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January 13, 2013

Uncloaking Nikolai Gogol's Famous Short Stories


Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eKVGd6QH9ko/T98_VcbyfxI/AAAAAAAAFtw/Rj2oBmVsUQc/s1600/coat.jpg
Caption: A scene from a production of "The Overcoat"

Class,

In the comment box below, . . .

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

Dr. Hobbs

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For your pleasure, please enjoy some of the various adaptations of Gogol's bizarre works below.


This is Colin McLaren's film adaptation of Gogol's short story "Diary of a Madman" available for viewing in three parts on YouTube.


If you prefer to let your mind do the imagining of the visuals, this audio/visual has no video to watch. It is a dramatization of Gogol's "Diary of a Madman" as read by Kenneth Williams in four parts.


A classic UPA style animation film by Mordicai Gerstein. Written by Mordicai Gerstein and Brother Theodore. Based on "The Nose" by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol.


This televised play, available in three parts on YouTube, stars Buster Keaton in _The Awakening_, an *updated,* filmed adaptation of Gogol's short story, "The Cloak" (the alternate name for the story we know as "The Overcoat").


I didn't ask you to read "Viy," another weird and horrific tale by Gogol ( first published in the first volume of his collection of tales entitled Mirgorod of 1835), but you might be interested in seeing this trailer to a new Russian film adaptation called "Viy." Looks creepy!

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Posted by lhobbs at January 13, 2013 01:17 PM

Readers' Comments:

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The EARLY 19th Century: Gogol's Short Stories and Modern *Realistic* Prose in Russia

12 February 2010

ENG 226 Students,

This is the entry we'll be using for our Early 19th Century and Gogol discussions and homework assignments (do not post items due here elsewhere or you may not receive credit!). To complete course assignments, please follow the instructions you were given in class.

1. Your entry tickets should FIRST be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below. Your entry tickets should have the question and the answer (I asked that you submit a version of the questions without answers as a hardcopy in class).

2. Your reading response--directed/based on a topic you selected from a list distributed in class--should also be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below.

3. Your "Response-Response," or, feedback on your peer's reading responses. These can be short (see the instructions I gave you in class) and do not have to be submitted to turnitin.com
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Diana Parizon
English 226 - Honors
Dr. Hobbs
23 February 2010
Entry Ticket 3

1. In “The Nose”, why would Kovalyov rather lose his arm or leg or even his ears? Why would he have rather lost his nose in war or in a duel?

A: Kovalyov does not feel like himself without his nose. The nose is the most prominent part of every person’s face. The nose is the farthest facial part of the face, so it is leading the person. The nose leads a person to the sources of pleasant aromas, and when sensing unpleasant scents the nose will “tell” the person to avoid the path that would lead to this unpleasant source of smell. If he lost an arm or a leg or even an ear, he still would have one of each left. He is disappointed; he did not lose his nose in war or in a dual because he would have felt heroic. For Kovalyov, his nose is very important since we learn in the end he has a sharp nose that is indicating he has a very keen sense of smell. This is the reason he did everything he could to get his dominant facial part – his nose – back.

2. On page 14, in “The Diary of a Madman” the mad man is reading one of the letters between the two dogs. One of the dogs writes that love is a second life. What does the dog mean with this line? And what could the speaking dogs represent?

A: A person lives with their every day routine; but if one day that person fell in love, he or she would need to make space for the loved one somehow in their already tightly scheduled life. The dog has his duty to follow and carry out his duties before he could take time for his heart desire. Love just cannot exist in their real life as it exists - only in another life. Real life is work, work, and work – everything is practical and things that make sense. Love does not fit into this world of daily working life. Dogs could be seen as representing the lower classes of Russian society at this time. A person owns and leads a dog, so the third class is owned and lead by the higher ranks. However, Gogol allowed the dogs in this story to have the ability to speak, read, and write. It is a symbol for a possible change in the social circle. If the third class starts having education, the first class would not be able to control them as easily.

Posted by: D.Parizon at February 22, 2010 08:27 PM

Muriel Clemens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Survey of English Literature II (Honors)
February 21, 2010
Entry Ticket #3

Nikolai Gogol’s The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories

Question 1
In the story The Nose we are given two different dates. The first is March 25 and the second is April 7. What do these dates mean and how do they relate to the story?

Answer 1
March 25 on the Julian calendar and April 7 on the Gregorian calendar are the same day. According to Priscilla Meyer the dates fall on Annunciation Day in the Orthodox church. Meyer states that this is a story that could have been about a conversion, a bad man turned good and turning toward faith. Instead it’s a story about the failure of Kovalyov to change. Just as the two dates are the same day, Kovalyov is the same man he was before and after finding his nose.

Question 2
In the story of The Overcoat, what does the overcoat represent?

Answer 2
The overcoat represents temptation. The coat itself is a necessity but it is turned into an obsession. The “idea” of the coat becomes more important than the actual coat. Akaky becomes a different man and because of this he stays late at the party given for him by his co-workers in celebration of his new coat. The coat has become a status symbol and the cause of Akaky’s death.


Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House and Other Plays (Penguin Classics). New York: Penguin Classics, 1965. Print.
Tikos, Laszlo. Gogol's art A search for identity. Bati, 1997. Print.

Posted by: M. Clemens at February 22, 2010 09:01 PM

Mary Strand
Dr. Hobbs
February 20, 2010

Entry Ticket #3

Question #1: What is the significance of Poprishchin’s entry on November 8th, concerning his trip to the theater?

Answer #1: In this short and simple journal entry, Gogol is able to express to the readers a number of characteristics of Poprishchin, as well as the time period. Gogol is able to present another prime example of Poprishchin’s arrogant and pompous attitude towards those of the perceived lower class; merchants and journalists, and all others who will never have such a complimenting place in society as he does, holding the position of clerk to the director. Poprishchin also makes a stab at those among his ranks that are not of his standards; those [greedy] clerks who do not indulge in such things as the theater like he does. Theater was a fine way to pass your time and spend your money during his time. And, at the very end, the trailing thoughts about the maiden he remembered from the play, not only for her voice, but for other reasons he must remove from his train of thought, show the reader the respect he lacks for the opposite sex; as did many men during his time.


Question #2: Why do you think Kovalyov refers to the devil as knowing how to approach the nose on page 31?

Answer #2: I believe that in Kovalyov’s attempts to confront the state councillor about his nose, he looks to the knowledge of the devil so as to make a point of his social class. Having lost his nose, Kovalyov is now nothing to those around him (especially the women he is trying so hard to impress) and Gogol is making the point that evil was associated with the lower class. When deciphering between good and evil within the text, the lower class was seen as inferior and therefore we classified as evil. With his nose, Kovalyov would not have turned to such courage from the knowledge of the devil, but that of the ‘good’ power. The social class of a person could have potentially rendered them a stigma as being an evil/bad person during this time.

Posted by: Mary Strand at February 23, 2010 01:25 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-226
2-23-10

Entry Ticket 3: Gogol

1. In The Overcoat, does Akaky receive his due?

A. Akaky has his revenge on society at large and presumably his robber, but this can be analyzed in different ways. He can be said to have gotten his due, but another view could be that he has been cursed, as he had cursed others. Whether he has found peace is debatable.

2. The narrator of The Nose states that the story is unreliable and the events cannot happen, does Gogol do this to undermine his story or to give an added dimension to the story?

A. Gogol clearly understands that his narrator stating that events cannot happen gives an odd feeling to the reader, and will affect how they understand and receive the story. He is giving the story a life of its own, as simply the story about the nose is absurd, but the story about the narrator narrating the story is a method of delivering a lesson and meaning.

Posted by: Dana Jennings at February 23, 2010 02:19 AM



Branka Trivanovic


ENG 226 [HONORS]


Due February 23, 2010



Entry Ticket #3



Q. 1) Why did Akaky Akakievich’s insist on repairing the old overcoat instead of just buying a new one? What finally persuades him to do so?


A. 1) His salary did not leave him much money to spend on materials for a new coat. He knew that without a change in his earnings he would never be able to afford a new overcoat. After being denied several times by Petrovich, he decides to live on a strict budget so that he can save up enough money for a new overcoat. After a while he becomes obsessed with the prospect of a new overcoat that he does not think about much else. Finally, a holiday bonus at work gives him enough money to afford new material for a new overcoat and the rest is history, as they say.



Q. 2) For what reason, if any, do you think that the barber Ivan Yakovlevich found Major Kovalyov’s nose in his bread? Do you believe that he had anything to do with it disappearing in the first place? In other words, was he one of the people that emasculated Kovalyov, as discussed in class?


A. 2) I do not believe that the barber had anything to do with the loss of nose, or emasculation of Kovalyov. I think that his position as a drunk and a barber, AND the fact that he holds peoples noses when he shaves them, makes him an accessible character to place blame on. Considering the emasculation aspect of the story, if anything it would have been Kovalyov that made Yakovlevich feel like the lesser man. He always pointed out that Yakovlevich hands “stink” when he shaved him. So, no, I do not think that Yakovlevich had anything to do with the nose disappearing. Just another, “in the wrong place at the wrong time” kind of events.

Posted by: Branka Trivanovic at February 23, 2010 09:28 AM

Jeremy Doty
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Honors Survey of World Literature II
23 February 2010, Entry ticket

The Overcoat,
How was the over coat taken and what was the final outcome of the situation?
Two men put a fist in Akakys’ face and made him be quiet, then they kicked him in the chest with a knee and left him in the snow without the over coat. That lead to him talking to an “important personage” and after that lead nowhere, Akaky caught a cold and died. The coat made him extremely happy and consumed his life and then he died without it.

The Diary of a Madman
What is the main obsession of Kovalyov, the main character?
He is obsessed with rank and the rank of every object and the rank of the owner of an object. Rank is what is consuming his life and already being a crazy man; he is making himself even crazier by obsessing so much.

Posted by: jeremy at February 23, 2010 09:49 AM

Antonette Boynes
HON ENG 226: Survey of World Literature
Dr. Hobbs
02-22-2010
Diary of a Madman and Other Plays Entry Ticket #3
Q1) What conflict is evident in the plot of Diary of a Madman?
A1) In Diary of a Madman by Gogol, Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin has demonstrated a decline in his sanity throughout his very descriptive journal entries. This internal struggle that Poprishchin has experienced is obviously a man vs self conflict. Because there are many things that he can’t seem to fathom and then makes up things in his head, Poprishchin also may have a serious case of schizophrenia.

Q2) How has this conflict affected the play?

A2) The exaggeration of Poprishchin’s insanity in the book is pathetic. It is so ridiculous it seems to almost want to make the audience want to have sympathy for his foolishness. In most cases like this a reader such as myself will be upset that someone could be so simple. This conflict gave the play an annoying mood in my opinion. I had to force myself to continue especially since things were not getting better for Poprishchin. I felt almost like I was living his sorry life.

Posted by: Antonette Boynes at February 23, 2010 10:03 AM

Katherine Ganning
B.L. Hobbs
ENG226H: Survey of World Literature II
23 February 2010
Entry Ticket 3: Ukrainian Tales
1. In each of Gogol’s short story, he uses smoke to represent the devil or super natural in two stories. Name and describe each story in which these events take place.
In The Nose, although Kovalyov does not show feelings of religious faith, the doctor is portrayed as the devil is hopes of buying his soul. While in The Overcoat, Petrovich is the tailor is presented in a cloud of smoke and is represented as the devil’s apprentice, so to speak. Gogol uses smoke as a way to “obscure vision, whether through sneezing, a haze of smoke, or the distraction of snuff taking […]. (Gogol 226).
2. How does the “nose” represent the actions of how people posses things during the 19th century and today.
There are many different reasons as to why one obsesses over objects, even though they are just things that sometimes are temporary. For example; Linus Van Pelt’s blanket represents his insecurity about life or a textbook represents the student’s visual knowledge of what to learn. In a way, we rely on objects to encourage our feelings, either way we are able to walk away without the security of something.

Works Cited

Gogol, Nikolai. The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Signet Classic, 2005.

Posted by: Katie Ganning at February 23, 2010 10:48 AM

Patricia Pothier
ENG 220 World Lit
Dr. Hobbs
Entry Ticket 3

1. How does Poprishchin view his peers and what do his opinions say about Russian society?
a. It is evident even at the outset of the novel that Poprishchin holds much resentment towards his fellow workers and peers. The very first page of the story we are given a glimpse of the hostility Poprishchin feels when he discusses the chief of his department. He calls the chief a heron and states that he is just envious. This theme of paranoia and disdain is continuous throughout the short story. Though in the end we discover that Poprishchin suffered from schizophrenia, we can look to the book to understand the Russian society Gogol was trying to depict. Poprishchin was a lowly clerk who, despite losing his mind, still in the beginning understood his place in the social hierarchy. He prides himself on being the one to sharpen the quills of His Excellency, so he does appreciate the status of the King. This comprehension begins to unravel when Poprishchin mentions that he is unhappy about being a titular councilor. Also on page 14 he is vexed because everything that is good seems to go to chamberlains and generals. This increases his contempt for the hierarchy. He also never speaks of Her Excellency without scolding himself which shows that he recognizes that she is above him. This short makes the reader privy to the inside workings of the Communist system. Though Poprishchin is terribly unhappy and does not like his status or the people around him he never dares to voice his true opinions aloud. The fact that the short is also written as diary entries might suggest that Poprishchin found comfort in his diary as he could not truly express himself to others. Communism certainly does not promote the individual but society as a whole therefore the diary format seems fitting.
2. What impression does The Overcoat give of Russian bureaucracy?
a. Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin is a lowly government clerk and despite the fact that his work is so monotonous and menial he is entirely devoted to doing it. He is a copier which provides little opportunity for advancement. Of course when a promotion opens up he is much too afraid to accept it. This leaves him as a copier and no one pays him any mind because his work is of little value. In a system where the good of the community is promoted over the good of the individual this story provides a prime example of this. When he buys the overcoat and it is stolen, the entire system is taken into account. Akaky runs to the police commissioner who is less than sympathetic. When Akaky goes to meet an important person he is once again made fun of. The story is devastatingly tragic as Akaky dies without finding his overcoat. No one helped him regardless of all the years he spent being so thorough at his job.

Posted by: Patricia Pothier at February 23, 2010 02:48 PM

Antonette Boynes
HON ENG 226: Survey of World Literature II
Dr. Hobbs
02-28-2010
Gogol Reading Response
At first, I thought the Diary of a Madman would be an interesting read for me, and it was, just not in the sense that I thought it would be. It was more difficult that I thought and at times had me discombobulated, however I grasped the main concept: pure insanity!
In Diary of a Madman by Gogol, Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin has demonstrated a decline in his sanity throughout his very descriptive journal entries. This internal struggle that Poprishchin has experienced is obviously a man vs self conflict. Because there are many things that he can’t seem to fathom and then makes up things in his head, Poprishchin also may have a serious case of schizophrenia. Some of the elements incorporated with his delusions could be his love affair and his sham royalty. These could have been the initial stages of his progress or may have taken it overboard. It seems like his love affair was part of the start and then as he realized that his love was not interested in him, it took him off the deep end. In many instances love is the cause of someone going crazy.
On the other hand, at some points it seemed as though Poprishchin knew what he was doing and even knew that he was losing some of his screws. Poprishchin notes in his diary that he thinks he hears two dogs talking to each other in Russian. He further notes: “‘It can’t be true, I must be drunk.' But I hardly ever drink.” He admits that the idea of dogs talking to be absurd, but then later on submits himself to the thought that the dogs were writing letters, proving that he is in actuality a lunatic. Gogol did a good job very good job in satisfying the requirements that would certify Poprishchin as mentally unstable such as delusions, hallucinations, gross disorganization, and catonic behavior. He even took it further creating it in such a way that we would feel mercy.
The exaggeration of Poprishchin’s insanity in the book is pathetic. It is so ridiculous it seems to almost want to make the audience want to have sympathy for his foolishness. In most cases like this a reader such as myself will be upset that someone could be so simple. This conflict gave the play an annoying mood in my opinion. I had to force myself to continue especially since things were not getting better for Poprishchin. I felt almost like I was living his sorry life.

Posted by: Antonette Boynes at February 27, 2010 04:17 PM

Diana Parizon
English 226 – Honors
Dr. Hobbs
2 March 2010
Olfactory
Gogol accentuated clearly in “The Nose” the importance of olfactory. The loss of eyesight could be replaced by sense of touch, and sign language could be used if one is disabled to speak. However, losing the sense of smell is really hard to substitute. Even if one looses one arm or a leg, one is still left to be used. Throughout the story, Kovalyov tries everything to find his nose while realizing the importance of it.
Kovalvyov is very ashamed of what happened to him, waking up without a nose and not remembering how this happened. There is not even evidence that it was cut off. The space between his eyes is simply flat as if the nose would have never existed before. The proof for his humiliation for the loss of his nose is when he goes on foot outside; he was “wrapped in his cloak and covering his face with a handkerchief, giving the impression that he was bleeding” (Gogol 30). Kovalvyov seems to be a very proud man due to his preference to be called “Major,” a military title even though he is only one of the plebian. Ironically, when Kovalyov meets his own nose, which is dressed in military uniform of higher rank than a Major, he learns that the nose is on its own. There is a saying that one should not hold their nose too high, it leads to arrogance. The nose represents arrogance as he says to Kovalyov: “judging by the buttons on your uniform, you must work in another department” (Gogol 32). After Kovalyov has his nose miraculously returned he has more confidence in himself because of his sharp nose; he has good humor, smiles, and pursues all the pretty ladies.
It is amusing when Kovalyov goes to the Board of Security to release a search warrant for his lost nose. He learns from the clerks while talking about a lost girl, that instead of publishing information about the lost person, one should hire a good dog to search for the person. The dog would use his olfactory to find the missing person. This knowledge of the dog’s ability to find lost people, or things, by using his sense of smell reminded Kovalvoy now important his own nose was.
Having this confrontation with his own nose let Kovalvoy realize the importance of his sense of smell. It leads him to his goals. He trusts his senses but especially his sense of smell. If something smells good he follows the source of this scent. By losing this particular tool of smell, he learns to appreciate it once he has it back. Even though strange things happen in life, he hopes this dilemma will not occur again.

Work Cites
Gogol, Nikolai. The Diary of a Madman. London: Signet Classics, 2005. Print.

Posted by: D.Parizon at March 1, 2010 07:22 PM

Muriel Clemens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Survey of English Literature II (Honors)
Reading Response #3

The Power of Words
Gogol’s Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
Words are a powerful tool. We can use them to complement someone, or to cut them down to size. We use them to make peace or to go to war. In the right hands words can be magic. In the hands of a good writer words can transport us to another place or another time. In Gogol’s stories we are taken to Petersburg Russia before the Revolution to a time that was not so easy. Gogol uses a wonderful bouquet of words that when laying on the page are simply buds but once they are read become beautiful blossoms. Equivoque is one of those words.

The word equivocal is used in Gogol’s The Diary of a Madman. Poprishchin, the protagonist, is talking about his employer “His Excellency” and what he says is:
I would like to find out what he thinks about most; what’s going on in
that head. I would like to have a closer look at the life of these gentlemen,
all these equivoques and court doings, what they’re like, what they do
in their set-that’s what I’d like to find out!

The word equivoque means using words in such a way that it causes ambiguity and uncertainty. Poprishchin is a very paranoid man and the use of this word in reference to his employer and men like him is further evidence of his paranoid delusions. The etymology of equivocation is that it is from Old French equivocation, and from Late Latin aequivocationem and means “the fallacy of using a word in different senses at different stages of the reasoning” (Online Etymology Dictionary). Do you see how the word blooms?

Words written by the right person can do so much and they are something we take for granted. Gogol is an artist with words and he knows how to paint a picture with them. I hope I can someday learn this art.

Works Cited
"Equivocate | Define Equivocate at Dictionary.com." Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Web. 02 Mar. 2010. .
Gogol, Nikolai. The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Signet Classics, 2004. Print.
Online Etymology Dictionary. Web. 02 Mar. 2010. term=equivocation>.

Posted by: M. Clemens at March 1, 2010 10:17 PM

Mary Strand
Dr. Hobbs
February 28, 2010

Significance of Vocabulary in Gogol’s Work

Throughout The Diary of a Madman, The Nose, and The Overcoat, Nikolai Gogol makes use of specific vocabulary, to further make known the underlying theme of classism seen in all three of his short stories. For example, on page six of The Diary of a Madman, the main character Poprishchin ignores the fact that anyone is walking down the street, yet he proceeds in describing people of lower classes and what they are wearing. The existence of the bourgeois class peoples is unbeknownst to him, yet he himself (being a clerk of some unknown sort) could be considered bourgeois himself. On page 30 of The Nose, Major Kovalyov goes into St. Petersburg to try and find his lost nose, and makes known, in brief, his view on marriage. He states that he would not be opposed to marrying a woman, so long as she came with a large capital for him to share with her; he himself is not of any great social status, and his goal was to make that climb at anyone’s sake.
Along with these examples of classism identified in the text, Gogol also uses word choice to make known the social status of people. Within the three short stories Gogol uses vocabulary that would pinpoint the class of an individual using the word, or being talked about. Words such as boudoir and lorgnette were used in reference to women in the stories. Boudoir is a fancy way of speaking of a woman’s private room or bedroom, and only a woman of upper class status would have a room solely for herself. A lorgnette is a pair of glasses on a stick mainly used by woman op upper class at the theatre or an opera. In randomly using these two vocabulary words within his text, a reader would know that these women are of a higher social class than most. In another instance Gogol uses the words confrere and soiree to indicate an individual’s colleague and a social gathering that one of the characters was attending. These two vocabulary words would not have been used by plebeians of the time.
With these few in text examples and specific instances of word choice that Gogol used to indicate classism, it is made known that this was an issue during his time, and a continuous theme throughout his writings.


Work Cited
Gogol, Nikolai. The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Penguin, 2005.

Posted by: Mary Strand at March 1, 2010 11:59 PM



Branka Trivanovic


ENG 226


Due March 2, 2010




READING RESPONSE 3




For what reason, if any, do you think that the barber Ivan Yakovlevich found Major Kovalyov’s nose in his bread? Do you believe that he had anything to do with it disappearing in the first place? In other words, was he one of the people that emasculated Kovalyov, as discussed in class?




I do not believe that the barber had anything to do with the loss of nose, or emasculation of Kovalyov. I think that his position as a drunk and a barber, AND the fact that he holds peoples noses when he shaves them, makes him an accessible character to place blame on. Considering the emasculation aspect of the story, if anything it would have been Kovalyov that made Yakovlevich feel like the lesser man. He always pointed out that Yakovlevich hands “stink” when he shaved him. So, no, I do not think that Yakovlevich had anything to do with the nose disappearing. Just another, “in the wrong place at the wrong time” kind of events. In the beginning of the story, Yakovlevich wonders how the nose could have gotten in the bread. He concludes that, “The devil knows…” He could not remember whether he came home drunk or not the night before but even then, “bread is a baked affair, while a nose is something entirely different. Another reason that leads me to believe that Yakovlevich had nothing to do with the actually disappearance of Kovalyov’s nose is the possibility that it was all actually a dream that Kovalyov had. On page 48 it is stated, “suddenly the very nose which had been riding around… showed up again, just as if nothing had happened…” If it was all a dream then anyone and anything in the story was all part of an elaborate and twisted workings of the mind and not reality which seems much more plausible than to say that someone’s nose became a separate entity and was running around town acting like a high rank officer. In the end, Gogol does not want to reveal to the reader what had actually happened, but instead ends the story with a shroud of mystery around it. “No matter what anyone says, such things happen in the world; rarely, but they happen.”

Posted by: Branka Trivanovic at March 2, 2010 08:42 AM

Jeremy Doty
Reading response 3
ENG 226H Survey of World Literature II
Dr. B.L. Hobbs

Halberd: other names are Halbert, Swiss Voulge, Viking ax. One belief is that it is of German origin and the name is derived from (halm) meaning staff or pole and (barte) meaning ax,(pole ax).
A halberd is a two handed weapon that was popular beginning during the 14th century and was used through the 16th century as a standard weapon. It is a spear, or pike like weapon that is usually around 6 feet long and has an ax at the tip along with the spear head. It is good for keeping distance between you and your opponent and is great for de-horsing knights. The hook on the back side of the ax is good for grading armor and pulling the horseman off the horse. The head of the weapon was usually made from iron or steal. Training with the weapon normally consisted of swinging and thrusting the weapon at the opponent.

Posted by: jeremy at March 2, 2010 10:09 AM

Katie Ganning
Dr. B. L. Hobbs
ENG 226: Survey of World Literature II
2 March 2010
Little Jobs, Big Thoughts.

According to the dictionary, Subaltern is someone who is lower in rank. During the first half of 18th century Russia, the world had already undergone a transition of living known as the Industrial Revolution, whereas Russia stayed economically and socially behind. While this was taking place in the world, Nikolai Gogol was writing his short stories of St. Petersburg which is shown of his finest work of Russian men during the present time of Gogol; these men were known to be of lower rank, or subalterns.
In each of Gogol’s short stories, the men are each of subaltern rank. Usually, men are stereotypically known to want respect and to have earned it, with each man in each story, it drives them each to the point of materialistic thoughts which lead to each of them going semi-insane or completely insane. What people should remember is that although there rank in the social life might be low, we are all apparatchiks in each society 
Works Cited
Gogol, Nikolai. The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Signet Classics, 2005.

Posted by: Katie Ganning at March 2, 2010 10:40 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-226
3-2-10

Ogle Gogol

I enjoyed Gogol’s stories, as I am almost convinced the man was slightly insane either prior to or at the time of writing them. He has a distinct style of being able to write as a madman without disengaging and being objective, as in Diary of a Madman, “Today is a day of the greatest jubilation! There is a king in Spain. He has been found. I am this king. Only just today did I find out about this” (16). He is clearly mad, but the narrator doesn’t need to be objective and separate himself from the character, as that is not Gogol’s style, and it works well in his stories.

Gogol has an interesting method of taking objects from one story to the next, changing a mundane object into an important and central reflector in the next. In Diary of a Madman he states monotonously “I put on my old overcoat . . . because it was pouring rain” (2), and then in The Overcoat more dramatically he states “One should know that Akaky Akakievich’s overcoat also served as an object of merriment for the clerks: they took away even its honorable name of overcoat and called it a housecoat” (73). The way Gogol has laced his stories with connecting factors allows for good discussions on his intent, as in if his stories are meant to be connected or if he simply had objects that he used in all his stories.

Gogol uses a style of writing that is rough on the eyes and counter to someone who likes to take their eyes off of the page and drink coffee. This is because he stretches his paragraphs longer than most authors, and it is hard to find pausing points or stop and restart frequently. For example, the first paragraph of The Overcoat begins on page 67 and ends at the top of page 70. Even with his rough use of length and wordiness, with a spattering of insanity, I enjoyed Gogol’s stories as they are fun and engaging to read.

Work Cited
Gogol, Nikolai. The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Signet Classics, 2004. Print.

Posted by: Dana Jennings at March 2, 2010 02:41 PM

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Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at March 12, 2010 02:28 PM

Question: 6. What is the primary setting for “The Overcoat”? Where does it take place
and when?
Answer: The Overcoat takes place in St. Petersburg Russia, at or before the beginning of 20th century before the fall of the Russian Monarchy. It takes place over one year. Gogol uses the quotes, "There is Peterburg a foe for all who receive a salary of four hundred rubles or about that sum(Gogol4)."

Posted by: Octavia Robinson at February 3, 2013 10:08 PM

Jillian Stolzenburg
dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA04
4 Feb 2013

Question: From what point of view (or, points of view) is “The Overcoat” told. As you know, there are, at least, three different types of third person (if it is in third). You MUST be specific or the answer will be incorrect. Sometimes more than one type of third person is used so pay close attention.

Answer: "The Overcoat" by Nicolai Gogol is told in third person
limited ominicint. The narrator can go into Akaky Akakyevitch's mind and no one elses. "…eat a piece of beef with an onion; he did not notice the taste at all" (Gogol 2). you would not know that he doesn't taste it without the narrator getting in his head and saying that. Another example is. if the author could read everyones minds it would be third person ominicant

Posted by: jill stolz at February 4, 2013 10:45 AM

Sarah Hatcher
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122
4 February, 2013

The Overcoat

Question 4: What are some stereotyped characters in "The Overcoat"?

Answer: In the story The Overcoat, the overcoat it self symbolizes the stereotype of class. Because his jacket was old and worn down, everyone assumed he was a nobody. Also the stereotype that after you die, thats when people start caring. "But who could have imagined that this was not all there was to tell about Akaky Akakyevitch, that he was destined for a few days to make a noise in the world after his death," (page 16). No one would have thought a poor nobody such as Akaky would come up with such a good idea.

Posted by: Sarah Hatcher at February 4, 2013 11:10 AM

Ana DeMaio
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing 2 CA04 in Crawford Hall, Room #6
4 February 2013

Question: What role does the supernatural play in this fairly realistic, if comic, story?
Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number
and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.
Answer: In the “Overcoat” written by Nikolai Gogol the supernatural plays an important part. The supernatural aspect of the short story comes into play after the main character Akaky Akakyevitch dies. He comes back as a ghost and is haunting people in St. Petersburg and taking their overcoats from them. “One of the department officials saw the dead man with his own eyes and immediately recognized in him Akakiy Akakievitch”(Gogol 16, para 1). In the overcoat Gogol uses the supernatural to teach a moral lesson. Akaky was overlooked and mistreated in life because he had a low social rank. He was stolen from and nothing was done about it because he was unimportant. When he comes back as a ghost, he haunts people regardless of their status. Finally Akaky haunts the “prominent personage” a man who was of high-status and mistreated him. After he is haunted he realizes the errors of his ways and that he can`t treat people who are under him poorly. At work he now treats his inferiors with respect and no longer says how dare you. “The incident made a great impression upon him. Indeed, it happened far more rarely that he said to his subordinates, “How dare you? Do you understand who I am?” and he never uttered those words at all until he had first heard all the rights of the case (Gogol 18).” After he learned his lesson Akays ghost disappeared and stopped haunting people.

Posted by: Ana DeMaio at February 4, 2013 11:38 AM

Marie Ryan
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA 08
2/4/2013

Q: What are some moral issues (think core values) in the story and how are they resolved? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell
the class the paragraph and page number your answer/evidence is located.

A: A moral issue in the story is that of respect. In the first paragraph on page two it says, "No respect at all was shown to him in the department." This quote is refering to Akaky Akakyevitchmer and the fact that none of his co-workers showed him any respect. Oddly enough this seems to have been resolved by him buying a new overcoat. On page nine in paragraph two it says, " I cannont tell how it happened, but all ot one everyone in the department learned that Akaky Akakyevitchmer had a new overcoat and that the "dressing coat" no longer existed. They all ran out at once to the porter's room to look at Akaky Akakyevitchmer new overcaot, they began welcoming him and congradualating him."

Posted by: Marie Ryan at February 4, 2013 11:43 AM


Allison Knipe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122
4 February 2013

15. What does the overcoat, old dressing gown or new overcoat, signify for the
protagonist? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the
page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.

This story reminds me of “The Necklace” in the way that a piece of clothing or accessory can change a persons way of life or mood instantly. The protagonist’s old overcoat made him a laughing stock, now with a new coat he feels brand new. On page 8-9 he explains the overcoat and how it makes him feel. “Meanwhile Akaky Akakyevitch walked along with every emotion in its most holiday mood. He felt every second that he had a new overcoat on his shoulders, and several times he actually laughed from inward satisfaction.”(Gogol 9) This coat symbolizes that even when he loses the coat, his new popularity, the common man can still rise to the top.

Posted by: Allison Knipe at February 4, 2013 12:55 PM

Octavio Herrera
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA04
3 February 2013

Question: How does the new overcoat change Akaky’s relationship with his co-workers? In what way are his interactions with them different? The same? Specifically, is his fellow clerks’ sudden interest in celebrating Akaky’s new overcoat just another way to make fun of him without him realizing it? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.


Answer: When Akaky gets the new overcoat his personality is changed along with the relationship with his co-workers. His co-workers react very positively to his new overcoat in comparison to old overcoat which they mocked, they call it his “dressing jacket” (Gogol 10). Akaky’s co-workers seemed like they were proud of Akaky for getting a new overcoat “they began welcoming him and congratulating him” (Gogol 9). I do not believe that his co-workers trying to make fun of him without him realizing it.

Posted by: Octavio Herrera at February 4, 2013 12:56 PM

Jazmine Dixon
Dr.Hobbs
English 122 CA05 A Jury of Her Peers
4 February 2013

Question: Might “The Overcoat” short story contains a critique of the social structure of Russian in Gogol’s time? (For example, in the fact that Akaky’s ghost ignores this social structure by pulling coats off of people “without regard for rank or title”)

Answer: Yes, short story The Overcoat does contain the social structure of Russian in Gogol’s time. Gogol’s biography states that, Gogol was born in the Ukrainian Cossack village of Sorochyntsi, in Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine. His mother was a descendant of Polish landowners. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, a descendant of Ukrainian Cossacks who died when Gogol was 15 years old, belonged to the 'petty gentry', wrote poetry in Ukrainian and Russian, and was an amateur Ukrainian-language playwright. As was typical of the left-bank Ukrainian gentry of the early nineteenth century, the family spoke Russian as well as Ukrainian. As a child, Gogol helped stage Ukrainian-language plays in his uncle's home theater.

Posted by: Jazmine Dixon at February 4, 2013 06:49 PM

Rannell Smith
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122
2 February 2013

Question: "From what point of view (or, points of view) is “The Overcoat” told. As you
know, there are, at least, three different types of third person (if it is in third).
You MUST be specific or the answer will be incorrect. Sometimes more than
one type of third person is used so pay close attention."

Answer: "The OverCoat" is told from an ironic, third person omniscient narrative perspective because it is privy to more information than any other character in the story and has access to the characters’ innermost thoughts and feelings. In addition, it is also told from a first person narrative. In that sense, the narrator could be perceived as a foil by comprehending the characters in a contrasting way. For example, “I must observe that Akaky Akakievich’s overcoat had also served as a butt for jibes of the clerks. It had even deprived to the honorable name of overcoat and had be referred to as the ‘dressing jacket”(4). Just by the description of the coat, Nikolai hints at the description of the character. Akaky is seen as the protagonist because although he is the main character, he is not depicted as the hero. The villain is not only the person that stole the overcoat, but also the general. 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 the characters' thoughts and emotions.


Posted by: Rannell Smith at February 4, 2013 08:24 PM

Anthony Jannetta
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA04
6 February 2013

Question: Why is copying an “interesting, pleasant world” for the protagonist. Why doesn’t he want to do other kinds of copying? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.

Answer: Copying is an “interesting, pleasant world” for the protagonist because “certain letters were favorites with him, and when he came to them he was delighted; he chuckled to himself and winked and moved his lips, so that it seemed as though every letter his pen as forming could be read in his face.” (Gogol, 2) He doesn’t want to do other kinds of copying because “It seemed as though nothing in the world existed for him outside his copying.” (Gogol, 3) Indeed, they tried to make him do something else; they wanted him to alter “the headings and in place changing the first person into the third.” (Gogol, 2) But it coasted him to much effort and just wanted to copy stuff. In my mind, the protagonist looks simple-minded; he just wants to copy word by word without thinking to the meaning of the sentences, or how he could do a better sentence.

Posted by: Anthony Jannetta at February 4, 2013 08:59 PM

Alison Schucht
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA05
4 February 2013

Question: Who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist in "The Overcoat"?

The protagonist is Akaky Akakyevitch, and the antagonist is known as the Person of Consequence

Posted by: Alison Schucht at February 4, 2013 09:13 PM

Adrianna Johnson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol
5 February 2013

Question 23:The writer says of Akaky, “It would be unfair to say that no attention had ever been paid to him” and also, “No one had ever paid him the slightest attention.” Obviously, there seems be a contradiction. Which statement is true?

Answer: No one had ever paid him the slightest attention would make the most sense because in the story, it says: “But Akakiy Akakievitch answered not a word, any more than if there had been no one there besides himself”. He was not one to be known by many people “No one could ever say that he had seen him at any kind of evening party. Having written to his heart's content, he lay down to sleep, smiling at the thought of the coming day -- of what God might send him to copy on the morrow.”

Posted by: Adrianna Johnson at February 5, 2013 11:23 AM

Jordan Miller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08
Feb 4 2013

Question 10: Explain the PRIMARY conflict in “The Overcoat” and how (if) it is resolved.
Answer: In the “Overcoat” by Gogol, there are many conflicts; the overcoat, the harassment, ,the poverty of the Akaky, but the main conflict is the society that they live in, is the totalitarian government that controls, and manages its society from the ground up. The world itself is tearing itself about by too much control. The main character Akaky is the lowest of the low and has had to endure all of the pains and harsh environments the world has to offer. And he has finally had enough, he stands up for what he believes in and says something, says how the world is too controlling, and that the people aren’t really cared for, that it is just a society of control, and all he wanted was his coat back that had been stolen. When the Leader turned him down and sent him on his way, he was devastated, still poor, still cold, and still coatless. But after that day, after seeing what the Leader had done to him, the town started to notice that the government didn’t really care at all. "But who could have imagined that this was not all there was to tell about Akaky Akakyevitch, that he was destined for a few days to make a noise in the world after his death, as though to make up for his life having been unnoticed by any one (Gogol, 15)?" That line there was the breaking point to show, that even a small man, unnoticed, unimportant, can make a difference, if even the slightest of a difference, but still a difference.

Posted by: Jordan Miller at February 5, 2013 11:36 AM

Angie Fortunak
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing CA08
5 February 2013


Question 8 "The Overcoat": Explain the plot of "The Overcoat". Identify and present conflicts in the order that they are revealed to the reader.

Answer: "The Overcoat" is a short story written by Nikolai Gogol. It portrays a Russian official Akakii Akakievich, who is not accepted by his peers and is made fun of. He is very poor and must resort to going to the government to get help. He overcomes his problem of going to the government for help and comes out a stronger person and laughs at those that are in power. Throughout the story though there are many different conflicts. As stated earlier Akakievich is not a well liked person, his name even means "poop" in Russian. On page 2, it is described as "no respect at all was shown him in the department" (Gogol 2). He would get very upset and this was the first conflict of him vs. fellow workers. The main conflict was him vs. money. Akakievich has very little money and it is brought to his attention that he needs a new jacket. "Its collar had been grwoing smaller year by year as it served to patch the other parts" (Gogol 4). It was a"clumsy and ugly" jacket (Gogol 4). He had to get a new jacket in order to keep succeeding at his job. Lastly, in order for him to get a new jacket he had to stop using money for other things such as food. There would be times when he went without food. It was in the end that he came out as a stronger person.

Posted by: Angie Fortunak at February 5, 2013 07:58 PM

Marlie Gonzalez
Dr.Hobbs
Eng122 Academic writting II
5 Febuary 2013

question:Why the second apparition at the end? Who was it supposed to be? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and the paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.

Answer: i Believe that the the second apparition at the end was to show people what happend simailar to an epilouge.The apparition was supposed to be the dead clerck as it says on page 18 on the very last paragraph, "The apparation of the dead clerck ceased entirely.Apparently the general's overcoat had fitted him perfectly;anyway,nothing more was heard of overcoats being snatched from anywayone"

Posted by: Marlie at February 5, 2013 08:27 PM

Jennifer Evans
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA 08 The Overcoat
5 February 2013

Question: 19. Who attacks Akaky in the square and steals his overcoat? Provide textual
evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph
where your answer/evidence is locate.

Answer: Two ruffians robbed him.(Ruffian- violent person, involved in crime)
"He had only seen him stopped in the middle of the square by the two men, and supposed that they were his friends" (Gogol 12)

Posted by: Jennifer Evans at February 5, 2013 09:07 PM

Alexia Chambers and Abigail Evans
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA04
January 4, 2013
14. Why is the protagonist so upset by Petrovich’s insistence that he needs a new overcoat? Is it really just about the expense? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.
Having a nice coat made him look like he was important besides the cost he did not want to look “more than he is worth himself” he also just wanted to repair his coat because he needed a coat for the winter anyway. When he does get a new coat people start looking at him in a different way and then his coat is stolen and he died from the cold.

Posted by: Alexia Chambers at February 5, 2013 11:17 PM

Briyana Aiken
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA08 The Overcoat
6 February 2013
Question:Why does Akaky say, “No, it would be better not to look” and then cross the
dark square with his eyes closed only to be attacked? Provide textual evidence to
support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your
answer/evidence is located.
Answer:I think he looked out of curiosity. Even though you know you shouldn't look somewhere or do something, there is always that thought in the back of your mind wondering.
"No, it is better not to look," he thought, and went on, closing his eyes. When he opened them, to see whether he was near the end of the square, he suddenly beheld, standing just before his very nose, some bearded individuals of precisely what sort he could not make out. All grew dark before his eyes, and his heart throbbed." (Gogol, 11) Last paragraph.

Posted by: Briyana Aiken at February 6, 2013 10:05 AM

Taina Valcarcel
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
September 27, 2013

Question: What is the primary setting for "The Overcoat"? Where does it take place and when?

Answer: THe primary setting of "The Overcoat" is in a government department in St. Petersburg, Russia. A quote from the story that identifies this is,"And so, in a certain department there was a government clerk; a clerk of whom it cannot be
said that he was very remarkable; he was short, somewhat pockmarked, with rather reddish hair
and rather dim, bleary eyes, with a small bald patch on the top of his head, with wrinkles on both
sides of his cheeks and the sort of complexion which is usually associated with hœmorrhoids. . .
no help for that, it is the Petersburg climate." This helped set up the primary setting for the story.

Posted by: Taina Valcarcel at September 27, 2013 12:49 PM

Michael Ossolinski
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA08
27 September 2013

Question: How does the new overcoat change Akaky's relationship with his co-workers? In what way are his interactions with them different? The same? Specifically, is his fellow clerks' sudden interest in celebrating Akaky's new overcoat just another way to make fun of him without him realizing it? Provide textual relationship to support evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located

Answer: the overcoat brought out the respect from his other co-workers to him; they viewed him with a new point of view because the overcoat change his personality and appearance; there was no same interactions because the coat change the previous interactions towards him; No, because the fellow clerks admire the coat and feel a sense of jealously because the overcoat gave Akaky a sense of pride and accomplishment

Proof: (p.9, paragraph 1, lines 1-21)

Posted by: Michael Ossolinski at September 27, 2013 01:49 PM

Tyiasha Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA08
27 September 2013

Question: What are some moral issues (think: Core Values) in the story and how are they resolved? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.

Answer: Two moral issues in the story is that Akaky is teased at work and the fact that clerks men do not respect him. He says, "However many directors and higher officials of all sorts came and went, he was always seen in the same place, in the same position, and at the very same duty, precisely the same copying clerk, so that they used to declare that he must have been born a copying clerk, in uniform all complete and with a bald patch on his head. No respect at all was shown him in the department" this quote shows how they made fun of him and didn't respect him in the department. The problem was resolved because Akaky actually had a new overcoat and wore it to work. The clerks men then welcomed and congratulated him, almost as if they respected the fact that he got a new overcoat as if they only teased him because of his old one. He says, "I cannot tell how it happened, but all at once every one in the department learned
that Akaky Akakyevitch had a new overcoat and that the “dressing jacket” no longer existed.
They all ran out at once into the porter’s room to look at Akaky Akakyevitch’s new overcoat,
they began welcoming him and congratulating him so that at first he could do nothing but smile
and afterwards felt positively abashed" this shows how his new overcoat had the clerks men being nice to him for a change and not teasing him, they respected him.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 27, 2013 10:53 PM

Kiara Michelle Burgos Diaz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
27 September 2013

Question: Explain the PRIMARY conflict in “The Overcoat” and how (if) it is resolve.

Answer: The primary conflict in the story "The Overcoat" from Nikolai Gogol is Akaky Akakyevitch vs. the overcoat. This overcoat throughout the story is symbolism of every situation that the protagonist has to overcome. First of all, the author mention the crude and cold of the clime, “the frost begins giving such sharp and stinging flips at all their noses indiscriminating that the poor fellows don’t know what to do with them. At that time, when even those in the higher grade have a pain in their brows and tears in their eyes from the frost, the poor titular counsellors are sometimes almost defenseless” (Gogol 4). This fact make an overcoat essential for the daily. Then the same overcoat that is designed to protect from the cold is converted mocked by the other clerks that works with Akaky, “I must observe that Akaky Akakyevitch’s overcoat had also served as a butt for the jibes of the clerks. It had even been deprived of the honorable name of overcoat and had been referred to as the “dressing jacket.” (Gogol 4). When due to wear and aging of the fabric is Akaky force to sacrifice some things in order to afford a new overcoat, at first Akaky was on denial and beg Petrovitch to fixed but he declare that there is nothing he can do and Akaky need a new overcoat. Finally when Akaky get his new coat, everyone noticed, “…but all at once every one in the department learned that Akaky Akakyevitch had a new overcoat and that the “dressing jacket” no longer existed. They all ran out at once into the porter’s room to look at Akaky Akakyevitch’s new overcoat, they began welcoming him and congratulating him so that at first he could do nothing but smile and afterwards felt positively abashed” (Gogol 9), to the point that they decided to celebrate the new acquisition ““So be it, I’ll give a party instead of Akaky Akakyevitch and invite you all to tea with me this evening; as luck would have it, it is my name day.”(Gogol 9). After this event in the life of Akaky, while wandering in the streets this was caught by robbers who took his overcoat to Akaky leaving you without your precious coat “There was a mist before his eyes and a throbbing in his chest. “I say the overcoat is mine!” said one of them in a voice like a clap of thunder, seizing him by the collar. Akaky Akakyevitch was on the point of shouting “Help” when another put a fist the size of a clerk’s head against his very lips, saying, “You just shout now.” Akaky Akakyevitch felt only that they took the overcoat off, and gave him a kick with their knees, and he fell on his face in the snow and was conscious of nothing more” (Gogol 11). In the wake of this event, happened countless of events that culminated in the death of Akaky. It is quite possible that these events along with details that made life unpleasant for Akaky unleashed a ghost that was haunting everyone and stealing their coats. The last appearance of Akaky corpse went to a person who refused to help him when he needed the most. The ghost steal the coat of this person, and after that the ghost of Akaky disappeared, “What was even more remarkable is that from that time the apparition of the dead clerk ceased entirely” (Gogol 18).

Posted by: Kiara M Burgos Diaz at September 27, 2013 11:53 PM

Julieann Sauter
Dr. Hobbs
Eng. 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
27 September 2013

Question: What are some stereotyped characters in “The Overcoat”?

Answer:
There are many stereotyped characters in “The Overcoat.” The first character we meet is the government clerk. He is described as having “dim, bleary eyes, with a small bald patch on top of his head” (Gogol 1). This is an old stereotype of men of government. Nowadays, we have some younger men in office who do not fit that description, along with women. Another stereotype we see in this story is of Petrovitch. Petrovitch is a man with one eye and has pockmarks all over his face. He is said to be a drunk. When we think of alcoholics, we tend to picture crazy looking, disheveled messed. This is exactly what Gogol describes of Petrovitch, the tailor (Gogol 4).

Posted by: Julieann Sauter at September 28, 2013 07:55 PM

Emma De Rhodo
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
30 September 2013

Question#18: Why does Akaky say, “No, it would be better not to look” and then cross the dark square with his eyes closed only to be attacked? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.

Answer: Akaky closes his eyes out of fear for what might happen in such a dark area. In the second paragraph on page eleven, the narrator describes an eerie scene by talking about the square, saying it “looked like a fearful desert with its houses scarcely visible on the further side”(Gogol 11). Also, the author says Akaky “stepped into the square, not without an involuntary—uneasiness, as though his heart had a foreboding of evil”(Gogol 11). Akaky obviously did not wish to view the dark and empty space, so he shut his eyes in order to avoid having this experience(Gogol 11). Furthermore, Akaky might not have wanted to accept the reality of what might happen in the square; he did not want to see himself get harmed or anything else undesirable happen. This idea can relate to Akaky’s trying so hard to save for a nice jacket even though he knew he was poor(Gogol 8). He may not have wanted to believe that he was as poor as he was, and he may not have wanted to believe he needed to find a cheaper coat somehow. Akaky might have closed his eyes in order to not see what could happen in such a dark place or what might even happen during the time he was there.

Posted by: Emma De Rhodo at September 29, 2013 03:40 PM

Madison Owens
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA08
29 September 2013

Question #11: "Make a list of words used in the story that were new to you and be ready to share them with the class."

Answer:
-pockmarked (Gogol 1)
-bleary (Gogol 1)
-perpetual titular counsellor (position) (Gogol 1)
-vestibule (Gogol 2)
-jostled (Gogol 7)
-sentry (Gogol 7)
-kopecks (Gogol 7)
-cotton shoddy (Gogol 8)
-trelliswork sledges (Gogol 10)
-halberd (Gogol 11)
-monosyllabic (Gogol 13)
-anteroom (Gogol 14)
-frieze (Gogol 16)
-genteel (Gogol 16)
-perturbation (Gogol 17)

Posted by: Madison Owens at September 29, 2013 11:21 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield Mike Ossolinski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
25 September 2013

From what point of view (or, points of view) is “The Overcoat” told. As you
know, there are, at least, three different types of third person (if it is in third).
You MUST be specific or the answer will be incorrect. Sometimes more than
one type of third person is used so pay close attention.

The narrator speaks in both third person omniscient, because he has insight into the thoughts of the characters, and third person limited, because some of his information comes from reports and rumors. Gogol shows this writing, “But so it happened, and our poor story unexpectedly finishes with a fantastic ending. Rumors were suddenly floating about Petersburg that in the neighborhood of the Kalinkin Bridge and for a little distance beyond, a corpse had taken to appearing at night in the form of a clerk looking for a stolen overcoat,”

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at October 2, 2013 11:41 AM

Rebecca Liller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
2 October 2013

Question: Why the second apparition at the end? Who is it supposed to be? Provide textual evidence to support your answer. Tell the class the page number and paragraph where your answer/evidence is located.

Answer: The second apparition appears at the end to remind people that this problem of overcoats being stolen keeps continuing. The second apparition is one of the thieves at the end of the story. Even after the thief died, he is still stealing overcoats. One idea may be he is stealing people’s coats because the coat he had, which he loved and was a prized possession of his, was taken away from him, which left him feeling angry and devastated. This different emotion from when the reader saw in the beginning of the story is shown by him saying, “But, of course, the cloak is mine! Said one of them in a loud voice, seizing hold of his collar. Akakiy Akakievitch was about to shout “watch” when the second man thrust a fist, about the size of a man’s head, into his mouth, muttering “Now scream!” (Gogol 16) This is Gogol’s way of saying when poor people having nothing, they will keep stealing to get what they want, and this cycle will continue forever as long as there are poor people living in this world. The second apparition also appears in this quote, and also relating back to his giant fists in the first part of the story, “What do you want? At the same time showing a fist such as is never seen on living me.” (Gogol 18) The two fists that were explained to the reader relate to the same man, or the thief, who stole overcoats at the end because his was taken. This cycle continues as a result of a possession cared so deeply about gets taken stripped away.

Posted by: Rebecca Liller at October 2, 2013 03:02 PM

Ti’rani Rye
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
27 September 2013
Question: Explain the plot of “The Overcoat.” Identify and present the conflicts in the order that they are revealed to the reader.
Answer: The plot is of a man who is Russian and works in the government and only really lives to work. He doesn’t give much attention to his appearance or his surroundings only truly his job. His coworkers criticize and ridicule him for being poor and being a simple man. He needs a cloak because his is worn thin (first conflict) he realizes this because his joints ache because of the cold seeping into them. He needs to patch this cloak up and sees a man who is known for his patchwork and seaming. The issue is the man known for his patchwork states that it cannot be fixed (second conflict) he needs a completely new one that costs more money that he was willing to shell out (third conflict) so he eventually agrees and saves up the money to have the man make his cloak. Finally it is made and the people at his work praise him for finally getting a new cloak that looked rather expensive. Their boss invites all of them to his house for a party and he goes to show off his cloak. The coworkers look at his cloak and he only stays until midnight because he is tired, on the way home a random person steals his cloak (fourth conflict.) He goes to the police and they don’t really do anything for him and he eventually falls sick because of the cold (fifth conflict.) After he falls sick and deals with the sickness he eventually dies. There is then reports and spotting of a dead corpse stealing a cloak from people because his story comes out and now every old man is entitled to steal a cloak but within those older men stealing cloaks is the dead corpse

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Ti'rani Rye at October 3, 2013 03:48 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
6 February 2013

From what point of view (or, points of view) is “The Overcoat” told. As you
know, there are, at least, three different types of third person (if it is in third).
You MUST be specific or the answer will be incorrect. Sometimes more than
one type of third person is used so pay close attention.

The narrator speaks in both third person omniscient, because he has insight into the thoughts of the characters, and third person limited, because some of his information comes from reports and rumors. Gogol shows this writing, “But so it happened, and our poor story unexpectedly finishes with a fantastic ending. Rumors were suddenly floating about Petersburg that in the neighborhood of the Kalinkin Bridge and for a little distance beyond, a corpse had taken to appearing at night in the form of a clerk looking for a stolen overcoat.”(Gogol 1)

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at February 6, 2014 05:41 PM

Maxx Howarth
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
7 February 2014

QUESTION #6:
What is the primary setting for "The Overcoat"? Where does it take place and when?

ANSWER:
The primary setting for "The Overcoat" is in a department of the Russian government. The story takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the early half of the 19th century (Gogol 1).

Posted by: Maxx Howarth at February 7, 2014 11:20 AM

Bianca T. Smith
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA12
9 Feb. 2014

Question #13: Why does the writer diminish the importance of Petrovich and his wife if he
mentions both of them several times?

Answer: The writer figures that they aren't the important characters in the story, but they are important to Akaky. Akaky needs Petrovitch to repair and tailor his overcoat."Akaky
Akakyevitch decided that he would have to take the overcoat to Petrovitch, a tailor who lived on
a fourth story up a back staircase, and, in spite of having only one eye and being pockmarked all
over his face, was rather successful in repairing the trousers and coats of clerks and others—that
is, when he was sober, be it understood, and had no other enterprise in his mind"(Gogol 4). The writer also talks about Petrovitch's wife and how she is a plain woman and that him and petrovitch's wife would argue and he would call her a German. "On that side he was true to the customs of his forefathers, and when he quarrelled with his wife used to call her “a worldly woman and a German.” Since we have now mentioned the wife, it will be necessary to say a few words about her too, but unfortunately not much is known about her, except indeed that Petrovitch had a wife and that she wore a cap and not a kerchief, but apparently she could not boast of beauty; anyway, none but soldiers of the Guards peeped under her cap when they met her, and they twitched their moustaches and gave vent to a rather peculiar sound" (Gogol 4). Petrovitch was very important to Akaky so he can get the materials to tailor his overcoat.


Posted by: Bianca T. Smith at February 9, 2014 01:53 PM

Gabriela Caminero
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
9 February 2014

Question #3:
Who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist in “The Overcoat”?

Answer:
Akaky Akakyevitch is the protagonist of the story because of the fact that the story revolves around him since the muggers stole his over coat, causing him to die. The protagonists of the story are the muggers who stole his over coat.

Posted by: gabriela caminero at February 9, 2014 06:23 PM

Sarah A Ellis
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
10 February 2014

Question 4:
Identify some of the stereotyped characters in “The Overcoat.”

Answer:
In the workplace, there are always a group of workers that joke and tease the lower position workers within the department (Gogol 2). The clerks are always working even after hours and bring work home with them to finish it. In this case, Akaky would being papers home to copy (Gogol 3), these clerks really did not led very interesting lives outside work. Petrovitch’s wife was stated that her husband was drunk even though he was not, this shows that most husbands there drunkers even during the work hours (Gogol 5). When Petrovitch was telling Akaky the price from a new coat, the tailor was trying to raise the price, this showed that tailors are crooks and thieves (Gogol 6).

Posted by: Sarah Ellis at February 9, 2014 07:13 PM

Sawyer Hand
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
10 February 2014

Question:. What are some moral issues(think core values) in the story and how are they resolved?

Answer: In Gogol’s “The Overcoat” there are some moral issues. The biggest moral issue relating to the core values in this story is respect. At the beginning of the story no one shows Akaky any kind of respect. This is clear in examples such as, “No respect at all was shown him in the department. The porters, far from getting up from their seats when he came in, took no more notice of him than if a simple fly had flown across the vestibule. His superiors treated him with a sort of domineering chilliness. The head clerk’s assistant used to throw papers under his nose without even saying: ‘Copy this,’ or ‘Here is an interesting, nice little case,’ or some agreeable remark of the sort, as is usually done in well-behaved offices” (Gogol 2). As the story continues a new employee arrives that at first treats Akaky just like everyone else. This slowly starts to change. The first sign of changed is shown in the line, “There was a note in it of something that aroused compassion, so that one young man, new to the office, who, following the example of the rest, had allowed himself to mock at him, suddenly stopped as though cut to the heart, and from that time forth, everything was, as it were, changed and appeared in a different light to him” (Gogol 2). As the story goes on Akaky learns to stick up for himself more and more and he is able to gain more respect from people. This is shown in the lines such as, “ so that at last Akaky Akyevitch for the first time in his life tried to show the strength of his character and said curtly that he must seethe superintendent himself, that they dare not refuse to admit him, that he had come from the department on government business, and that if he made complaint of them they would see. The clerks dared say nothing to this, and one of them went to summon the superintendent” (Gogol 12).

Posted by: sawyer hand at February 10, 2014 12:08 AM

James Jessop
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
9th February 2014

Question 3 - Who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist in “The Overcoat”?

Answer – In Gogol’s the overcoat, there is a clear protagonist. The story, from the outset, follows the life of Akaky Akakyevitich Bashmatchkin, a government clerk and the life of his “overcoat”. Throughout the story, Bashmatchkin is portrayed as a calm, shy, quiet man by Gogol. A quote that allows me to believe this is ““a hundred and fifty rubles for an overcoat! Screamed poor Akaky Akakyevitich” it was perhaps the first time he had screamed in his life.” (Gogol 6). The fact that he had perhaps never screamed is sows the calm nature of the character. The fact that he snapped and screamed at someone also shows how there is an antagonist in the story. Not just a single person, but a group of them, his fellow clerks. “The young clerks jeered and made jokes at him” (Gogol 2) is quote that tells the reader straight up about the antagonistic ways of his fellow workers. “He loved his work” and “he lived in his work” (Gogol 2), yet all that surrounded it was horrible days of bullying a taunting for poor Akaky.

Posted by: James Jessop at February 10, 2014 01:23 AM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
6 February 2013
Who is the author of “The Overcoat”?
The author of “The Overcoat” is Nikolai Gogol.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at February 10, 2014 09:28 AM

Shelby Marrero
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG Academic Writing II CA12
10 Feb. 2014

Question #6:
What is the primary setting for “The Overcoat”? Where does it take place and when

Answer:
The story takes place in Petersburg, Russia during the 19th century. (Gogol 1)

Posted by: Shelby Marrero at February 10, 2014 09:43 AM

Traneisha Cunningham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
7 February 2013

QUESTION #10:
Explain the PRIMARY conflict in "The Overcoat" and how (if) it is resolved?

ANSWER:
The primary conflict in "The Overcoat" was when Akaky Akakyevitch had his new overcoat stolen from him one night on his walk home. " 'No better not look,' he thought, and walked on, shutting his eyes, and when he opened them to see whether the end of the square were near, he suddenly saw standing before him, almost under his very nose, some men with mustaches; just what they were like he could not even distinguish. There was a mist before his eyes and a throbbing in his chest. 'I say the overcoat is mine!' said one of the them in a voice like a clap of thunder, seizing him by the collar" (Gogol 11). Both men had taken Akaky Akakyevitch's overcoat without anyone noticing what was happened leaving him on the ground covered in snow.

Akaky Akakyevitch tried to have the problem resolved by going to talk to the Person of Consequence but didn't help Akaky Akakyevitch. Instead the Person of Consequence had scared Akaky Akakyevitch off but the tone in his voice as he was talking to him (Gogol 14). A few days later Akaky Akakyevitch had died from getting sick walking home in the freezing weather without a good overcoat on. Yet even after he died, Akaky Akakyevitch was still seen around as a ghost stealing people's overcoat.

Posted by: Traneisha Cunningham at February 10, 2014 09:52 AM

Berlin Waters
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
12 February 2014

Question #23:
The writer says of Akaky, “It would be unfair to say that no attention had ever been paid to him” and also, “No one had ever paid him the slightest attention.” Obviously, there seems be a contradiction. Which statement is true?

Answer:
In a way both statements are true here. No one really pays any attention to Akaky, yet it is only when "the young clerks jeered and made jokes at him" that anyone paid him any mind (Gogol 2). Therefore, people did pay attention to him but only in negative ways, in which he did not even give notice to.

Posted by: Berlin Waters at February 12, 2014 12:41 AM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at March 12, 2014 07:22 AM

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