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Dr. Astrov: Chekov's Notable Idealist

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Chekhov depicted a number of idealists – individuals whose behavior and thought is based on ideals that for the most part prove to be impractical or unattainable in reality. These noble visionaries have a conception of things as they wish them to be. Many of Chekhov's idealists are doctors who, more often than not, suffer defeat on a personal rather than on a professional level. Dr. Astrov appears to suffer a defeat both on a personal level and in some respects on a professional level. The present study aims to provide an analysis of the nature of Dr. Astrov's idealism, his struggle with existential obstacles, and his personal and professional struggle against the complex forces that challenge his idealism and eventually turn him into a cynic.

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