Anton Chekhov

Start Free Trial

Where is the narrator making his confession in Anton Chekhov's "The Confession"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The narrator of Anton Checkhov's short story "The Confession" is a man of relatively little sophistication and not enough malice to realize that he has been played for a fool by the people around him.

Gregory Kuzmich had just been promoted as a cashier at work and his happiness knew no boundaries. He was so excited that, in his own words, he began to see the world through "rose colored glasses". As a result, he allowed his joy to put him in a vulnerable position and, in the end, he was taken advantage of for his position as a cashier- someone with constant access to ready money.

However, the story does not directly point at a setting. In fact, the entire vignette is told from Gregory's perspective, focus, and point of view. This leaves little to no chance for him to reveal exactly where he is since he is so busy telling the story. Yet, we can infer from the words "Inspection tomorrow! Merci!" that Gregory was set up to get all the money for the crooked people who knew him, out only to be put in jail the next day. Hence, this is why he is making his confession.

Inveigh against me! Spread the news, judge, and wonder! Banish me, write editorials and throw stones. Only, please, not everyone! Not everyone!

These are the words that are said from a confession room at the police station. Like he admits "I got caught....I am a scoundrel, and a thief".

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

InĀ "The Confession" by Anton Chekhov, who is the narrator?

The narrator of "The Confession" is the rather foolhardy and unfortunate Gregory Kuzmich, who has recently received a promotion to the position of cashier, which gives him access to the cashbox of his place of work. This account is written in the first person, which means that it is Gregory Kuzmich himself who tells the reader his story from his perspective. This can be identified through the use of the pronoun "I," as in the following example from the beginning of the story:

I felt as elated as a cab driver who had been given a gold coin by mistake. I wanted to laugh, to cry, to pray. I was in seventh heaven: I had just been made a cashier!

The use of the first person perspective in literature compared to the third person creates more of a bond between the reader and the narrator, as the reader is allowed to see their world through their eyes, and thus the reader feels sympathy towards them, and in the case of Gregory Kuzmich, pity as his story continues and others exploit him revealing their hypocrisy only for Kuzmich himself to pay the price for his own stupidity and naivety.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Where is the narrator when he is making his confession in "The Confession"?

With the whirlwind pace of this short tale, Chekhov's narrator finds himself quickly transformed from an ordinary man to one that is now loved by his estranged brother, embraced cheerily by his mother, rejoiced in by his sweetheart, and befriended by many--even Z.N. Kazusov; that is, as long as he can find the money to support all these changed hearts. At one point, Kuzmich admits that he

took three hundred rubles out of the cash box. Why not take it, when you know you are going to put it back as soon as you receive your salary?

Unfortunately, he cannot repay all that he borrows, and Gregory Kuzmich finds himself arrested, and sentenced for the theft of company money. 

Just as quickly as they changed in the beginning, so, too, do the relationships which Kuzmich has enjoyed with people change at the end as they abandon him. While Kuzmich makes his confession--"I got caught"--he does not state where he is, nor does the author indicate. However, the reader can presume that he is in jail after the inspection when auditors have scrutinized the accounting books.  

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on