Chekhov’s Gun

If we adhere to Anton Chekhov’s oft-referenced principle that a gun shown in act one must be fired later within the story, then every tale taking place in or around Grisleigh End must, perforce, be a very busy place.  One should, of course, expect an ancestral English country manor to have a broad collection of interesting objects available in its numberless nooks and crannies, even lying about in plain sight.  The home of the Redmaynes is certainly no exception to this.Checkhov's Gun

Mind you, should we treat Checkov’s Gun literally, the Doctor would be in great demand.  Even considered in its figurative sense, that every element in a story must have a purpose and to achieve that purpose it must be associated with an action, that is, it must impact the plot.  A gun must fire, a knife must cut, a fingerprint must  reveal a perpetrator, a loop of rope must catch something, or perhaps hang someone.   The implication of future action or revelation sets up a tension in the mind of the observer or reader, who must give a portion of their attention to each of these items, waiting and watching for the foreshadowed event to take place, with  questions always pressing: “Why is the watch broken?” “When will the serpent bite someone, and who will it be?” “How will the poison kill them?”

In a great house full of history, avarice, and questionable moral traditions, the possibilities are endless, of course, something we cannot say for the lives of the people therein.

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