin hung out with Nastya, one of the Kondrashin’s daughters. Seeing this, most people thought that Milkin and Nastya were lovers and would marry.
• Milkin’s friends begun asking him about their marriage but Milkin was not interested in getting married.
• Well, he had been intimate with Nastya dined almost every evening, walked together there but Milkin had no designs of marrying Nastya.
•Seeing this, his friends and Nastya’s family would compel him to wed the young girl who loved him, Milkin chooses to leave the spot. In this way, he goes to Nastya’s home and meets her father Kondrashkin. He tells him that he will be leaving the place the following day.
• Kondrashkin is annoyed and shocked. He calls it dishonest. He requests Milkin to propose to his daughter Nastya.
• At this point, Milkin presents a number of reasons to evade the matter.
• Milkin admits that he would find no better girl than Nastya if he had wished to get married, he says that the two had different convictions and views.
• Kondrashkin counters this contention by saying that all people have varying perspectives and feelings and that he could never meet any lady who had similar perspectives and feelings. He further says that after a couple of days of their marriage, the harsh edges would be scoured off and there will be no distinctions throughout their life. Milkin says that he was not a proper match for Nastya because he was a poor man.
• The crafty Kondrashkin laughs at this. He reminds Milkin that he was a salaried man.
• Milkin is unsuccessful again so he comes up with another lie that he is a drunkard!
• Kondrashkin says that he does not believe this. Milkin being a good young man, no, he could not believe he drinks.
• Now Milkin realizes that Kondrashkin was determined to get him married to Nastya. Instantly, he says that he took bribes!
• Kondrashin laughs at it, too. He reminds Milkin that everyone in the world took bribes. Milkin feels like being disarmed and defeated.
• Next, Milkin goes a little more dramatic and says that he could any time be arrested for embezzlement. He was on a trial.
• At this, Kondrashkin appears to have abandoned his pursuit. He asks Milkin how much amount he had embezzled a big amount of a 144, 000 ruble (it is ruble because the story is Russian).
• Kondrashkin goes silent for a while and predicts that Milkin will be sent to a Siberian prison if he is caught. He tells him that Nastya will follow him to Siberia as her love is pure. He, therefore, asks Milkin to propose to her.
• Milkin now comprehends that the two were playing a similar game-the man was forcing him to wed his little daughter at any expense! Milkin’s brain tinkles by and by and he says that he would be attempted not just for misappropriation, but also for fabrication.
• The intelligent Kondrashkin laughs at this because there will be the same punishment for the two crimes!
• Milkin now says that he is a runaway convict. Kondrashkin becomes silent for a moment and then asks Milkin why he had not been arrested yet.
Milkin says that he had been living in somebody’s else identity.
• Kondrashkin thinks about it. He is abruptly cheered. He asks Milkin to wed Nastya because in that way the police could never discover him until death.
Milkin makes another endeavor he says he is insane! Kondrashkin is no such senseless that he would trust it. He says that lunatics can’t contend so legitimately and reasonably as Milkin did. Milkin rises and goes out to get a doctor’s certificate to prove his madness.
• Milkin meets Dr. Fituyev, a Psychiatrist. The doctor doesn’t find anything wrong with Milkin.
• Milkin urges the doctor to certify him insane to avoid getting married.
• Dr. Fituyev says that he could not certify Milkin because anyone who doesn’t wish to get married is a wise man.
• The doctor asks him to come for a mental fitness certificate anytime he decides to get married.
• Milkin has no way out. He sits down, helpless.
Summary of The Suitor and Papa
The story is about a young man who enjoys the summer season in the countryside, spending his time visiting with a family and courting one of the family’s daughters. Over time, the young man’s charm has its effect, and the daughter is irrationally enthusiastic. Most of the locals, friends as well as the daughter’s father (and the daughter herself) believe that the young man Pyotr will speak about marriage. However, their belief turns out to be a distant dream, as the carefree playboy has no desire to give up his freedom over an innocent summer fling.
The story develops as Pyotr Petrovitch Milkin is attending a party with his male friends in the summer season. All his friends ask him about his marriage. His friends tell him about the dinners- and suppers with the Kondrashkin family and singing of songs with their girls. He gives flowers to Nastya and walks with her. All these activities point to the marriage of Milkin with a girl of the Kondrashkins. Milkin is shocked to learn this and rushes to Kondrashikan’s home to clear the doubts about his intentions. The father of Nastya wants to hook Milkin at any cost and confronts him about his tight-lipedness, asking him why he doesn’t ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Pyotr tries his best to run out of the situation, telling all manner of tales about himself that paint him as a drunkard, on trial for embezzlement, a runaway convict, a criminal and a lunatic. To his embarrassment Pyotr finds all his argument falling flat on Kondrashkin who avoids all the concerns as insignificant and wants the young man to marry Nastya.
A. Fithyev refuses to certify him as mad for he believed that anyone who did not want to get married could not be insane. He thinks that avoiding marriage is being wise.