The Overcoat is a classical short story which seems to hold a complicated meaning as an overcoat seems to be the main element of this story and it might be confusing to know on why would the writer, Nikolai Gogol, use an overcoat as the main role and a hardworking man as the main character. This story does have a melancholic story line but it seems to hold a really deep meaning which shows real life conditions.
The story talks about a man named Akaky who has a good reputation in his job but even though he had worked there for years, he never received a promotion and people who has a good reputation usually jumps to another position easily. Albeit he works hard and only spends his life by working without knowing any holidays, his colleagues still insults him because of his overcoat which was in a horrendous state. At the end, he decided to get a new one as the tailor named Petrovich, said that it could no longer be mended and then Akaky decided to save his money to get a new overcoat that will protect him from the vile Russian weather which is well known for being really cold.
He finally reached his goal which is getting himself a new overcoat and that is when things begun to change, people then gave him respect but then a misfortune happened to him. At one night, he was robbed as he came home later than his usual time. The robber then robbed his brand new overcoat and left Akaky freezing in the vile Russian cold. After that incident, the people in his office then acted the way they used whilst Akaky felt really stressed about what is happening. He tried various ways of getting his overcoat back but none of them gave an impact and all his efforts went in vain. At the end of the story, he died but didn’t rest in peace and haunted the streets of St.Petersburg for his overcoat, as no one wanted to help him and only laughed at him.
That is just a summary of The Overcoat from my perspective and I must say that the story seems to be realistic. Akaky might be a hardworker but he does not get any promotions as he does nothing besides working in his office, this shows that reaching success in life does not only requires hardwork but also attitude as your attitude determines your altitude, Akaky seems to have a good attitude but his attitude does not seem to be the one fit for a job promotion. Besides that, the overcoat seems to reflect the society nowadays as many people seems to judge a book by its cover and the part when Akaky tried to get his coat back, he was underlooked as he didn’t look like a rich man and he was ignored. He didn’t rest in peace at then end and I learnt from this part that we should treat everyone properly as they have feelings.
Overall, I think that this work of Gogol is melancholic but it reflects real life situations and I really recommend you to read the original work as his style is really expressive and I could really feel the story.