This kind of study guide is a new acquaintance for me. I just hit it looking something to help me summarize this fascinating play of Chekhov.
This Study guide by Sabrina Justison is a real tiny Piece of Gold for the purpose of comparison the versions. The author has really grasped the essence of the play in a versatile way. And not only this play but Chekhov's personality and contribution to the world of theatre.
The modernizers of my two last experiences have just introduced new tricks, a completely new approach on trick level and torn down the usage of speech to the street level jargon.
Chekhov accomplished far more: he went inside the skin of people in a different new way. It is obvious that the second of my modernized has adopted the cheap tricks of swim surfing in a bathtub of the first modernizer. I even suspected that may be the original text gives some hint to this. I read the original text to find out that nothing such exists in Chekhov's text, and I got the confirmation to this in Justison's study guide. No trace of surfing. In stead a fine classification of the personages, leaving, however, the final judgment to the student, theater guest. Chekhov is not presenting just heroes or happy ends. That is not his purpose and the essence of his contribution. As a practicing doctor he introduces the problems of life giving the limitations and lure of hope, but leaving the decision to the looker or reader. This is pointed out by Justison in her summaries and questions with provisory answers.
I was so impressed by this study guide that I looked up, whether Amazon would offer other study guides. First I accepted the search of 'study guide and workbook' offered by search input. What did I find? A host of guide books to the Bible and one to the Microsoft System! Both well deserving their share, of course. Dropping the 'workbook' gives an endless list of suggestions for study books in all fields of human (and animal) life. Need just to specify what you need and yor needs will be amply satisfied. I can only emphatically recommend! All five stars to Justison.