43 pages 1 hour read

Anton Chekhov

The Duel

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 1891

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Chapters 5-8

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapters 5-8 Summary

Nadyezhda Fyodorovna goes to bathe in the sea, where she meets another Russian gentry woman, Marya Konstantinovna, and her daughter, Katya. Marya Konstantinovna is polite but wary of Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, whom she sees as a fallen but pitiable woman. Marya Konstantinovna lets slip to Nadyezhda Fyodorovna that there is a picnic planned that evening, only later remembering that Von Koren had asked her not to invite Nadyezhda Fyodorovna and Laevsky.

For Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, image is indistinguishable from value in the eyes of men, whose favors she now seeks outside her cooled relations with Laevsky. But like Laevsky, other feelings compete in Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, and she regrets not giving Laevsky what he seemed to have wanted in the Caucasus—an exoticized life of hard work. Laevsky himself has taken no actions toward this goal, but Nadyezhda Fyodorovna’s sense that she is to blame for his debts suggests her growing sense of self-doubt. Experiencing the same disappointments and murmurs of conscience as Laevsky, Nadyezhda Fyodorovna seeks solace in the attentions of a police captain, Kirilin, and in fantasies of Petersburg.

Nadyezhda Fyodorovna and Laevsky join the evening picnic with Marya Konstantinovna’s family, Kirilin, a shopkeeper’s son, Atchmianov, Von Koren, Pobyedov, and

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