The Darling Literary Elements

The Darling Literary Elements


Social-psychological story (narrative)

Setting and Context

Late 19th century, Ukraine (Yalta)

Narrator and Point of View

It is a third-person narration.

Tone and Mood

The narrative runs in calm, tranquil in some way, atmosphere. Even deaths of Olenka’s first and second husbands do not produce disturbance, but are rather stated as something common.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Olenka, often referred to as Darling, is a protagonist. There is no obvious antagonist, but rather the struggle between two concepts: loneliness and belonging to somebody, a wish to belong and obey.

Major Conflict

Most of the conflict in the story can be read in Olenka’s wandering in her life: from one man to another, from one point of view to another, from one thought to another.


There is no culmination in the story, as it is taken like a photo from life; neither backgrounds nor conclusions are provided. His feature is very peculiar of Chekhov’s stories.


Olenka’s inability to have her own judgements and opinions predicts her solitude.


What is not said directly is that the main heroine is stupid, the auther neither blames nor justifies her, the events are simply recalled and no insight of hers is revealed.




The author uses imagery to appeal to the reader’s senses. When Darling is informed about the death of her husband, it falls on her like thunder, accompanied with the “Boom! Boom!” sounds.
Also the description of Olenka’s house “darkened, rusty roof, shed sag” provokes an image of a complete neglect.


The main heroine is displayed as a warm-hearted, kind and very sincere, but still men saw in her only an object of physical desire.


The author often uses this method, he literary draws parallels between Olenka and her house, or with her men.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



From time to time we meet personifications in the text: “buildings grew”, “time runs” etc. The author uses them to add a kind of literary perfection to the images of the story.

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