Sunstroke: Selected Stories of Ivan Bunin

Changing a Lifestyle in Bunin's Fiction 11th Grade

All people have quirks that make up who they are. Some quirks are habits that can be changed while others create a permanent lifestyle. “Tania” by Ivan Bunin is a love story in which the main character falls in love with a servant girl. However, he finds that he simply cannot change his wandering ways to stay with her, a fact which raises the idea that you cannot change a person’s lifestyle for love.

Petrusha had always “lived the life of a wanderer,” finding that this was simply how he liked to do things (247)[1]. However, an encounter with Tania, “a short girl” with “small breasts slightly upthrust,” proves to give him more than he ever bargained for as he falls in love with her (246, 247). This means that for the first time he finds a reason to stay in one place rather than continue traveling. However, when confronted with whether or not he should leave, he decided that “he passionately wanted to be back in Moscow” and struggles over “how . . . to tell her” he would be “leaving soon” (255). He desperately loves her, but at the same time he cannot bring Tania with him as “all [his] life [he’s] been going from place to place,” never staying in one location for too long (261). He believes that bringing her with him would slow...

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