The Diary of a Madman

by

Nikolai Gogol

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Medji and Fidèle Character Analysis

Medji and Fidèle are two dogs in Poprishchin’s neighborhood. Medji is the lapdog of Sophie, who is the daughter of Poprishchin’s boss. Fidèle’s owner lives in a building owned by a man called Zverkov, whom Poprishchin scorns for having low-class tenants. When Poprishchin encounters Medji and Fidèle while he is out in town, he believes the two dogs are speaking to each other in human language. Medji and Fidèle discuss the letters they have sent to one another, and Poprishchin is intrigued by these letters’ contents. He eventually goes to both Medji’s and Fidèle’s homes to steal the letters, which reveal details about the lives of the dogs’ owners. Poprishchin does not realize that hearing Medji and Fidèle speak with human voices indicates serious mental disturbance; he is convinced that such things are normal. Poprishchin’s interactions with Medji and Fidèle, therefore, illustrate the beginnings of his insanity.

Medji and Fidèle Quotes in The Diary of a Madman

The The Diary of a Madman quotes below are all either spoken by Medji and Fidèle or refer to Medji and Fidèle. 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:
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Diary of a Madman published in 1999.
October 3 Quotes

Ah, you pup! I confess, I was very surprised to hear her speak in human language. But later, when I’d thought it over properly, I at once ceased to be surprised… I confess, lately I had begun sometimes to hear and see things no one had ever seen or heard before.

Related Characters: Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin (speaker), Medji and Fidèle
Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:
December 3 Quotes

So what if he’s a kammerjunker. It’s nothing more than a dignity; it’s not anything visible that you can take in your hands. Several times already I’ve tried to figure out where all these differences come from. What makes me a titular councillor, and why on earth am I a titular councillor? […] Maybe I myself don’t know who I am.

Page Number: 292
Explanation and Analysis:
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Medji and Fidèle Character Timeline in The Diary of a Madman

The timeline below shows where the character Medji and Fidèle appears in The Diary of a Madman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
October 3
Insanity Theme Icon
...dog outside while she shops. He remembers that he “knows” the dog, whose name is Medji. Suddenly, Poprishchin hears a voice greet Medji, and he then hears Medji say to another... (full context)
Insanity Theme Icon
Poprishchin soon rationalizes Medji’s human speech, writing in his diary that there have “already been many such examples” of... (full context)
November 11
Insanity Theme Icon
...and decides to retrieve the letter from the dogs. He recalls how he once called Medji over to him, and asked her to tell him about her owner, Sophie; Medji had... (full context)
November 12
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Poprishchin walks to the building where he saw Fidèle’s owner, and comments on the smell of cabbage, which comes “pouring” out of the nearby... (full context)
Insanity Theme Icon
Poprishchin sees Fidèle’s basket in the corner and pulls out a “bundle” of papers. Poprishchin then rushes out... (full context)
November 13
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...fed up by the “nonsense” of the subject matter, which includes the type of food Medji likes best. When Medji begins to talk about Papá, the director and Poprishchin’s boss, Poprishchin... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji’s letter begins to describe the director, pointing out that he is mostly “silent.” Medji then... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji begins to talk about Sophie and describes a scene in which a man named Teplov... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji then jokes that if Sophie likes Teplov, she might soon like the clerk who sits... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Medji goes on to write that Sophie loves Teplov “to distraction,” which makes her father, the... (full context)