The Overcoat Essay

Topics: Nikolai Gogol, Coat, 19th century Pages: 3 (969 words) Published: April 28, 2011
Joey Fowler

Analysis Of “The Overcoat”
In Nicolay Gogol’s short story, “The Overcoat”, there are many key points which explain the hardships and struggles of living as a poor citizen in 19th century Russia. The economy was awful and most of the authority figures did not care about what happens to these poor people living in the city. The workers in Russia were treated as filthy slaves and had to go through hard working labor for their landowner. If they wanted to leave or get married, it was either not allowed or it required permission first. This story is about a common man named Akakiy who is moving through the oppression with his simple, content life and his job as a document copier. He doesn’t make a lot of money or care about his appearance that much, but he is happy with what he does with his life. However, Akakiy does face some conflict and suffers abuse for the way he lives his life. Akakiy Bashmatchkin works at a government department in St. Petersburg where he spends all of his time copying letters and documents in the office for all of his superiors. Sometimes when he finishes his work for the day he copies one more paper before he walks home because he enjoys doing it. This is all that he does in the office because he is unable to complete a task such as altering the heading of a letter. Akakiy’s peers make fun and ridicule him and the way he looks. For example, one of the co-workers said that his torn-up cloak looks like a cape. Some of them tear paper up and crumble it over his head, simulating snow fall. Terrible rumors would spread around about how Akakiy’s landlady beats him at his home. Akakiy had to endure all of these horrible remarks and this shows how tough it was standing out in the 19th century. As a poor man in St. Petersburg during this time period, Akakiy has to take caution of wearing out his clothing such as his shoes and his coat because the cost of paying for new clothes is exceeds what he can afford. His cloak eventually...
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