Everything you need to understand or teach The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol.
"The Overcoat" is the story of Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, an impoverished clerk who has toiled for a number of years in an unspecified department within the huge government bureaucracy in St. Petersburg. The tale is told by an unnamed narrator with a tendency to digress and editorialize. Critics have disagreed about how closely the narrator should be identified with Gogol and about how much sympathy the author intended his readers to feel for Akaky the clerk. In any case, the tone of the narration is at various times condescending, compassionate, humorous and nightmarish.
The narrator begins with a fairly thorough introduction of the story's main character, including a broadly comic aside on the origin of his name (which bears a similarity to the common childhood term for feces, "kaka"). We learn that Akaky is zealously devoted to the tedious, low-level work of a copyist and that he has been... View more of the The Overcoat Summary