Архетипический мотив хаоса в сюжетной структуре повести А.П. Чехова «Убийство»

Translated title of the contribution: Archetypal motif of chaos in the plot structure of A. P. Chekhov's story the murder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The article examines the representation of chaos motif, which is the most general one among archetypal motifs, in A. P. Chekhov's The Murder (1895). Chaos motif arranges the plot structure, being represented in its variants, such as misbelief and nature and space disorder. In The Murder, the central event is determined by mental disorders of characters. Each of them stands on their unique religious outlook. Matvei Terekhov teaches his cousin Yakov to accept the fundamental rules of Church, but he is not always true to his beliefs, too. The true reason of murder is hate towards each other, including Yakov's sister Aglaya - it is a hate crime, which represents total moral destruction. Matvei's death awakens new feelings in Yakov's perception. Now he understands what suffering is. As he looks at prisoners, he gains his faith. All he wants to ask is why it was so hard to reveal the truth. Besides chaotic existence problems, three other types of archetypical motifs are realized. These are the following: natural chaos, spatial chaos, and unsafe home. Nature stands between winter and spring, and it is time for spring to arrive. This causes disorder all around, and makes Matvei feel anxious and frustrated. Space semantics also explicate chaos, especially in the final scene, in which Yakov tries to extrapolate his actual Sakhalin experience on his previous life. The narrative is based on spatial concepts here. And, finally, the symbol of home loses its meaning of safety in the semantic structure of the story. It turns out to be somebody's else but not the family's. And it causes panic fears among its habitants. Fear is one of basic reflexes on chaos extension. We conclude that the archetypal motif of chaos connects the plot levels, such as the murder event, lack of faith in the main characters, nature, space, and disorder at home. Thus, it is proven to be the motif core of the story.

Translated title of the contributionArchetypal motif of chaos in the plot structure of A. P. Chekhov's story the murder
Original languageRussian
Article number13
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalVestnik Novosibirskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, Seriya: Istoriya, Filologiya
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019



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