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Written by Anastasia Melnyk
Chichikov is a protagonist of the poem, he is found in all the chapters. He originated the idea of the scam with the dead souls, he travels around Russia, meeting with a variety of characters and getting in a variety of situations.
Chichikov’s feature is given by the author in the first chapter. The portrait is given very indefinitely, not a handsome man, but not a bad-looking, neither too thick nor too thin; neither old, however, and nor so young. Gogol pays more attention to his manners: he made a great impression on all the guests at a governor’s party, showed himself as an experienced man of the world, keeping the conversation on a variety of topics, skillfully flattered governor, chief of police, officials and made the most flattering opinion. Gogol tells us that he did not take a "virtuous man" as a hero, he makes a reservation that his hero is a scoundrel.
Manilov is a sentimental gentleman, the first seller of dead souls.
Manilov’s house is open to all winds, sparse tops of birch trees are seen everywhere. But the gazebo in the garden is pompously named "Temple of a lonely meditation". Malinov’s cabinet is covered with pale blue paint like gray, which indicates the lifelessness of the hero, from whom you'll never get a single word. Jus has Chichikov put his strange request for the sale of dead souls in the beautiful words, and Manilov immediately calms down and agrees.
Manilov’s world is a world of false idyll, the way to death. Not without a reason even Chichikov’s way to the lost Manilovka is portrayed as a road to nowhere. There is nothing negative in Manilov, but there is nothing positive. He’s an empty space, nothing. Therefore, this character cannot count on the transformation and regeneration: he has nothing to revive.
Korobochka Nastasya Petrovna
Korobochka Nastasya Petrovna is a widowed landlady, the second saleswoman of dead souls to Chichikov. The main feature of her character is mercantile busyness. Everyone for Korobochka is only a potential buyer.
Inner Korobochka’s world reflects her property. Everything is gently and firmly there: the house and the yard. But there are lots of flies. This item represents the motionless, stiff world of the heroine. The same is said by sizzling clock, and outdated portraits on the walls in the house of Korobochka.
Nozdryov is the third landowner Chichikov is trying to buy dead souls from. He is a dashing 35-year-old talker, a rake, a scorcher. Nozdryov lies continuously, picks on everyone indiscriminately; he is very hazardous, ready to shit best friend without any purpose. Hozdryov’s behavior explains his dominant quality - briskness and glibness nature, impetuousness, bordering with unconsciousness. Nozdryov conceives and plans nothing; he just does not know the measures.
Sobakevich Michael Semenovich
Sobakevich Michael Semenovich is a landlord, the fourth seller of dead souls.
From the beginning, the Sobakevich’s character is associated with money, business, calculation. The natural Sobakevich’s look is reflected in everything that surrounds him. In his house all the useless architectural beauty removed. In his house hang paintings on the walls depicting exclusively Greek heroes, which are similar in their appearance to the home owner. Sobakevich is a type of Russian fist, good, prudent owner. His farmers live well, reliably. The fact that the natural power and efficiency has become an obtuse conservatism in Sobakevich, is rather a misfortune, than the guilt of the hero.
Plyushkin Stepan is the last seller of dead souls. This person represents a complete necrosis of the human soul. In the Plyshkin’s character the author shows the death of bright and strong personality being absorbed by the passion of avarice. Plyushkin’s estate splits into parts and fragments; even the house is sometimes in one floor, sometimes in two. This fact shows the decay of the master who forgot about the main things and focused on tertiary ones.
Plyushkin is the only one of the landowners who has a rather detailed biography. Before the death of his wife Plyushkin was a zealous and wealthy owner. He tenderly brought up his children. But with the death of his beloved wife something snapped in him: he became suspicious and stingy. After the trouble with children (son lost in the card, the eldest daughter ran away, and the youngest died) Plyushkin’s soul finally embittered - ravenous hunger avarice mastered him. But, oddly enough, greed is not maximally seized the heart of the hero. Having sold dead souls to Chichikov, Plyushkin ponders who could help him to issue a bill of sale in the city.
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