crab-frogAnton Chekhov wrote hundreds of short, humorous stories like this one to put himself through medical school. Interestingly, this is said to be the first story that he wrote after becoming a doctor. A young boy, who is so weak from hunger that he can barely stand up, sees a sign in a restaurant advertising oysters. He knows that oysters are some kind of seafood, but not what they look like. In his hunger-affected mind the boy imagines himself eating creatures half-way between a crab and a frog. He then pictures himself eating up everything around him, until he is suddenly brought back to earth when two rich “gentlemen” introduce him to real oysters.

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Misery (The Lament)

miseryGood stories don’t just tell us how a character feels using adjectives like “happy”, “sad”, or “excited”. They help readers to feel the emotions for themselves by describing an event in which the character experiences them. Many of Anton Chekhov‘s stories deal with grief and suffering, but the story of Iona Potapov is about more than misery. Another translation of the title is “The “. It tries to answer the question: What could be worse than living in misery? Chekhov’s answer: To feel so lonely and cut off from the world that you have no one to talk to about it”.

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lament(v: lament, laments, lamented, lamenting) To feel or express great sadness, disappointment, or unhappiness about something.
(n: lament pl laments) 1. A show or expression of sorrow, etc. 2. A song or poem that expresses sorrow for someone who has died or something that is gone. 7000

The Bet

the betThis story by Anton Chekhov is about a strange bet between a wealthy banker and young lawyer. It all started with a discussion about . The banker claimed that the death penalty was kinder than life in prison; the lawyer disagreed. To prove his point, the banker bet the lawyer two million s that he could not survive being locked up for fifteen years with no contact with the outside world other than through books. At the end of the fifteen years the banker was much wiser but also much poorer… but not because he lost the bet.

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capital punishment(n: capital punishment, noncount) Punishment by death; the practice of killing people as punishment for serious crimes.

(n: ruble pl rubles; British rouble) The basic unit of money of Russia. One ruble is made up of 100 kopecks.