The Wife by Anton Chekhov

The premise is fairly straightforward. The narrator is trying to get back into his wife’s graces by offering to help with her charity project, but reconciliation isn’t so simple because the wife has no desire to change their cold war detente state of affairs.

I’m still not sure what to think of this story. The narrator even though dull and self-important and egoistical, clearly loves his wife. And the wife herself … her childish, teary ways grates on me, so I wasn’t so enthusiastic about the narrator’s hope for marital bliss. But the narrator is trying to ameliorate issues, and the wife for whatever reason isn’t accommodating. By story’s end, the narrator concedes to a huge sacrifice, and even then the wife doesn’t budge.

What to say? Perhaps a lesson on the impossibility of communication between the sexes? Or the impossibility of marital bliss? Or that there are some kinds of rift that can never get fixed? Well, who knows …

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