Dead Soul is a book by Nikolai Gogol. The book addresses the situation in Russia in 1800 about the society and the noble people. This book is full of satire and it is so far the best book that Nikolai Gogol has ever written. Other people consider this book to be Russians prose poem. This paper will analyze the book Dead Soul. After analyzing the book, the paper will discuss an interesting about it while using direct quotes from the book.
At the beginning of the book, Tchitchikov arrives in town N as a collegiate scholar. His arrival excites most of the town dwellers because they are happy to see a stranger. Tchitchikov on the hand is quick to mingle with people and make new friends. He makes several trips to visit prominent people of town N. During his visits to the prominent people, he ensures that he makes a good first impression.
This makes him popular in town because he gets numerous invitations to visit other people that reside in the countryside. It is apparent that no individual understands the main reason for Tchitchikov’s visits in the first place.
Various things those are interesting from the book. To begin with it is interesting that dead souls can make people rich. Naturally a dead man or woman is never useful to anyone. When people die, they live behind all their possession, family and friends. They literary lose value.
The fact that an individual can buy dead souls and use them to get rich is interesting. This means that he does not have any respect for the dead but only equates them to money and wealth. According to Tchitchikov, live people are equal to the dead, and he wants to keep this business a secret i9n order to make more money. Gogol writes, “And to what purpose, to what could dead souls be put? And why is the governor's daughter mixed up in it? If he wanted to elope with her, why should he buy dead souls?” (Gogol, 194).
It is interesting to know that Tchitchikov believed for a long time that the dead soul business would be a secret, but that is not the case. When Nozdroyov feels that Tchitchikov has been making money in an unfair manner and he decides to shout about his behaviours in the presence of another residence of the town. The author is keen to depict the main character as corrupt. He also shows his readers that corruption had been on the pick in town N and the residences were sick and tired of it.
The rich people such as Tchitchikov were able to buy freedom, justice and every other thing in the town. Tchitchikov, for example, has stolen a large amount of money from a dying woman and when he is taken to court, his rich friends are make sure that he gains back his freedom.
From Tchitchikov’s action, it is apparent that the rich and powerful people support each other and neglect the negative things that happen to the poor, sick and old. It is apparent that Tchitchikov would commit more crimes apart from buying dead souls and stealing money from a dying woman.
Another interesting this is the fact that the people in town N do not know Tchitchikov, but he quickly ends up associating with the rich people and gains favours from them. Naturally, the rich do not associate with strangers but poor people do. It would take time for a stranger to get access or mingle with the wealthy than a stranger to mingle with the poor in the society.
More often than not individuals like Tchitchikov are always sure of their direction in life, especially when they have a good interaction with different people in the society. In the outside, Tchitchikov looks focused and sure of what he is doing but a closer look at his character depicts an extremely different person. He is misguided, corrupt and he does not know who he really is deep down. In life, most people who have a confident character in the outside usually hide their weakness or bad side in the inside and Tchitchikov is such a person.
His outward nature as a confident, sociable and focused person helps him win many wealthy friends in town N. Most people do not realise that he corrupt because they do not take the time to know his other side. In order for Tchitchikov to have a clear sense of where he is going in life, both literally and more metaphorically, he needs to know he desires for out of life. As the story progresses Tchitchikov rapidly changes Gogol says, “This was not the old Tchitchikov.
This was some wreckage of the old Tchitchikov” (Gogol). The manner in which Gogol makes clear that there is not one true version of Tchitchikov that he can orient his life by is very indicative of the problems Tchitchikov faces in finding his direction in life. He has various versions of his life that was wrecked, and in as much he tries to live a good life, his past haunts him and guides his life, ultimately resulting in a hodgepodge of goals, ideas, and directions that are pulling Tchitchikov apart.
It is apparent that Tchitchikov faces internal conflict, which prevents him from living a successful life. For this reason, he constantly lies to himself in order to suppress his true feelings. The most interesting part is the fact that Tchitchikov lies about everything in his life. This makes him encounter various moments of discomfort and conflicts in his life.
Despite his conflicts, he makes wrong choices and ends up facing the consequences of the negative choices. Throughout his life, Tchitchikov chooses to ignore the reality of the situations in life and prefers to live in the world of his own fantasies and creations. It is extremely unrealistic for an individual to buy dead bodies with the aim of making money. And when people confront him with the allegations, Gogol writes, “He felt foul, utterly foul. He tried not to think about it; he tried to distract himself, to enjoy himself” (Gogol 126).
These words indicate that Tchitchikov reacts immediately to the allegations and again opts to ignore people and he tries to enjoy life as if nothing has happened. He tries to distract himself in the hope that people will stop confronting him with the situation at hand. It is evident that Tchitchikov is emotionally unstable and confused, and instead of facing the situation with the aim of solving it, he chooses to focus on a different thing that will make him forget his problems.
From the reading, it is evident that Gogol depicts the character Tchitchikov as confused and stuck in life. Tchitchikov chooses not to deal with his problems in life, and these problems create even more problems for him. As the book comes to an end, Tchitchikov’s sins have caught up with him and he has to flee the town.
The author is keen show the readers the different literary devices used in this book. To begin with Gogol shows the comic picture of both the Russian way of life as well as Tchitchikov. It is apparent that the Russian way of life serves as satirical to the society because according to the book, corruption is silly and cynical.
This book has humour, absurdity and passion. Gogol also used irony in this book to describe Tchitchikov he says, “the dreadful appalling mass of trifles that mires our lives, all that lies deep inside the cold, fragmented quotidian characters with which our earthly, at times bitter and tedious path swarms” (Gogol 134) Gogol also says “Equally wondrous, are the lenses that survey suns, and those that convey the movements of imperceptible insects.” According to his words Tchitchikov, states that individual’s lives are difficult and people are always struggling in the mud.
People always have difficult decisions to make in life, which he equates to tedious swamps. He does not seem to look at his life and his behaviour, which clearly shows that he is corrupt and greedy in various ways. Tchitchikov wants to earn money and become rich easily and does not look at the pain that he causes other people. He uses the illegally acquired money to do things that will help him forget about his problems.
Tchitchikov has no sense of mercy on the people who suffer and are undergoing tough situations because of his actions and greed. He only thinks about earning more and more money through unfair means and being famous with the hope that it will make his life better. As the book ends, it is evident that Tchitchikov has made numerous mistakes in life and he knows that he cannot change the situations he faces. He opts to run away in the hope that he will forget his past, but the truth it is obvious that he will never be free unless he faces his problems and solve them.
Gogol, Nikolai. Dead Souls: Translated from the Russian by George Reavey. London: Oxford University Press, 1957. Print.