Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Quote I Can Relate To

I saw Chekhov's Uncle Vanya tonight. I was particularly taken with this speech by Astrov:

The educated people are hard to get along with. One gets tired of them. All our good friends are petty and shallow and see no farther than their own noses; in one word, they are dull. Those that have brains are hysterical, devoured with a mania for self-analysis. They whine, they hate, they pick faults everywhere with unhealthy sharpness. ..If they don't know what else to label me with, they say I am strange.


Anonymous said...

I love it!

I have only a few friends myself, and the ones I have are picked very carefully. I'm not prone to calling just any person "my friend" simply because I'm acquainted with them. If I had to have a ton of people around me all the time, I'd probably say the same thing sooner or later.

Seeing this makes me wonder what this character Astrov is like. (Guess that means I should see or read the play.) I graduated from a big-name university, one of the reasons I'd like to think of myself as educated, but the way I act in real life, especially behind closed doors, I seem more like, to use Astrov's word, a peasant.

I, too, find it difficult to relate to both types, but for me, it's more likely a comment about me, not them. There are plenty of good, decent people amongst the peasants and the educated, and I'd be a better person if I could relate to both sorts.

It's clear in this monologue that Astrov is, at least momentarily, frustrated with people, including his friends. And he states very clearly what he hates about his friends. (Again, I need to see the play to know the context and where this might lead later. These are only my own thoughts springing from just this quote.)

I wonder what he likes about them, if anything. This may mean that he needs to find a new set of friends. But maybe he is able to see past their supposed dullness, pettiness and shallowness to know what is good about them and why they have a place in his life.

In your good friends, you have to see the good and bad sides if you really want to know them. Sometimes you will get frustrated like Astrov, but if the good outweighs the bad, those friends are worth keeping, because they don't come around every day.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean.

My friends and family get support from me when they decide to explore or take a path less traveled.

Should I decide to try something different? "Lunatic", "wind-bag" or "strange."

Fortunately, my husband can usually see my logic!

The internet can be helpful because it opens up a larger circle of like minds.


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