Nikolai Gogol Writing Styles in The Overcoat

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Prose

Russian literature before the 1830s had been comprised almost entirely of poetry, while prose was reserved primarily for official documents, correspondence, histories, and journals. So Gogol's use of prose for literary purposes is in many ways one of his most lasting and significant contributions. Prose seems appropriate, of course, for telling the story of a simple clerk like Akaky Akakievich. The long and sometimes rambling sentences used by the narrator reflect Akaky's awkward personality, as well as the dull, bureaucratic milieu around him.

Setting

The story's setting, amongst office-workers in contemporary St. Petersburg, must have seemed startling to Russian readers of Gogol's time, who were used to literature that described adventures amongst noblemen in pastoral and aristocratic settings. The setting in "The Overcoat" plays a role that is almost more important than that of any of the story's characters. The cold winter weather of St. Petersburg requires Akaky...

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This section contains 587 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Short Stories for Students
The Overcoat from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.