Notes | Major English
Summary of “Enemies”
Unit: Encounters | Anton Checkov
For: Humanities / Education Class 12
“Enemies” is a story written by Anton Checkov. The story suggests that grief and misery do not bring people together to share, but force them apart. Pain is egoistic.
Kirilov is a district doctor. His six-year old son has just died of diphtheria. He stands watching his unconscious wife near the dead body. The doorbell rings and a wealthy stranger Aboguin enters begging the Doctor to come to treat his wife who is in great pain. Kirilov says that he cannot possibly leave his wife at this time. Abogin requests to treat his wife in the name of humanity. Kirilov forgets his social responsibility as a doctor and is observed in his own pain and grief. In the other hand, Aboguin thinks that his grief is worse than the doctor’s. However, after much request Kirilov unwillingly goes with Aboguin in his carriage. But when they arrive at Aboguin?s house, his wife is not at home. She pretended to be ill in order to run away with her lover. Aboguin is sad and begins to complain to Kirilov. Kirilov is angry and he does not like to hear the grief of Aboguin. He thinks that Abguin played a joke with him. They scream at one another and the doctor returns home cursing the rich people like Aboguin and forming a deep-rooted enmity towards them.
In unhappiness, both became selfish, wicked, unjust and unable to understand each other. Pain and anxiety made them egoistic and selfish. However, we sympathize with Dr. Kirilov because his loss is greater that Aboguin’s.