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“The Man in a Case” is among the most exceptional and also popular short stories by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. It starts when a teacher Burking and also veterinarian Ivan Ivanych are settling dvery own for a night in a shed of Prokofy, whose wife became an “obsessive solitary” (Loehlin 95). They began to discuss other anti-social people, and also this is exactly how Burkin started the narration around Byelikov, a teacher of Greek and also the main character of the story. It is possible to say that with the photo of Byelikov, a lifeless and constrained individual, Chekhov warns readers that any type of perchild can unwittingly imprison him/herself in a “case” or a “shell” by fixating on an uncomposed set of rules and limitations.

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Dependence on conventions might turn into disease and also prevent one’s rapprochement through others. Based on this, it is valid to presume that loneliness and also flexibility are 2 significant themes in “The Man in a Case.” However before, the implicit criticism of excess conservativeness is one more significant motif in the story. The example of Byelikov demonstrates that strict adherence to conservative standards does not allow any type of spontaneity and also adjust in individual resides and also the community in general. In this means, it might be said that as soon as human being condemn others and try to make everyone live according to their conservative principles, it avoids the expression of individuality and interferes via the natural advancement of culture.

Belikov: Character Description

The picture of Byelikov was emerged by the author as an opplace to life and freedom: he represented rigidity of rules and bureaucracy, which have actually nothing natural in them. Rehman et al. specify the character as “a psychologically shrunk and socially enfolded person” (4). He was totally detached from various other people. It is also feasible to say that he deliberately sought solitude and separation, and fenced off from others by different means:

“He wore dark glasses, a sweater, stuffed his ears with cotton wool, and also when he sat in a cab, he wanted the peak up. In a word, the man verified a constant and also insuperable yearning to encshed himself inside a shell, to wrap himself up you can say in a means that would isolate him, protect him from external impacts.” (Chekhov 13-14)

While a peculiar manner of dressing represents only one, extrinsic side of the worry, blind compliance via rules, as well as the fear of everything that even a little bit deviated from a standard and created an insubstantial disturbance to a quiet life in the shell, developed a sort of an interior constraint. These inner obstacles were the point that cut the character’s link to fact and also, at the same time, defended him from it. As Burkin, the narrator in the story, listed, “fact irritated him, frightened him, maintained him in a state of constant alarm” (Chekhov 14). It seems those are afraid and also irritation interpreted into the quest of irreversible order and obligation to keep it in Belikov.

Analysis of Byelikov’s Interactions via Neighbors

The character’s behavioral attributes and also introverted attitude mainly affected the way he interacted through his colleagues, students, and other neighbors. Not only did he try not to break the rules himself, yet he likewise felt incredibly uncomfortable when others deviated from norms. Therefore, he observed various other town occupants and always let them know if they or others did something “wrong.” For instance, Burking claims that Byelikov “had a stselection halittle bit of coming right into our apartments. He’d arrive at a teacher’s place and sit in silence as if he was spying out something” (Chekhov 16). Thus, the character’s colleagues felt “oppressed…via his prudence, his mistrustfulness, and his tidy all-encompassing judgments” (Chekhov 15). Probably out of fear or perhaps bereason they had nothing to oppose Byelikov, they did not object to him as well much.

They embraced and also surrendered to his complaints, preferring to make transforms in accordance with his conservative views. Therefore, also though Byelikov likewise was a teacher favor the majority of human being whom he saw and observed, the halittle bit of consistent surveillance and also the tvery own residents’ reactions to Byelikov, indicate that, on a particular level, he was viewed as an authoritative number because of his moral values and also ideals. At the very same time, as Rehguy et al. state, although Byelikov had actually “an excellent sense of his ethical responsibility,” his neighbors felt “a kind of tediousness in his firm and also had actually a kind of trepidation from his honest ideology” (4). He did not let anybody live freely and made them change to his own views and also made them afraid of every little thing. This is the reason why everyone felt a sort of relief once Byelikov eventually died.

Personal Instances and Experiences

It is possible to say that in the real human being tbelow are a plethora of human being as reclusive as Byelikov, as well as those who view the propaganda of their personal ethical philosophies as an essential duty. In addition, when creating the character, Chekhov himself can be inspired by real-life examples: eccentric educators in the institution he attfinished and also the author’s father who “may have tyrannized over his children” (Loehlin 4).

I would certainly not say that in my life, tright here is such a grotesque figure surveilling every action others take favor Chekhov’s character. However, most likely like many human being, I had actually to rethink and change my behaviors once hearing someone’s disproviding opinions time after time. It seems many kind of human being have actually something of Byelikov in them bereason everybody sticks to their own beliefs of what is best and wrong. The only distinction is that some individuals are even more functional in accepting unstandard and inexplicable points, while others are not.

Like in all times, now one may be condemned by anybody for the smallest points beginning from the manner of dressing, dietary habits and also ending with the option of romantic relationships, profession, confession, all at once way of life, and so on. Although such condemnation might come from individuals, it can be regarded as a form of societal pressure in basic bereason it has actually the purpose of making one conform to specific rules and expectations welcomed within the area.

I can say with certainty that I was influenced by human being comparable to Byelikov mostly when I was younger. They mainly were the authoritative persons such as teachers and other adults. In modern-day culture, it is practically a norm for adults to oppress children, that are the majority of of the time full of power and unusual ideas, that are eager to take risks and discover new things. Throughout my upbringing and early social integration, such behaviors were generally not apverified. Like the man in a situation, parents and also teachers tended to forbid most innocent things we favored to do as kids because they were afrassist that something negative could come out of it.

Although it may seem reasonable to regulate kids as they do not have actually sufficient life experiences, it seems that many of the fears and also constraints I have actually now, and negative opinions I might periodically impose on others, originate from childhood and the time when my actions and views began to be shaped in accordance through certain standards. However, nowadays, being mindful of the prestige of individuality and also having actually respect for varied perspectives on life, I attempt to never loss under the influence of Byelikov-like human being. Today, I generally regard open up condemcountry based on personal preferences and subjective views, also if they are regular through the concepts of the dominant ideology, as a authorize of indelicacy and also negative manners. In my opinion, tright here is no duty to accept it and comply with it.

Significance of Personal Freedom

Overall, the troubles of surveillance, societal pressures, compliance with norms, and excess conservatism raise the worry of individual flexibility, which is eloquently described and criticized by Chekhov in “The Man in a Case.” As declared by Simmons, the motifs of “aspiration for flexibility, liberty from all the stuffy conventions of life, from the regimentation of authority, the imbecility of functionaries, from whatever that tyrannizes and also debates the humale spirit” are traced in many type of of Chekhov’s stories (425).

Considering this statement and also the findings of the character analysis, it is possible to suggest that the abundance of conventions and stereoforms can make a actual personality fade and also disshow up. It suggests that the fear of new and unpredictable things have the right to destroy individuality and also make a person pitiable and helpless, unable to expush also the easiest emovements. At the exact same time, the aspiration for flexibility around which Simmons talks is presented in Chekhov’s shorts story via the image of Kovalenko, a brand-new location teacher, and also Byelikov’s antagonist, and also his sister. These personalities did not accept the life in the “instance.”

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They are stood for in the story as signs of liberty of thought, freedom of expression, and love for life. People like Kovalenko and also his sister pose a far-ranging danger to any kind of develop of conservatism and conformity. The fact that they came to be the cause of Byelikov’s death only verifies this presumption. According to Rehguy et al., “when Byelikov dies and also he is in his coffin his looks are calm and also complacent which is the incredibly proof of his love for his Shell” (4). It suggests that fatality was the just way for the character to satisfy his ultimate goal of detaching from life, its unpredictability, and diversity totally.


“The Man in a Case” renders a reader think if he or she encloses him/herself in a similar emotional shell as Belikov. It additionally renders a perchild reflect on the means his or her individual beliefs and views influence the manner of interaction via others, and the overall effects on their resides. Chekhov demonstrated that physical and also mental constraints, prejudices, and stereokinds cannot make a perboy or anybody roughly him or her happy bereason a emotional “case” is always associated with stagcountry and the absence of newness. It is feasible to say that the story has actually effects for both people and also society all at once. The writer shows that each perchild deserve to be an agent of social conventions and standards. At the same time, people can become agents of social readjust as well by rejecting all possible constraints and having the courage to expush their true individual characteristics.

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. About Love: Three Stories by Anton Chekhov. Biblioasis, 2012.

Loehlin, James N. The Cambridge Summary to Chekhov. Cambridge College Press, 2010.

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Rehguy, Hafiz Javed, et al. “It is exceptionally fine point no doubt, but….let’s hope no evil will certainly come out of it, Psychoanalytical Criticism of Anton Chekhov’s Quick Story A Man Who Lived In the Shell: Procrastinate Belikov.” Research Journal of Language, Literature and Humanities, vol. 2, no. 5, 2015, pp. 1-5.