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Ivan Velikopolsky: Motivation For Success Essay

When a person concentrates on one single thought, a broader more important lesson might be missed. In “The Student,” Ivan Velikopolsky, a seminary student, tells the story of how Apostle Peter denied knowing Jesus three times the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. After telling this story to two widowers, he finds that the widowers are crying. He is certain that he has found a great connection on how, “The past…is connected with the present in an unbroken chain of events flowing on out of the other” (Chekhov 266). In making this comment, Ivan believes that he has found the deeper meaning within the situation. Ironically, he is missing the reason why these two women are crying: they have suffered. Their suffering might be because of the death…

On one hand, Boyle argues that, “Salivating for success keeps you from being faithful, keeps you from truly seeing whoever’s sitting in front of you” (168). Employing the word “salivating” as well as repeating the phrase “keeps you” allows Boyle to emphasize how much anticipation there is for success. Boyle worries that there is too much anticipation for the common definition of success which involves attainment of popularity or money. When this is the goal, Boyle suggests a person can no longer see what is right in front of them and loses track of the present. On the other hand, Chekhov focuses on the idea of present success. According to the student, “…a mysterious happiness, gradually came over him, and life seemed to him delightful, wondrous, and filled with lofty meaning,” (Chekhov 266). Chekhov emphasizes the fact it was a “lofty” meaning. In this circumstance, the word lofty can be defined as “a noble or exalted nature” (OED). The student supposes that he has found the correct learning experience and feels successful because of this. When the student has confidence that he has found success, a success that he was not necessarily looking for, he loses the ability to make an emotional connection to the two women. Even though there is the distinction that Boyle looks at future success while Chekhov centers on present success, they both achieve…

In “The Student,” Chekhov uses the story in which the student misses the real learning experience in order to demonstrate that the student is not faithful to his education. The student is a seminary student, and he believes that he is effective in finding the connection between the past and the present. He does not apply his knowledge of the story and of God to help the two widowers. If he would have been faithful to his knowledge and to them, he would have been able to console their anguished souls. As stated by Chekhov, “If the old woman wept…[it] was because Peter was close to her and she was interested with her whole being in what had happened to Peter’s soul,” (266). In other words, Chekhov believes that what happened to Peter’s soul, was happening to the widower’s soul and the student failed to recognize he could help heal her soul. In agreeance with Chekhov’s ideas, Boyle would add that faith not only transcends the two parties involved, but the families that surrounds them. A kinship is built between the parties where the other person’s family becomes their own. The story of Soledad explains this kinship. Soledad loses two of her sons to gang violence, but when she sees another boy who is from rival gang fighting for his life, she…

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