43 pages 1 hour read

Anton Chekhov

The Duel

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 1891

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Chapters 9-14Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapters 9-14 Summary

In the immediate wake of the picnic, when Laevsky and Nadyezhda Fyodorovna are equally downcast, Laevsky finally informs Nadyezhda Fyodorovna of the death of her husband. She sinks further into grief and self-disgust, while Laevsky seeks solace at Samoylenko’s, despite the late hour of the night. Laevsky requests money for a ticket to Petersburg from Samoylenko, but Samoylenko has none to give. Samoylenko nevertheless seeks to borrow money from others on Laevsky’s behalf, feeling his protectiveness of Laevsky redouble with the memory of Von Koren’s hatred, which hovers like a threat over the defenseless Laevsky.

In his exchange with Samoylenko, Laevsky takes his turn commenting on Von Koren, calling his nature despotic and in fact correctly surmising that Von Koren has already told Samoylenko that he, Laevsky, ought to be destroyed. Laevsky astutely attributes Von Koren’s ire to his general drive toward the purification of mediocrity and the destruction of morals in favor of ideals, or what Von Koren himself would call the common good. Unlike Von Koren’s assessment of Laevsky, however, Laevsky sees the value in Von Koren’s type, even if he warns of its dangers.