"A Problem" by Anton Chekhov

By Bader, Arafat, and Justin


1.Sasha Uskov
  • Protagonist who cashes a false promissory note
  • No parental guidence
  • No education
  • Criminal
2. Ivan Markovitch
  • Sasha's maternal uncle
  • He thinks that Sasha should be punished in the hope he will learn his lesson.
3. Colonel
  • One of Sasha's paternal uncles
  • Focused on keeping family honor
  • Does no want to forgive Sasha
4. The Official of the Treasury
  • Sasha's other paternal uncle
  • Does not want the case to become public because it might hurt the family name

Summary, Theme, Setting, Conflict, Plot Diagram, and Tone


Sasha forged an IOU which causes disturbance in the family. Paternal uncles are focused on saving the family name. Markovitch thinks that Sasha needs a second chance. Uncles discuss what to do with Sasha in the dining room and Sasha listens from the hallway. The uncles decide to spare Sasha. But he must work for Ivan in the country. Sasha bribes money from Ivan and is in debt once again. Then Sasha realizes he is a criminal.


The Theme of the story is protecting and sticking up for family members is more important than what people think of you.(Blood is thicker than water).


When the story begins it starts uncle's drawing room

and my support is ‘’half of the servants were sent of to the circus: the other half were sitting in the kitchen and were not allowed to leave it.'' and Russia is were the story it takes place.


There are two conflicts in this story. The external conflict is between the nice uncle Ivan Markovitch vs. meaner Colonel uncle. The internal conflict is between Sacha's inner good guy vs. Sasha's inner bad guy. The climax of the story is after the family decides to bail Sasha out of his debt, he turns around and demands money from Ivan, and even threatens to forge Ivan's name to an IOU if Ivan doesn't give him money. This is the climax because this is the most emotional part of the story. The theme of this story is that people are often unsure of their true self's.

Plot Diagram

  • Expostion- Sasha Uskov forges a IOU note, the Uskov family gets a dark secret that nobody is allowed to know

  • Rising Action- Colonel believes that Sasha should be punished and face the consequences for what he had done by going to jail

  • Climax- Ivan Markovitch, Sasha's other uncle, believes that he should not be punished this time, but if it happens again, then Sasha will pay the price. Sasha, whose parents are dead, believes that he did nothing wrong because it was his friend's fault that he didn't his money back.

  • Falling Action- A great argument breaks out between Ivan and the Colonel, but in the end, Ivan convinces the Colonel that Sasha should not be punished.

  • Resolution- Ivan lets Sasha know that nothing is going to happen to him. Sasha then asks Ivan for money and realizes that he is a criminal.


The Tone of the story is ironic.