As a Professor like Kovrin who have definitely experienced mental struggles throughout this complex academic career, I could relate to him in so many ways. Honestly, I can’t seem to believe that something written back in 1894 will still be 100% relatable this 2022.
Chekhov always kills it with the right words in describing how different mental struggles are experienced by specific individuals in specific situations. The short story ‘A Nervous Breakdown’ has got me so hooked to read more of Chekhov’s works, and ‘The Black Monk’ has definitely exceeded my expectations.
The sleeplessness, the constant need to think, and the inevitable fear of being mediocre and ordinary are some of the very common things that happen in a Professor’s life. Kovrin definitely needed some help, and Chekhov’s emphasis on seeking professional help in his mental health-themed stories has been the part I always applaud with. Chekhov recognizes the limits of self-help and coping mechanisms, hence people needed to seek the help of others to be better.
The ending of the story gave me literal chills.
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