Dead Souls Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dead Souls.
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Nikolai Gogol wrote Dead Souls as a satire of post-Napoleonic Russian life. In this time, everyday life was still heavily regulated by the serf system. Landowners were measured in wealth by the amount of souls (peasants) and land they owned. Gogol pokes fun at the entire setup through each and every one of his characters. This is first, and most clearly, seen through the words of the narrator. Although the narrator is never given a name or place in society, it is obvious he has an affinity for the upper class - and this is how many people of the time felt everyone should feel. While describing Tchitchikov and other influential people, he writes page upon page describing their characteristics. This is not the case when he describes Selifan and Petrushka, because these men are simple peasants, and therefore do not deserve to be given...

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This section contains 1,000 words
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