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.

Narrative Perspective and Tone

The story is told from the perspective of an unnamed first person narrator who is not directly involved in the events of the story but is aware of (and, to varying degrees, sympathetic with) the characters' thoughts and emotions. For many present-day readers accustomed to short stories beginning in medias res (i.e., as the action has already begun), "The Overcoat...

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This section contains 587 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Overcoat Study Guide
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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.