A Bad Business by Anton Chekhov  » Books  »
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  • I like ghost stories, but this one was lacking for my interests

    • by C.Channing

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      “A Bad Business” by Anton Chekhov is about a graveyard watcher who stumbles upon a mysterious, old man.

      First, the story begin when a graveyard watchman is working his shift when he hears someone in the dark. He calls outs for the person to come forth, and out appears an old man. The old man tells him that he is a pilgrim who has lost his way, and asks the graveyard watcher directions to a mill. The graveyard watcher gives him directions to get back on the main street and back to the mill. The old man complains about not being able to see

      in the dark, and convinces the graveyard watchman to escort him to the gate that leads out of the graveyard.

      Next, the pilgrim and the graveyard watchman are walking next to each other in silence, as the terrible weather rolls on. They stop for a minute so that the graveyard watchman could light up his cigarette, which is next to a child’s grave. The pilgrim begins talking about no matter how people live their lives, death is the main thing they have in common; at one point or another, death comes for everyone. As the conversation progresses, the graveyard watchman is starting to feel uncomfortable and rushes the old man to the gate, while trying to figure out how did the old man get into the graveyard in the first place because the gate was locked.

      Then, they finally reach the gate and as the graveyard watchman tried to leave, the pilgrim grabbed his arm and asked him how could he leave him out there by himself. During his attempt to remove his arm from the pilgrim’s grasp, the pilgrim tells him that he is the old guy who killed himself last week. Frightened by what he had just heard, the graveyard watchman tries to walk away,

      • A Bad Business by Anton Chekhov
      but the pilgrim tells him to be still. After a few minutes pass, the pilgrim releases the graveyard watchman’s arm and scurries over the gate and up the road. The graveyard watchman notices a light on in the church, and goes to check it out; he notices the window is broken and candles are lit, which is the result of thieves being in the church. There are also footprints leading to the altar, and the graveyard alarm starts to go off.

      Overall, “A Bad Business” was an okay story. I like ghost stories, but this one was lacking for my interests. I didn’t comprehend

      the relationship between the ghost and the graveyard watchman. The ghost called him a capital watchman, so I didn’t know if he was saying he was only doing his job because of the pay. Then the ghost said thieves are smarter than graveyard watchmen, which I put together at the end of the story when the reference to the candle was made. I wasn’t sure if the ghost was trying to tell him about the way the graveyard watchman was living his life. I may have to read it again to get a better literary understanding of the text, but it was okay.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 171501954750631/k2311a0115/1.15.10
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