The Diary of a Madman

by

Nikolai Gogol

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The Diary of a Madman: November 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Poprishchin describes a trip he takes to the theater. The play he sees makes fun of many different types of workers, such as lawyers and journalists. Poprishchin highlights a line where the playwright writes that merchants’ sons try to “worm” their way into the noble class.
Poprishchin writes a diary entry describing a play he attends. He focuses on how the playwright describes different occupations, such as merchants and lawyers. Even when he is attending something for leisure, Poprishchin is fixated on social commentary and class.
Themes
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Poprishchin admits that he loves the theater, and as soon as he gets money from his work, he goes off to see a play. He thinks his “fellow clerks” are “pigs,” since they will not go to the theater unless they are given a “free ticket.”
Poprishchin sees an appreciation for theater as a signifier of status and disparages his fellow clerks for not attending unless they are given a free ticket. Poprishchin then reveals that he spends much of his money on the theater even though it is above his means. Poprishchin seems willing to sacrifice his financial stability for recreational activities that are indicative of wealth.
Themes
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Writing, Escapism, and Fantasy Theme Icon