english literature final

english literature final - Prof.: Juliya Basina ENGLIT 0325...

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Prof.: Juliya Basina ENGLIT 0325 04/20/09 Stylistic and Thematic Evaluation and Comparison of Nikolai Gogol’s “The Overcoat” and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Dream of the Ridiculous Man”. It is often possible to analyze two works of art or literature in a comparative manner. However, we will repeatedly find ourselves assigning certain themes and ideas to the literary works in order to create a comparative or at least relative thread though the works. In Russian literature many themes occur frequently and we search for the words and characters to represent these themes. In this paper, I will attempt to investigate and draw connections, similarities and differences between Nikolai Gogol’s ‘The Overcoat’ and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘The Dream of a Ridiculous Man.’ Nevertheless, it is interesting that these gentlemen searched throughout their careers to describe the most absurd, most obscure characters. Their works often dealt with the off-kilter ideologies and ambiguous characters, allowing the audience a chance to investigate and evaluate the narrative in our own eyes. The audience is very much a part of the narrative. Especially in the short stories mentioned above, the authors seek to access the audience and to develop a relationship with us. They use different tools to infiltrate the mind of the audience and we appreciate such closeness and connectivity. Their characters are meager and weak and have many faults and shortcomings. Nonetheless, through their experiences, the authors are able to divulge a whole wide world of possibilities and to expand our thoughts.
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Page 2 In turn, we dwell into the depth of our own souls seeking answers, placing ourselves in place of these characters and experiencing their adventures alongside with them. Only wonderful story tellers are capable of grasping the audience in the way that we were grasped while reading these short stories. The themes of despair that lack indefinite resolution are resoundingly present in both stories. In our research through the works of these authors, we find that most of their works dealt with depression, despair and desolation, the deepest, darkest realms of human psyche. We often state that in order to be considered a genius, one must be somewhat mad. We call them ‘mad scientists.’ It is possible that we fear the unknown in such a manner, that we would rather call it insanity than approach it with all our zeal. The characters of these stories are ready to jump into the abyss of seeming insanity and madness, of the depth of the human psyche. Gogol and Dostoevsky created worlds of the deeper conscience and attempted to explore the realms of the unknown. At the outset, we must postulate that both authors had a definite disillusion and dissatisfaction with the current governmental establishment in Russia. They mention with irony and satire how random and useless the whole system seems to be. In the ‘Dream of a Ridiculous Man,’ Dostoevsky expounds on the ideology of nothingness and
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2011 for the course ENGLIT 0325 taught by Professor Juliyabasina during the Spring '09 term at Pittsburgh.

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english literature final - Prof.: Juliya Basina ENGLIT 0325...

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