Book Review of The Overcoat

At the outset of The Overcoat Akakii is a naive childlike character who lives a life of almost spiritual-like
devotion and ascetic simplicity. Explain the role of the grotesque in the story. How does the prospect of a
new overcoat alter Akakii’s existence? Is his life altered for worse or for the better as a result of this
change? Is the overcoat the symbol of spiritual perfection or base materialistic desire in the story? Are the
sacrifices that Akakii makes for the sake of the overcoat evidence of his spiritual re-birth or his moral
downfall? Why doesn’t Akaki’s happiness endure? How does the loss of the overcoat transform him from a
silent victim into an intrepid hero? Does Akakii’s revenge restore to him human dignity, if only in death, or
does it merely turn him into one of his tormentors?

Sample Solution

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