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Character of Akaky Akakievich

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1 Character of Akaky Akakievich
The Overcoat Character of Akaky Akakievich

2 Obsessive Akaky is very obsessive in that he sticks to a strict routine and does not prefer to stray from it in any way. He does not like change and therefore fixates on the things that he does have. “Regardless of how many directors and higher officials of all sorts came and went, he was always seen in the same place, in the same position, at the very same duty, precisely the same copying clerk” (476, top of paragraph 2) “‘It’s like this, Petrovich…the overcoat, the cloth…you see everywhere else it is quite strong; it’s a little dusty and looks as though it were old, but it is new and it is only in one place just a little…on the back, and just a little worn on one shoulder and on this shoulder, too, a little…do you see? That’s all, and it’s not much work…’” (480, last paragraph). “…all that was evident was that his incoherent words and thoughts were concerned with nothing but the overcoat.” (492, near bottom of page) YouTube video:

3 Invisible/A Nobody Akaky is invisible to others in that he goes around always doing the same thing over and over again and goes unnoticed because of it. He is also considered a nobody in that his coworkers find him to be lowly or not considered worthy of being human so they pick on him and treat him like he isn’t a person. “His superiors treated him with a sort of despotic aloofness. The head clerk’s assistant used to throw papers under his nose without even saying ‘Copy this’… (476, paragraph 2) No one has been able to remember when and how long he entered the department, nor who gave him the job. (476, paragraph ) The young clerks jeered and made jokes at him to the best of their clerkly wit, and told before his face of all sorts of stories of their own invention about him… (476, beginning of paragraph 2) YouTube video: 1. 2.

4 Optimistic When Akaky is forced to make change he transitions to becoming optimistic of change rather than fearing it. Such can be seen when he is forced to get a new overcoat, but looks forward to it. “Every second he was conscious that he had a new overcoat on his shoulders, and several times he actually laughed from inward satisfaction.” (485, paragraph 2) “He found it rather difficult to get used to these privations, but after a while it became a habit and went smoothly enough…he had spiritual nourishment, for he carried ever in his thoughts the idea of his future overcoat.” (483, bottom of page)

5 Awkward/Anti-Social One can conclude that Akaky is very awkward and anti-social due to the way he communicates with others. He is unable to communicate well or articulate his thoughts and feelings to people. He also demonstrates to be a very awkward and anti-social man at his job and with other people in general. “It must be noticed that Akaky Akakievich for the most part explained himself by apologies, vague phrases, and meaningless parts of speech which have absolutely no significance whatever. If the subject were a very difficult one, it was his habit indeed to leave his sentences quite unfinished…” (480, paragraph 4) “He simply did not know how to behave, what to do with his arms and legs and his whole body; at last he sat down beside the players…” (487, middle of page) YouTube video:

6 Shy/Quietness Akaky’s quiet character prevents him from going out, getting to know people from his job, and from talking to people in general. “In short, even when everyone was eagerly seeking entertainment, Akaky Akakievich did not indulge in any amusement” (478, near end of paragraph 2) “‘A hundred and fifty rubles for an overcoat!’ screamed poor Akaky Akakievich – it was perhaps the first time he had screamed in his life, for he was always distinguished by the softness of his voice” (481, bottom of page)

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