The article presents an experiment of a discourse approach to the term “little man”. This approach enables to establish its connection with such basic concepts of the Orthodox spiritual and religious tradition as “humbleness”, “humility of mind”, \ “apophathy”. More precise definition of the term as an inability of a lit-erary character to humbleness / humility of mind, as a victim of apophathy, was based on the study of the text and subtext dependence (the mechanism of double eventfulness). Another direction in the study of the double eventfulness of Che-khov’s story was the analysis of the relationship between motif and character. This path makes it possible to compare humbleness / humility of mind with apophathy in the fortune of “little man”.
The choice of two stories by A.P. Chekhov of 1886 – Anyuta and Grief – helps to clarify the literary method of the writer, to draw the border line between realism and existentialism.
As a source of Chekhov’s subtext, a special aspect of the reference has been revealed – along the lines of external and internal reading of the text. Hum-bleness of a personality in the aspect of “non-event” (story Anyuta) has been fea-tured. This is possible due to the twofold eventivity formed by the relationship between text and subtext, spectacular and sound symbolism. The basic narrative techniques, the author’s irony, the opposition of Ion Potapov’s humbleness of mind to the social character of Anyuta’s sacrifice are shown. The specificity of twofold eventivity of the story Grief is characterized from the standpoint of the multi-layered manifestation of the discourse of “little man”.