The narrative is written in the first person by a minor character, Anton Lavrentyevich Gā€”v, who is a close friend and confidant of Stepan Verkhovensky. Young, educated, upright and sensible, Anton Lavrentyevich is a local civil servant who has decided to write a chronicle of the strange events that have recently occurred in his town. Despite being a secondary character, he has a surprizingly detailed and intimate knowledge of all the characters and events, such that the narrative often seems to metamorphose into that of the omniscient third person. This choice of narrative perspective, according to Frank, enables Dostoyevsky "to portray his main figures against a background of rumor, opinion and scandal-mongering that serves somewhat the function of a Greek chorus in relation to the central action."[6] A similar technique is used in The Brothers Karamazov.

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