In work 19 of my thirty-day short story reading challenge, I guideline my cap to Mr. Chekhov. And laugh a little.

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“An Upheaval” by Anton Chekhov

Why was one drawer of the table pulled the end a small way? The money box, in i beg your pardon the governess put away ten kopeck pieces and old stamps, was open. They had opened it, however did no know just how to close up door it, despite they had scratched the lock every over. She linen-basket, too. The linen had actually been closely folded, but it was no in the same order together Mashenka had actually left it once she went out. So the search had actually been thorough, many thorough.


Mashenka Pavletsky, a governess in the house of madame Kushkin (aka lady of the home Fedosya Vassilyevna), returns from a walk at some point to find the household in an uproarious state. Shouting deserve to be heard native within, and also when the porter opens the door because that Mashenka that is red together a crab. In the room she passes numerous maids; one of whom is crying.

Nikolay Sergeitch, Madame’s husband, comes storming the end of her room—Mashenka’s room. Curious and also confused, the young girl finds madame in her bedroom, going v her work-bag in a frenzy. Once Madame watch Mashenka she startles, muttering the she had knocked the over, and also gets up and abruptly leaves.

Mashenka is left gaping and also uncertain. Her entirety room, she realizes after ~ looking around, has been turned inside out and searched. Yet for what? go it have actually anything to carry out with the red-faced porter or the crying maid? to be she in some kind of trouble?

A maidservant comes in and also enlightens her: Madame has lost a brooch worth 2,000 rubles. Anyone else has currently been searched, she explained—not just were their soldier hand-inspected by Madame, but she additionally personally strip-searched every among them.

Mashenka is astounded. Yet why would they search her room? she’s an educated, respectable person. She no a servant; she a boarder. The maid reminds her the she is living v strangers; she is, one method or another, a (public) maid herself; that not choose she’s living v her parents.

Left alone, Mashenka weeps into her bed. She feel insulted and violated and also dependent and she hates it. Why wouldn’t they to trust her? She would swear her innocence at every court in the soil if she had to…

When a maid announces dinner is ready, Mashenka isn’t sure she wants to sign up with them. But she decides she’d better; she doesn’t desire to appear guilty. Naturally, Fedosya Vassilyevna is the very first to speak; apart from the circumstances of the brooch, in between her husband and also herself that is she who is head of the household. Nikolay Sergeitch, placating, weakly do the efforts to lull his wife/dissuade her from gift upset around the brooch. Fedosya renders a production of it, a fat tear rolling down her cheek together she says it’s the truth of thieves—ingratefuls—in she own home that upsets her.

Mashenka starts to feel the everyone is regarding her through suspicion. Unable to contain her emotion, she quiet excuses it s her from the table and goes to her room.

At length—after Mashenka has had plenty that time come mope and wish Madame could know poverty and also she it is in the one providing, loan mercy and also kindness; come fume and realize she is perfectly wretched there; that she can not stay one more minute and also must start packing—Nikolay shows up at she door. “What’s this?” he asks, point at she half-packed basket. “I am packing.”

Mashenka tells Nikolay straight: she is insulted through the search and will no stand because that it. That understands, the says, however nonetheless begs her no to go; to it is in accepting; he also apologizes, first for himself and also then because that his wife. That entreats she to stay.

When Mashenka resists, speak it is no his fault however she need to go, the confession comes: Nikolay is the one who stole Madam’s brooch. The is bitter: that is his house, his money that buys every little thing (including the brooch), and also yet Madam operation the place; the is trapped, together in a cellar…

“If friend go, over there won’t it is in a human face left in the house.”

Nikolay must go; his wife yells for him downstairs. Mashenka finishes packing and also leaves.

Favorite line

“Mashenka threw herself on the bed and sobbed bitterly.”

Now, you can think me cruel if ns say so, yet to me this line to be hilariously melodramatic. This is nothing literary; simply me finding amusement where no amusement was intended, prefer in the movie Chronicle as soon as two of the children with superpowers are arguing and also one of them “storms off” by abruptly transforming and out the window.

It may also have had actually something to perform with the adverb.

OH, THE HUMANITY! *Hurls self right into the bed and also weeps bitterly*


This appears to it is in a story pushed by character and show of person nature. Mine guess is the the “upheaval” the title refers to hints at the revelations and also changes Mashenka experiences: that, though she believed of herself as a good, respectable person, when accused (because she originates from a bad family) others were quick to i think the worst around her; and that also, as soon as the real thief turns out to it is in Nikolay, the gentleman of the household, he gets away through it. The supposedly good, “respectable” person stands idly by while anyone in his residence is violated.

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A good literary occupational (much literature is about the way a person, or persons change) however certainly no the many compelling story I’ve read this month. I may not acquire to that this month, however I will have to read more Chekhov. Considering the various other story I’ve review by him as well as how significant his surname is in literary circles, this story weighed in somewhat below my expectations.

But ns did victory some fancy new words indigenous the deal…


upheaval: a violent or sudden adjust in/disruption that something

governess: a woman employed come teach kids in a personal household

barbarous: savagely cruel, brutal; uncivilized (exactly together it sounds: barbaric)

abominable: (realizing the the only context I can put this in is “snowman,” and also that “snowman” is not a definition): bring about moral revulsion; an extremely unpleasant (that an interpretation is verbatim, btw)