I learned about Anton Chekhov while looking for more Russian authors after reading Dostoesky and Tolstoy . I came upon a collection containing 30 of his short stories. I had never read such a startling, brilliant writer . I was immediately curious about his life .

Chekhov was born in the 1800s in Russia to parents who came from a serf background. Serfs were servants who were under a form of slavery in Russia. They were in bondage mostly because of debt. Anton’s father owned a shop and eventually ran it into bankruptcy.

He was also very abusive towards his wife and children. After becoming insolvent , Anton’s father escaped to Moscow were his older sons were. This means Anton was left alone in rural Russia to finish school and take care of himself . It is during this time of isolation and self sufficiency that his observational skills grew .

Upon finishing highschool, Anton took off to Moscow too. He had been reborn after indulging in good literature. He determined to fix his family’s life by taking the lead . The family was still embroiled in poverty, abuse and drunkenness. Anton was able to convince his older brother to stop being abusive to his wife- reminding them of their terror in childhood when their father did the same .

He wrote extensively to support his family and qualified as a physician . He turned things around and his family became healthy .

He served poor people as a doctor , travelled to Sakhalin to document the poor conditions of prisoners and lived a life worth being remembered . Tragically, he died at age 44 due to “consumption”, what we now call Tuberculosis.

Chekhov’s life inspires in me a person who is not destroyed by the harsh conditions of their life but instead springs up to become a visionary and leader. You should know about him .