Olenka is a woman who can do absolutely nothing all on her own. She needs other people to give her something to think and something to do. She has no interests on her own. She is not complete in herself, and Chekhov presents this characteristic in a rather unfavorable light. In his short story she spends long stretches of time empty and unhappy, and smothers the people she attaches herself to. Emerson wrote in his essay Self Reliance about how a person should be able not only to form their own opinions, but also be able to hold them even when other people consider them wrong. The two writers are in agreement on the manner of people's associations with each other. Relationships with people are great, but a person should have at least a sense of themselves as an individual, if nothing else.
"The Darling" is a story about individualism (or the lack there of), and there is little else to comment upon in it. Chekhov writes in the Realist style, so his story is very straight forward and the theme is very apparent. He does not mention nature at all because it does not influence the theme he is trying to relate. Though Transcendentalists like Emerson would argue that nature plays a great role in how a person does or does not have a self, it did not seem necessary to Chekhov (Wayne). The story gets its point across without anything added or to make the reader feel artistic and sophisticated. How bland.
Chekhov, Anton. "The Darling by Anton Chekhov." The Darling by Anton Chekhov @ Classic Reader. Web. 05 Mar. 2012.
Emerson, Ralph. "Self-Reliance." Ralph Waldo Emerson Texts. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.
Wayne, Tiffany K. "Nature." Critical Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson:
A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2010. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.Web. 15 Feb. 2012. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.aspItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin=CCRWE0289&SingleRecord=True.