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Written by Julia Wolf
This story shows that deception destroys the relationship between people. Tchertokoutski’s desire to pull the wool over the general’s eyes leads him up a blind alley during the general’s dinner. Trying to hide his flub in the inability to distinguish the riding horse from the draught horse, Tchertokoutski piles up one lie on the other. The author brings the reader to the idea that the former cavalryman cannot allow such a mistake. The stories of Tchertokoutski about his service in the regiment, the cavalry mustache and the military frock coat are just his deception, including the incredible qualities of the carriage. His false fame and boasting make Tchertokoutski a deceitful person.
Tchertokoutski’s economic activities are characterized by a vague definition of “commercial turnovers”, for the sake of which he pawns all his peasants. The reader guesses that Tchertokoutski uses this money for his life and leads his “aristocratic” life. He marries a rather pretty lady with a dowry of two hundred serfs and some thousands of rubles. This money is at once employed in the purchase of six fine horses, some gilt bronze locks and a tame monkey. Tchertokoutski further engages a French cook. The reader sees that money gradually creates Tchertokoutski into a greedy person, who starts using his boasting as a weapon.
Irresponsibility and indifference
Another notable feature of Tchertokoutski is irresponsibility. Inviting the general to the lunch with the officers, Tchertokoutski does not hurry home to prepare a meeting. Instead, he plays cards and gets drunk. Calm reaction of the wife to her drunken husband suggests that such behavior of the character is his commonplace. What does Tchertokoutski do, when he suddenly finds guests on the doorstep? He again lies and hides. The image of Tchertokoutski’s “pretty” wife is depicted in the same satire. It seems that this woman is not interested in anything but her own appearance. These traits of character make the protagonist and his wife egoistical people.
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