Chekhov Shorts: The Husband

Title: The Husband
Date Read: 25th May 2010
Briefly: A cavalry regiment arrive to stay overnight in a sleepy town and the townsfolk are all excited; not least the women who are a little intoxicated by the presence of so many men. So what does a husband do when his wife gets all flirty and frivolous with a cavalry officer at an hastily arranged evening dance? He marches up to her and demands that she return home with him of course. As you can imagine doing such a thing leads to a few issues, but a husband’s got to do what a husband’s got to do, right?
Afterthoughts: I actually forgot at first whose story I was reading. What with all of the talk of cavalry roaming around town, and women swooning after them, this could easily have come from the pen of Maupassant. It becomes clear that it doesn’t though – especially from some of the sobering descriptions of some of the townsfolk – and this one ends in typical Chekhovian, sombre style. Not a bad tale but I will admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the ending.
Notable Quote: It was not jealousy he was feeling. He was ill-humoured — first, because the room was taken up with dancing and there was nowhere he could play a game of cards; secondly, because he could not endure the sound of wind instruments; and, thirdly, because he fancied the officers treated the civilians somewhat too casually and disdainfully. But what above everything revolted him and moved him to indignation was the expression of happiness on his wife’s face.

Rating: ★★★½☆

*Story read as part of my Checkin’ Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).