This article contains the analysis of literary vision of new identity proposed by Chekhov on the eve of upcoming changes in the Russian society. The short story The Man in a Case turns out to be a literary work in which Chekhov defines a character who appears in most of his books – a man in a case, in other words a man between mental barriers. The notion of ‘case’ is analysed by means of cognitive poetry as a conceptual metaphor and by means of cognitive model as a way to perceive and structure the world. Ironic image of a main character – Bielikov – stems from the fact that there is only one cognitive model used. By employing deixis the processes of text perception and accumulation of meanings are closely examined. The appearance of contexts in the process of reading allows one to characterise a new identity coming into existence as a Gogol’s type. Identity presented by a teacher Kovalenko and his sister reminds creations from Nicolai Gogol’s artistic world. Joy, bravery and action constitute the grounds of a new vision of life proposed by Chekhov which is able to defeat ‘case’. In the short story a similar vision is being employed gradually by one of characters - Ivan Ivanovitch. The change of thinking can be observed by following the deictic shifts in the description of action place; the character chooses an open space and plunges into reflection.