from The Hunting Sketches (1852) by Ivan Turgenev
1. What peculiar narrative frame
does Turgenev construct for this story? Who is the speaker? What situation
has he found himself while traveling? Why does Turgenev use this literary
device to frame his story?
2. Why does the doctor decide to tell his sick patient this story? Have you
ever told all you deep, dark secrets to an absolute stranger?
3. Why is the doctor reluctant to
take this particular call? What can he tell about the family that has called
for his help just from looking at their
4. Which social class does each of the following characters in the story
represent? How are they described?
5. What happens to the relationship between the doctor and Alexandra as her
6. Why has Alexandra missed
out in love in her life?
7. When does he realize that he has fallen in love with her?
8. When does she declare her
love for him? After they kiss, what happens next?
9. What is Alexandra’s reaction when she learns her lover’s name?
10. What is strange and wrong
about this relationship?
11. Why does the doctor cherish the memory of this relationship?
Turgenev’s story can be read on two interconnected levels:
What is he saying about the relationship between the classes in mid-19th
What is he saying about the possibility of love in this man’s life?