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The subject of this article is the text of the story by A.P. Chekhov «Death of an official». The article analyzes the subtext elements of the story, taking into account the time of its writing - 1883, as well as the socio-political realities that had developed in the Russian Empire by the beginning of the 1880s. The storyline and the actions of the main characters are viewed through the prism of the historical context, special attention is paid to the socio-political characteristics of Russian society in the early 1880s. In the analysis of the literary text, both traditional and fairly new methodological tools were used: analysis of the external relations of the literary text (sociological, historical, cultural, comparative, biographical approaches), as well as analysis of the internal relations of the literary text (stylistic, contextual analysis, microanalysis, study critical literature about the work).

Accounting for the above-mentioned non-textual factors and the stated research methodology made it possible to interpret the ending of the story in a different way, provided an opportunity to justify a different interpretation of the actions of the main characters, explain the motives of their decisions, as well as to specify some episodes of the literary text.

The scope of the research results can be broadly defined: both the style and linguistic analysis of the literary text, special courses and seminars in higher educational institutions and institutions of secondary education dedicated to A.P. Chekhov’s work.

The novelty of the study is determined by a new approach to the interpretation of the artistic fabric of the story "Death of an Official", due to the appeal to the historical, cultural and social aspects of creating the named work. The relevance of the appeal to A.P. Chekhov’s work today is dictated by the existence in modern society of a wide range of problems that were raised in the works of the great writer.

Key words

Subtext elements, historical context, socio-political realities, artwork, contextual analysis.