Anton Chekhov's 'Home' and 'A Visit to Friends': The Dichotomy between the Personal and the Professional, or the Lawyer Subjectified and Objectified
James D. Redwood
Albany Law School
August 18, 2008
Stetson Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 47, 2009
Albany Law School Research Paper 10-12
The busy life of the practicing attorney is proverbial and leaves but little room and time for the demands of home. Further, it is equally well known that the lawyer's training emphasizes the objective over the subjective, the rational and logical over the emotional and personal. This article analyzes two short stories by the renowned Russian author Anton Chekhov, both of which give the reader a practicing lawyer attempting to reconcile the demands of the office with those of the home. In one story the attorney harmonizes the two by becoming more personal and "subjectified," while in the other work the lawyer tacks to the contrary wind and becomes more and more objectified and detached as the story progresses. Chekhov probes the minds and characters of his protagonists in skillful fashion, and the article demonstrates how, without choosing between them, he nevertheless illuminates an important problem of the legal profession in a way that holds valuable lessons for its purveyors. Chekhov remains a literary gem largely neglected by the law and literature movement, and the article attempts to remedy this oversight by bringing two of his most compelling essays in the short story form to the light of day.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Chekhov, Law and Literature, Legal Profession, Arts and Literature
Date posted: August 18, 2008 ; Last revised: July 23, 2010
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