The short story ‘The Beauties’ written by Anton Chekhov doesn’t have much actions. The narrator only told about two episodes of his life when he met beautiful girls. The author described these girls and concluded that “no one knows or can say in what its beauty lies”.
This is the first description:
“An artist would have called the Armenian girl's beauty classical and severe, it was just that beauty, the contemplation of which -- God knows why!-- inspires in one the conviction that one is seeing correct features; that hair, eyes, nose, mouth, neck, bosom, and every movement of the young body all go together in one complete harmonious accord in which nature has not blundered over the smallest line. You fancy for some reason that the ideally beautiful woman must have such a nose as Masha's, straight and slightly aquiline, just such great dark eyes, such long lashes, such a languid glance; you fancy that her black curly hair and eyebrows go with the soft white tint of her brow and cheeks as the green reeds go with the quiet stream. Masha's white neck and her youthful bosom were not fully developed, but you fancy the sculptor would need a great creative genius to mold them. You gaze, and little by little the desire comes over you to say to Masha something extraordinarily pleasant, sincere, beautiful, as beautiful as she herself was.”
Here is the second description:
“Standing at the window talking, the girl, shrugging at the evening damp, continually looking round at us, at one moment put her arms akimbo, at the next raised her hands to her head to straighten her hair, talked, laughed, while her face at one moment wore an expression of wonder, the next of horror, and I don't remember a moment when her face and body were at rest. The whole secret and magic of her beauty lay just in these tiny, infinitely elegant movements, in her smile, in the play of her face, in her rapid glances at us, in the combination of the subtle grace of her movements with her youth, her freshness, the purity of her soul that sounded in her laugh and voice, and with the weakness we love so much in children, in birds, in fawns, and in young trees.”
As it was mentioned above, it is not possible to classify the beauty. The simplest classification would be:
- the first girl represented a beauty of appearance,
- the second - the beauty of movements.
Chekhov was captivated by the beauty of these two. Their beauty had faded, they lived a hundred years ago, but the picture of their beauty written by the great Russian classic is eternal.
Here is the link to the text in English:
Here is the link to the text in Russian (original text):