Title of the article:



Аndrey E. Agratin

Information about the author/authors

Andrey E. Agratin — PhD in Philology, Research Fellow, The Centre for Cognitive Programs and Technologies, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya sq. 6, GSP-3, 125993 Moscow, Russia; Senior Teacher, Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Ac. Volgina St., 6, 117485 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: andrej-agratin@mail.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 54


pp. 213–225


October 03, 2018

Date of publication

December 28, 2019

Index UDK

821.161.1 + 82.09

Index BBK



The communicative agenda in Chekhov's prose have always been of interest to literary scholars. However, researchers ignored the issue of the so-called institutional communication (IC) in the writer's works. This is one of the most common methods of communication used by the characters of early Chekhov’s prose: they usually talk to each other as representatives of various social groups, classes, organizations. Chekhov depicts regulated forms of people`s interaction (doctor — patient, investigator — defendant, etc.), showing that the IC generates hierarchical relations between the interlocutors (the agent is the representative of the institution, the client is the representative of the society) and significantly infringes one of them in rights. One of the communicants necessarily holds a privileged (winning) position, in view of the system of norms that regulates the functioning of a particular social institution. As a result, freedom, personal autonomy, psychological and physical health of the agent or client are inevitably endangered (“At the Pharmacy”, “Rural Aesculapius”, “A Big Commotion”). At the same time, the writer demonstrates conventionality, artificiality of the IС as opposed to personal communication (“Polinka”, “Ivan Matveich”, “The Exclamation Mark”). In mature and late works, Chekhov gives the IC the status of an independent object of the image more rarely, but, nevertheless, concerns the problems of doctor-patient communication (“Ward No. 6”), specifics of educational and scientific communication (“A Boring Story”), as well as the issue of total expansion of institutional discourse (“The Man in the Case”).


Chekhov, institutional communication, agent, client, threat.


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