Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews October 6, 2023
September 29, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
Olga is the protagonist of "The Darling." Despite being attractive, kind- hearted, and eager to help other people, she is the embodiment of female disempowerment. Because she cannot make up her mind on any issue, Olga adopts her partner's beliefs and thus subordinates her will to the male intellect. Undeniably, the protagonist gains a measure of happiness with her two husbands—the theater-owner Kukin and the timber-merchant Pustovalov—but only because she tailors her outlook on life to accord with their own. The protagonist's nickname is both deeply ironic and pathetic: she is everyone's "darling" and is indulged like a favored pet. Chekhov thus crafts our ambivalent response to his protagonist, who appears both annoying and pitiful. We find that Olga does not evolve within the tale, she only becomes lonelier and more desperate for male affection. Because she cannot turn to her old lover Smirnin for emotional fulfillment, the protagonist focuses all her attention on his little son Sasha. She parrots the schoolboy's opinions and embarrasses her new charge by walking him to school. Readers see that, for all her swiftness at winning other people's affection, Olga will never earn their respect. She remains imprisoned by her own laziness and lack of intellectual autonomy.