How does Gegory Kuzmich react to his position as cashier in "The Confession"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his story "The Confession," Chekhov points to the mutations that money can make upon character.  When Gregory Kuzmich first receives his promotion to cashier, he is amazed at the transformations that apparently have taken place with heretofore unfriendly associates. He remarks,

I beheld all man's wonderful, until now unsuspected qualities...."Strange," I said to myself, "either something has happened to them, or I have been stupid not to have perceived these qualities before. How charming everyone is!"

Of course, the dramatic irony here is that the fact that Kuzmich is in charge of all the company's money is what now makes him attractive to the others who have previously been aloof or rude to him. Sadly, Kuzmich falls victim to all the false adulation paid him and robs the cashier box in order to ingratiate himself with the others. But, when he is caught, he transforms in the eyes of all the fauning others,

...yesterday I was respected and honored on all sides; today I am a scoundrel and a thief....Cry out now...only, please--not everyone, not everyone!

Gregory Kuzmich merely wants people to be happy and to love him. But, he has learned that most can only be bought with money only temporarily.