#107 A Defenceless Creature

Find today’s 1873 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/107.html

Travis review

This story reminds me of Chekhov’s earlier comical stories. The wife of a former collegiate assessor walks into a bank and demands the deducted pay of her terminated husband. For majority of the story, the specific reason Madam Shtchuki is there doesn’t matter plot-wise. What is important is that she is in the wrong place and will not listen to reason. She uses the line “I am a weak, defenceless woman” six times in the story. And probably said it several more times, but scenes were mercifully compressed. She exhausts the already exhausted and gout afflicted Kistunov and the rest of his staff. In the end she gets the requested money from Kistunov’s own wallet, but like a recovering addict getting a taste of some smack, she wants more or in this case another impossible request. “…would it be possible for my husband to get a post again?” So as far as the title is concerned, it’s fair to say that Madame Shtchuki is a predator with the gift of indefatigable persistence while a bank manager is the defenseless creature. Is that that irony? I think so.

Rating: 5


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