Find today’s 1673 word story: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/146.html
This story reminds me of early Chekhov works where the twist at the end comes out like a punchline. That being said, there is a difference in his simpler early work and the detailed descriptions and layers of psychology in his later comical pieces. Although not nuanced, I like how the narrator thought the monks in the monastery were compose of: “Only men who despised life, who had renounced it, and who came to the monastery as to the grave…” The Father Superior is a man who’s lyrical talents move men emotionally as this paragraph suggests: “His music, his voice, his poetry in which he glorified God, the heavens and the earth, were a continual source of joy to the monks. It sometimes happened that through the monotony of their lives they grew weary of the trees, the flowers, the spring, the autumn, their ears were tired of the sound of the sea, and the song of the birds seemed tedious to them, but the talents of their Father Superior were as necessary to them as their daily bread.” A man who could, if had chosen a different profession, could have been a leader of men, an instigator of revolutions. Instead he found his calling to give spiritual nurturing to men in isolation. He is a sincere man and may not understand the full power of his oratory skills as he describes the sins of the town. In the end, after the punchline is delivered, perhaps the Father Superior might finally understand that he has a unique skill of persuasion and use it for a bigger cause.