The Overcoat

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“The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol
The story “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol is about Akakii Akakievich and his simple job of copying papers for a department. Akakii led a very simple life and not many people would talk to him or even pay him much attention. However, his life changes when he purchases a new overcoat. This overcoat gave Akakii the motivation and confidence he needed to get out into the world.

Even before Akakii’s coat was made, it still had a positive influence on him. He needed 80 rubles to have the coat made and he only had 40, so he would have to make sacrifices. This shows how the overcoat was already making changes in Akakii’s life. Him and Petrovich, the tailor of his overcoat, would often be seen “visiting the shops to inquire prices” (Gogol 89) of fabric. Eventually, after six months, they found the best cloth at the best price. Akakii’s coat was becoming closer and closer to being completed. Since the overcoat was expensive, Akakii had to make cuts in other areas like food. Akakii may not realize it, but his new overcoat was going to change his life forever.

After the coat had been completed by Petrovich, Akakii wore it proudly to work the next day. When everyone saw it they were very impressed and congratulated him on the new coat. This alone was very different and a little frightening to Akakii because he was not used to multiple people talking to him in a kind tone. He was so overwhelmed by hi co-workers that he even lied and said it was not actually a new coat. One of the chiefs present was going to throw a christening party for him, but because Akakii insists it is not a new coat says, “So be it: I will give the party instead of Akakii Akakievich; I invite you all to tea with me to-night” (Gogol 91). Akakii’s new coat has now gotten him invited to a party at a very important person’s house. Not wanting to be rude, he accepts the invitation for the first time ever. That night, at home, Akakii is happier than he has ever been, and...
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