The Diary of a Madman

by

Nikolai Gogol

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The Diary of a Madman: December 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Poprishchin spends the morning reading the newspaper and writes in his diary how there are “strange doings” in Spain. He emphasizes how the Spanish throne has been left “vacant.” According to the article, a queen is meant to ascend the throne, but Poprishchin thinks this is impossible, as a state “cannot be without a king.”
After finding and finishing the letter, Poprishchin lets his mania find a new object on which to fixate: the mystery of Spain’s missing king. He is fascinated by Spain’s inability to locate an heir and believes that a country cannot exist with a kingit is contrary to what the status-obsessed Poprishchin believes is the natural, social order.
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