Homesickness is a feeling that every person can have when they are far away from home. It is a feeling of missing home. For me as a student who goes to university abroad, the homesick level always jumps out when I feel lonely. Chekhov’s “Gusev” tells about homesick man who feels anxious to return to home, but he finally dies like other sick patients on his way home. The short story “Gusev” shows its reader the feelings of homesickness with the help of literature and many people can relate to it.
In "Gusev," the author offers two drastically contradicted perspectives of life and of conceivable approaches to manage its hardships. He composed the story on his arrival voyage from a visit to the Russian punitive state on the Siberian island of Sakhalin, where he had experienced a progression of aggravating scenes of human debasement and mercilessness. Pavel Ivanych's rankled feedback of social foul play without a doubt reflects something of Chekhov's own consternation at the predominance of severity and insidiousness on the planet. Notwithstanding, Pavel Ivanych's challenges are strikingly inadequate. Gusev gives careful consideration to his words and does not see particularly of what he listens. As far as it matters for him, Pavel Ivanych does not make a decent attempt to locate the proper words with which to make an impact on such audience members as Gusev. One marvels whether he would be equipped for changing his antagonistic words into constructive deeds; he seems, by all accounts, to be content with his part as a deplorable individual—"dissent embodied." Such a state of mind fundamentally undermines his legitimacy as a representative for Chekhov.
In Gusev's character the author exhibits a potential contrasting option to Pavel Ivanych's position of chafed challenge: Gusev submissively acknowledges all that comes his direction and seems content with his lot.As the last scene of "Gusev" shows, Chekhov regularly uses typical depictions to pass on verifiable messages to his peruser. Nature depictions specifically assume an imperative part in forming the peruser's comprehension of the creator's plans. The immeasurability of the regular world and its detachment to the ordinary travails of human life are evoked by Chekhov's decision of the oceans as the setting for his story and his consideration of the scene in which the shark coolly tears open the canvas sack containing Gusev's body. Also, the repeating picture of an enormous bull's head without eyes that Gusev finds in his fantasies of home serves to underscore his own primitive and carnal character.
Memory of a hometown flashback is one strategy that Chekhov uses to draw that homesick man. He writes that: “He pictures an enormous pond of covered with snowon one side of the pond out of yard, the fifth from the end” (Chekhov 110). The pond is a symbol of his homesickness. When Gusev feels homesick, he starts to draw the picture of his hometown. With all the details and convincing minor aspects, Gusev is making himself believe that he has come back to the home while also convince the reader that he is trying to dream back to his home. By using those words, Gusev gives a reader more stereo frames of his hometown. He mentions the specific actions, such as: “Akulka has opened her coat and shows her legs: ‘look, good people, my boots aren’t like Vanka’s, they’re new” (Chekhov 113). The action and the language show how perky the little girl is, and also, it brings the picture of his friends alive. The more details Gusev gives about his hometown, the lonelier he is. He kept drawing the picture of his home by imagining deceiving himself and also relieving mainly himself. He misses his home and all his time he spent on thinking about his homeland.
When a man like Gusev is far away from home and always gets bored, maybe it is easier to be homesick. Gusev serves as an orderly: “he gets bored and begins thinking about his homeland” (Chekhov 110). Thinking of home is mainly the way of the man to reduce the homesickness that he is feeling. At the spare time, homesick may attack people unpredictably. Sometimes, when I finish my classes for a day and walk back to the dormitory alone, I get homesick and I really miss my life in China. Sometimes I feel that I am still in hometown, every day I finish the class and go home with expectations. When I arrive at my home, I could see light through the kitchen window and my mom probably stew delicious soup to treat her tired daughter. However now, when I go back to my dormitory, there is no light that shines just to wait for me.
An uncomfortable current situation makes people miss the homelike time, or home. When Gusev is in a terrible situation, he starts to think about his home: “My God, in such stifling heat what a delight is to think of snow and cold!” (Chekhov 116). The harder it gets, the more homesick one gets. Home is the most comfortable and safe place to hide, like when we are children, we always cry and run back home if we have suffered some grievance. Gusev has the need for the cooling snow to relieve his suffer of hot steam. His homesickness is more like the support for him to preserve alive.
The night gives wanderer more time to dream back home. “God has granted me to see them!’ he says in his sleep, but at once open his eyes and feels for water in the darkness” (Chekhov 110). Night covers the sunshine and always covers anything else except the homesickness for those wanderers. This represents emotions for people through histories worldwide. In China, there are thousands of poems about homesickness. A large number of eminence poems are talking about missing home when poets are travelling far away from their homes. One of the poets with distinguished reputation –Li Bai has a well-known poem that even child in primary school can memories it. It says “The head lifts gazing at the moon, and sinks back down with thoughts of home” (Wikipedia Web). This poem shows the homesickness for the wanderers when he is lying on the bed and feel lonely. There are a lot similar poems which are created with the night as background. Silent nighttime gives them inspiration and also feeling of homesick.
Gusev’s illness tortures him and because of the illness, he seems even more homesick. He worries and illness hold him to stay alive: “I haven’t written home’ sighs Gusev. I will die and they won’t know” (Chekhov 118). If Gusev died suddenly, his family will still wait for him but would never hear back from him. The sickness makes Gusev worried and sustains to bear more days. I used to like to get sick so I could skip class, however; I am afraid of sickness now. I can bear the uncomfortable from illness, but I cannot bear the sadness and loneliness when I get sick. When I lie down in bed with high fever, all I want is the warm congee my grandma made me. What is worse, sometimes lying in bed is too luxury because I still have class to take and homework to finish. Pains only aggravate the homesickness of me while I will not tell my parents about it because I do not want them to worry about me. The illnesses force me to dream home for its warmness, and it really makes me recurrence at that time.
When the disease is incurable, Gusev admits he is frightened of death: “but isn’t frightening to die?’’ It is. I’m sorry about our farm..Without me it’ll all be lost” (Chekov 119). Even facing the death, Gusev is worried about his parents, his family. Gusev worries about his elder parents may beg and the whole family needs his support. His has all his mind in family, any little question can lead his homesickness springs. He keeps worrying and missing his homeland. Homesick is not only missing the life in homeland but also caring about household. Just like every time his flashback memories of them: his little daughter, his brother, his parents and all those within touch. He misses all these while he cares about their life also. He is afraid of death, but more cares the effect of his death. His worries and care hold him to go back to home.
In the end of the story, even he tries his best, he still lose to the sickness and died on the way back to his homeland. He is buried in the ocean like other sick patients. Chekhov finally does not let Gusev meet his family but let him died peacefully in the ocean. Gusev, the poor homesick man died in eager of going back to home and been sewn up in canvas to slides off into the deep sea. He does not achieve his hometown and this may be his biggest dream and regret. Just like some soldiers are dying to come home after wars but they finally died at the battlefield. Homeland is the dream place for them. Homesickness convinces Gusev to live longer.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
Follows is my professor’s first draft editing