The Overcoat

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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 care and pride he takes in making Akaky’s new overcoat is evident, and the originality of his work provides a contrast to the repetitive nature of Akaky’s government job.

Petrovich Quotes in The Overcoat

The The Overcoat quotes below are all either spoken by Petrovich or refer to Petrovich. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Bureaucracy and Selfhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Overcoat published in 2006.
The Overcoat Quotes

“I'm afraid it can't be done, sir,” replied Petrovich firmly. “It's too far gone. You'd be better off if you cut it up for the winter and made some leggings with it, because socks aren't any good in the really cold weather. The Germans invented them as they thought they could make money out of them.” (Petrovich liked to have a dig at Germans.) “As for the coat, you'll have to have a new one, sir.”
The word “new” made Akaky's eyes cloud over and everything in the room began to swim round. All he could see clearly was the pasted-over face of the general on Petrovich's snuff-box.

Related Characters: Petrovich (speaker), The Narrator (speaker), Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin
Related Symbols: The Overcoat
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

Akaky has taken his old, tattered overcoat to Petrovich, the alcoholic tailor. Noticing that Petrovich is sober instead of drunk as usual, Akaky grows nervous; he stares at the image of a general on Petrovich's snuffbox, over which Petrovich has stuck a square piece of paper. Akaky's strong reaction to Petrovich's insistence that the coat cannot be mended further emphasizes Akaky's weak, pathetic character. Rather than face Petrovich directly, Akaky chooses to stare at the face of the general, a symbol of authority. On the other hand, Akaky's despair at the news about his coat is also somewhat understandable, considering he does not have enough money for a new coat, yet needs one to survive the cold. 


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Petrovich Character Timeline in The Overcoat

The timeline below shows where the character Petrovich appears in The Overcoat. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Overcoat
Bureaucracy and Selfhood Theme Icon
Materialism, Material Goods, and Art  Theme Icon it is ugly, thin, and tattered. The clerk decides to take the coat to Petrovich, the tailor, to get it repaired. In an aside, the Narrator describes Petrovich as a... (full context)
Bureaucracy and Selfhood Theme Icon
Materialism, Material Goods, and Art  Theme Icon
Akaky, noting that Petrovich appears to be sober, is worried that he will not be able to bargain as... (full context)
Materialism, Material Goods, and Art  Theme Icon
Social Status and Fate Theme Icon
Akaky resolves to return to Petrovich on Sunday morning to try to bargain for his coat. When he visits the tailor... (full context)
Materialism, Material Goods, and Art  Theme Icon
...three more months of saving up, Akaky has the eighty rubles he needs. He and Petrovich go shopping for supplies: they purchase good quality cloth and fur at reasonable prices. (full context)
The Insignificance of the Everyman Theme Icon
Materialism, Material Goods, and Art  Theme Icon
Petrovich works on the overcoat for two weeks and charges twelve rubles for the job, the... (full context)
The Insignificance of the Everyman Theme Icon
Materialism, Material Goods, and Art  Theme Icon
...not know, he says, because Akaky is at that moment delirious. Akaky sees visions of Petrovich, the thieves, and his old overcoat. In his delirium, he apologizes to the Important Person,... (full context)