Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright and short story writer, was not only an architect of the medium of the short story as we know it today, he was a master of portraying both the numb desperation and farcical humor of everyday life. Chekhov also had a keen ability to capture deep, universal truths within his short tales. There is no story this is more evident in that than The Shoemaker and The Devil.
The tale centers around Fyodor Nilov, a poor shoemaker who longs to become rich, until his wish is granted, and he discovers something he wasn’t prepared for. Chekhov explores themes such as class and wealth, desire and happiness, equality and balance, and life and mortality. A masterful short story that effectively delivers a very important message.