Although this tale is unusual in that Chekhov introduces a female protagonist, many familiar motifs reappear. One is the repeated "hammering" of people clattering on the pavement and banging on gates. This motif also appears in On Official Duty and Gooseberries, although in slightly different form. In general, noises play a key role in Chekhov's tales as they emphasize life's irrationality and man's lack of control over the forces of nature, destiny, and fortune.