The Overcoat Characters

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Akaky Akakyevich

See Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, the impoverished clerk and protagonist of the story, is one of the first appearances in modern literature of the "little man"—the poor, meek soul overwhelmed by dehumanizing forces in an increasingly technological and bureaucratized society. In introducing him, the story's narrator describes him as "a clerk of whom it cannot be said that he was very remarkable."

Akaky is a short, balding man with a bad complexion whose world seems to be defined by the tedious and solitary job of copying the various trivial documents he is given by his superiors. He has performed this work for uncounted years in an unspecified governmental department in St. Petersburg, even taking it home to complete at night. The prospect of a promotion that might give him the simplest editorial responsibility fills him with such fear that he...

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This section contains 720 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Overcoat Study Guide
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The Overcoat from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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