In the play “The Seagull” Chekhov uses the characters to explore the most effective methodologies of creative writing. Using different abilities of characters, Chekhov can bring a natural feeling to the general understanding about writing and art. In this play, the actors are all seeking to establish their name as renowned persons in the world of writing. However, each of them has different approaches as well as differing motivation towards writing. Nina is inspired by the desire to fulfill her own belief that she is a talented writer and actor and thus has an obligation to utilize her potential.
In fact, she asserts that nothing can hinder her from realizing her dreams. She says, “I’d live in an attic and eat nothing but rye bread. I’d suffer dissatisfaction with myself in realizing my own fame” (ACT 1, verse 16). On the other hand, Treplev is inspired by nothing more than wiring about nature and anything that can contribute to the betterment of human life. At the same time, he is inspired by the need to show his mother that he has the potential tom become a good actor and writer. However, he is not ready to write about anything that he thinks requires specialty knowledge even if it possesses benefits to the human race.
Konstantin, who also serves as Treplev’s mother, is a cynic person who seeks to achieve anything by any means even if it means portraying a different personality. She seems careless about her personality. Arkadina, on the other hand, is an accomplished writer who has gained her prominence from her lover’s prowess in writing and associating with the high and mighty within the aristocratic rule setting. She is not only skeptical, but also demeaning and noisy in one of the episodes in ACT two she proudly responds “And then I keep myself as correct-looking as an Englishman. I am always well-groomed, as the saying is, and carefully dressed, with my hair neatly arranged. Do you think I should ever permit myself to leave the house half-dressed, with untidy hair? Certainly not! ” (ACT 2, verse 7). Her writing is inspired by what other people think is good to write. Trigorin is a cool and composed man who uses his prowess to gain favor from the rulers in society as well as gaining favors from women. His motivation is based on writing his mind out. He is the focus in his writings mostly focusing on women as his audience.
In “Chekhov's letter on Strong and Weak Art”, we find more intriguing argument that defines the different ways in which art can be delivered. Picking from one of his letters, Chekhov argues, “I always insist that it is not the artist’s business to solve problems that require a specialist’s knowledge” (Letters of Anton Chekhov, 88). This definition of art provides my basis for the argument as well as motivation. I tend to favor Treplev’s way of handling art and through Chekhov’s argument his letters, I find enough justification.
Treplev departs from the creation of melodramatic plays in which his mother is an established star actor. This departure is a bold move for the young Treplev as the success of the play is a key determination on the outlook he wants to create for himself. His play is inspired by the need to win the admiration of his mother by writing a good play that ventures from the ordinary depictions his mother Constantine is usually depicted in. This move by Treplev is an inspirational one for me as a writer. Despite a young writer’s formative and enduring influences, they seek to develop into their own individuals with a unique style of character creation, presentation and thematic compositions distinct from any other writer. I relate with this approach to a large extent since the essence of writing or producing a literary piece is to enlarge the body of human knowledge by triggering imagination. The exploration of out of the ordinary topics appeals in the sense that the writer can recreate old/ common themes in fresh ways, thus capturing the attention of the audience. This approach also helps in increasing the dimensions of view on the issue by depicting it differently.
The creation of an uncommon piece is a departure from one of the traits adopted by Chekhov. Chekhov creates character based plays. The advantage of this approach is that the art exclusively depends upon the character in the creation of meaning. This dependence on character use helps the play retain some sense of security in terms of audience reception by casting similar themes and character depictions that are proven to have worked in the past. In contrast, the plot-based combinational style of writing adopted by Treplev relies on the 'strength of the script' to deliver a strong and action laden play.
The focus of Treplev in his scripts is on the intrigues and clashes inherent in the plots, which in themselves are capable of sustaining the interest of the audience. The downside to this approach is that the writer is exposed to failure of his play in theatre due to audience disassociation. Replicating action sequences is impossible since the sequence loses its thrall once the audience has consumed it. Character based plays have the security of character relate ability that guarantees some level of positive feedback from the audience. In general, the departure from familiar themes is a bold but risky move for a budding writer, with the success or failure of the play playing a potentially decisive role in the direction their writing career veers. The use of a safer approach by Chekhov is advisable, while retaining elements of exploration in the script.
Checkov, A. " The Sea-Gull - Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)." Books & Literature Classics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.