The Black Monk

Symbolism of Colors in Chekhov's "The Black Monk" 12th Grade

Written in 1893, Anton Chekhov's short story "The Black Monk" is one of the most potent and revealing works of the writer. It reflects the profound philosophy of the author, as well as the feelings of worry and anxiety which, according to the memoirs of him contemporaries, pursued Anton Chekhov at that time.

The author himself described his work as follows: "This is a medical story, historical morbi" (Carter). Indeed, Chekhov draws attention to what kind of disease his hero Kovrin is suffering; this disease is megalomania, a disease many Russian people of the nineteenth century had suffered from. Apparently, the main theme of the story is to show how a person's life could be broken by this sizzling passion and all the artistic means used are strengthening the understanding of the topic. Chekhov is one of the greatest masters of the written word, and of sensory details in Russian literature. But in this work he showed himself as a great master of painting, for color, for every mention of color in this story is loaded with meaning.

The action of the narrative is connected with a garden, which itself should speak of the variety of colors. At the beginning of the story we really read: “such a wealth of flowers, in fact, Kovrin had...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 934 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7504 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in