Find today’s 2687 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/136.html
What is there to say about today’s story. It is the tale of a spoiled, self-centered brat. He has forged a check in his uncle’s name and lives a libertine-type lifestyle. Not unlike has-been celebrities who are penniless from a wild lifestyle and beg forgiveness, only to relapse moments later at the first sign of a party. Chekhov slowly lets these details eke out giving perspectives from the arguing uncles and then spending time with the surly, despondent nephew. I wonder if Chekhov, besides showing the stress that Sasha puts on his family, is also making a point about the liberal vs. conservative mindsets. Forgiveness and tolerance, represented by kind-hearted Uncle Markovitck, is not always advisable for some people as the stern suffer-the-consequences-for-your-actions unnamed Colonel argues. It is interesting that Sasha is put out the most by the Colonel calling him a criminal. “‘Criminal’ is a dreadful word — that is what murderers, thieves, robbers are; in fact, wicked and morally hopeless people. And Sasha was very far from being all that…” He even gets self-delusional enough to tell himself (and possibly believe) that he helps the poor. Yet at the end of the story he takes that name as a badge of honor.Chekhov does a great job in following the jumbled psychological logic of spoiled brat. A man-child who will get a comeuppance sooner or later.