The Double Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the reader’s introduction to Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin.

The reader is introduced to Golyadkin when he wakes up on a dreary November morning. The reader is introduced more to his state of mind than to his physical characteristics: he is a scattered, impulsive person, who is subject to thoughts and impressions that run through him without rising to the level of articulated speech.

2. What does Dostoevsky say about the money Golyadkin counts and relishes?

Golyadkin counts out 750 rubles, but there is no explanation of where this money came from. Dostoevsky only tells the reader that this is a large amount. “I’d like to see the man for whom that might be a trifling sum!” Golyadkin says. (p. 122)

3. Describe Golyadkin’s relationship with Petrushka.

Petrushka is Golyadkin’s servant, and Golyadkin treats him roughly, almost as a beast of burden. He is constantly exclaiming to himself about Petrushka’s flaws. Petrushka shares in the absurdity of his master, and when Golyadkin dresses him in livery, Golyadkin says that he looks great even though the livery is made for someone much taller than Petrushka. When Golyadkin goes looking for Petrushka, Petrushka is in the hallway talking with friends, and Golyadkin feels that he has to lambaste Petrushka to get him to do anything.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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