The Diary of a Madman

by

Nikolai Gogol

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The Director Character Analysis

The director is Poprishchin’s boss and the father of Sophie, Poprishchin’s love interest. Poprishchin believes the director is a very educated man because his office contains many books with foreign titles. The director barely speaks to Poprishchin, only occasionally making small talk about the weather; nevertheless, Poprishchin wishes he could start up a conversation with him. Poprishchin’s interactions with the director illustrate the difference between his internal thoughtsverbose, analytical, and oftentimes judgmentaland his meek behavior.

The Director Quotes in The Diary of a Madman

The The Diary of a Madman quotes below are all either spoken by The Director or refer to The Director. 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 4 Quotes

Our director must be a very intelligent man. His whole study is filled with bookcases. I read the titles of some of the books: it’s all learning, such learning as our kind can’t even come close to… A real statesman. I notice, though, that he has a special liking for me. If only the daughter also...

Related Characters: Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin (speaker), Sophie, The Director
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:
November 11 Quotes

I’ve meant several times to strike up a conversation with His Excellency, only, devil take it, my tongue wouldn’t obey me: I’d just say it was cold or warm outside, and be decidedly unable to say anything else. I’d like to peek into the drawing room, where you sometimes see only an open door into yet another room beyond the drawing room. Ah, such rich furnishings!

Related Characters: Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin (speaker), The Director
Page Number: 285
Explanation and Analysis:
The 86th of Martober Quotes

They said the director was coming. Many clerks ran up front to show themselves before him. But I didn’t budge… What is a director that I should stand up before him… I was most amused when they slipped me a paper to be signed. They thought I’d write “Chief Clerk So-and-So”… Not a chance! In the central place, where the director of the department signs, I dashed off: “Ferdinand VIII.”

Related Characters: Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin (speaker), The Director
Related Symbols: Ferdinand VIII
Page Number: 295
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Director Character Timeline in The Diary of a Madman

The timeline below shows where the character The Director appears in The Diary of a Madman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
October 3
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
...a carriage pull up to the shop, and realizes it belongs to his boss, the director. The director’s daughter, Sophie, has taken the carriage to go shopping, and when she gets... (full context)
October 4
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Poprishchin begins a running commentary on the personality of his boss, the director. He believes the director is a “very intelligent man” because his whole study is filled... (full context)
November 6
Isolation Theme Icon
...Poprishchin “got smart.” The section chief teases him for having an unrealistic crush on the director’s daughter and points out that Poprishchin is making very little money and can’t save any... (full context)
November 11
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Poprishchin describes sitting in his director’s study and sharpening pens. He soon switches his focus to the behavior of the director,... (full context)
November 13
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...the type of food Medji likes best. When Medji begins to talk about Papá, the director and Poprishchin’s boss, Poprishchin finally hopes to hear about the dogs’ “political views.” (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 describes a scenario one morning where... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...that if Sophie likes Teplov, she might soon like the clerk who sits in the director’s study. Medji makes fun the of the clerk’s appearance and adds that Sophie always laughs... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...goes on to write that Sophie loves Teplov “to distraction,” which makes her father, the director, very “happy.” Medji comments that the director would like Sophie to marry someone of rank,... (full context)
December 3
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...are noble or high-class. He daydreams about wearing a general’s uniform, and wonders what the director would think. He asks himself why he cannot be “promoted this minute” to a higher... (full context)
The 86th of Martober. Between day and night.
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
...him, but he refuses to return to his work, and merely sits, waiting for the director to arrive. (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Poprishchin’s coworkers button up their coats and become more formal as the director approaches, but Poprishchin refuses to react. He thinks he should not “stand up before” the... (full context)
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Poprishchin then walks out of the office and goes to the director’s apartment. He goes into Sophie’s boudoir, and she is startled to see him; she begins... (full context)