The Diary of a Madman

by

Nikolai Gogol

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The Diary of a Madman: The 25th. Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Poprishchin describes how the grand inquisitor visited him. Poprishchin hid “under a chair,” and his visitor calls him by multiple names including King Ferdinand, to get him to come out. Eventually, the inquisitor finds him, and chases him with a stick.
The “grand inquisitor,” who is really a staff member at the asylum, is aware of Poprishchin’s specific delusions and taunts him. He calls Poprishchin by the name of his made-up alter ego in an attempt to goad him, and then beats Poprishchin. Poprishchin, whose alienation from society is already complete, seems to be singled out especially for poor treatment.
Themes
Social Class and Status Theme Icon
Insanity Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon