Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls

1200 WordsFeb 1, 20185 Pages
Nikolai Gogol’s novel Dead Souls is the story of a man, named Tchitchikov, who arrives in the town of N and starts to make acquaintances among the elite of the society. He uses his charm to try to convince his newfound friends to sell him the souls of serfs who have died since the last census. By doing this he will be considered a wealthy citizen and can buy larger amounts of land. Gogol lived during the reign of Nicholas I were popular literature flourished but so did censorship and the book was his way to criticize what he felt was wrong with society. Nikolai Gogol was born March 19 1809 in Sorochintsy, Ukraine, which was then part of the Russian Empire. He moved to St. Petersburg and persued many different artistic endeavors in hopes of achieving fame. When they all failed he got a job working a menial government position. While working for the government he continued to write about his childhood in Ukraine mixed with old fairytales. When they were published he quickly ascended into fame. Many of his works including Dead Souls are satirical representations of what life was like under the Russian bureaucracy (lavrin). From reading the Preface in which Gogol addresses his readers the purpose of his work is revealed. In the second paragraph of his preface Gogol states, “Him I have taken as a type to show forth the vices and failings, rather than the merits and the virtues, of the commonplace Russian individual; and the charcters which revolve around him have also been
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