The Overcoat Essay

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In the following essay, Stilman gives a short overview of Gogol's "The Overcoat" and contends that the protagonist dies "a death of his own making, defeated in a hopeless struggle against himself."

In the parish register of one of Moscow's churches the entry was made of the death, on February 21, 1852 (March 4, new style), of retired collegiate assessor Nikolaj Vasiljevich Gogol, aged forty-three.

Collegiate assessor Gogol outranked the hero of "The Overcoat," Akakij Akakievich Bashmachkin, a mere titular councilor. Titular councilor was a rank of the ninth class; collegiate assessors ranked one class above.

"The Overcoat" is traditionally associated with a story which, according to the reminiscences of Gogol's friend Annenkov, [P.V. Annenkov, Leteraturnye vospominanija, B. M. Eichenbaum, ed., 1928] was once told in his presence: the story of a poor government clerk who after months of privation and overtime work, saved enough money on his meager salary...

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This section contains 1,195 words
(approx. 3 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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