At a couple of places in the story, Chekhov gives us hints about the direction his story in which his story is heading. That the lawyer would renounce his deserved prize may not have occurred to us at the first reading of the story. However, a rereading of the text would illuminate those passages that clearly suggest his growing antipathy towards material wealth.
For instance, the content of the lawyer’s first letter to the banker gives us compelling insight into the lawyer’s changing attitude. One of the sentences of the letter reads,
“Oh, if you only knew what unearthly happiness my soul feels now from being able to understand them!"
At least a period of five years is yet to be spent as a prisoner when the lawyer writes this letter. The letter clearly indicates his powerful spiritual experience. He talks of feeling “unearthly happiness” after discovering that the supreme knowledge discussed in all the major...
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