The Overcoat

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Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

A low-level official clerk in an unknown department in the Russian government. Akaky Akakievich is a short man with an “unmemorable” appearance. He is somewhat educated, and not at the lowest rank of bureaucracy, but… (read full character analysis)


Formerly a serf, Petrovich is a tailor and a heavy drinker. He is commissioned by Akaky Akakievich to create a new overcoat, and eventually consents to make it for the lowest possible price. The… (read full character analysis)

The Important Person

An anonymous, high-ranking official in the Russian government. Akaky Akakievich appeals to him when his overcoat is stolen. While the Important Person used to be kind at heart (when he was an “insignificant person” not… (read full character analysis)

The District Police Superintendent

Akaky Akakievich tries to get the District Police Superintendent to investigate the case of his stolen overcoat, but fails—indeed, the Superintendent treats Akaky more like a guilty suspect than the victim of a crime… (read full character analysis)

The Narrator

While the Narrator is not exactly a character in “The Overcoat,” the story’s unusual narrative style has a huge influence on the reader’s experience. The Narrator draws attention to himself by withholding information, such… (read full character analysis)
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The Young Official

A young man new to Akaky Akakievich’s office. He is moved to pity when the other officials make fun of Akaky, and Akaky’s defensive exclamations seem to the young official to mean “I am… (read full character analysis)

The Assistant Head Clerk

An official in Akaky Akakievich’s office. The assistant head clerk is higher ranked and wealthier than Akaky is, but he offers to throw a party partly to celebrate Akaky’s new overcoat. The assistant… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
The Landlady
Akaky Akakievich’s landlady. She tries to give him advice when his overcoat is stolen, and takes care of purchasing Akaky’s coffin after his death.
The Thieves
Two bearded men who steal Akaky Akakievich’s overcoat on his way home from a party.
The Watchman
The watchman is supposed to be guarding the square where the thieves steal Akaky Akakievich’s overcoat. When Akaky confronts him about ignoring the crime, the watchman claims that he thought the thieves were Akaky’s friends, and he advises Akaky to talk to the police about the matter instead.