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Uncle Vanya

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title · Uncle Vanya: Scenes from Country Life in Four Acts

author · Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

type of work · Drama

genre · Tragicomedy; Chekhov was known for his blending of tragic and comic genres

language · Russian

time and place written · Written in 1895–1897; Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the south of Russia

date of first publication · 1897; first produced in Moscow at the Moscow Art Theater, October twenty-six, 1899

publisher · Platonov

narrator · None

climax · Voynitsky fails to murder Serebryakov.

protagonists · Voynitsky, Astrov, Sonya

setting (time) · turn-of-the-century Russia

setting (place) · Serebryakov's country estate

point of view · Point of view is not located as there is no narrator figure

falling action · Chekhov does not make use of the classical Aristotelian plot line, in which rising and falling action comprise an immediately recognizable climax, catastrophe, and denouement

tense · The play unfolds in the time of the present

tone · Tragi-comedic

themes · The wasted life; impossible love

motifs · Indirect action; estrangement; the pseudo-climax; the land

symbols · Uncle Vanya does not particularly make use of symbols.

foreshadowing · Again, because Chekhov makes use of such an unconventional plot structure, often driven by indirect action, there is little foreshadowing.