Dead Souls Themes

Dead Souls Themes

Present and future of Russia

Mercilessly berating the order that existed in the country, Gogol was convinced that Russia would be a prosperous country, that there would come a time when Russia became an ideal for other countries. This belief arose from the feeling of enormous creative energy that lurked in the depths of the people. The image of the country in the poem serves as the personification of all the great things that Russian people possess. Towering over all the pictures and images, shown in the poem, the image of Russia is covered with fervent author’s love who has devoted his creative work to his Homeland.

Denial of social enslavement

In his poem Gogol exposes those who interfered with the development of creative forces of the nation, he mercilessly debunks the "masters of life" - the nobility. People like Manilov, Sobakevich, Plyushkin, Chichikov, cannot be the creators of spiritual values. Gogol called them "dead souls", because they inhibit the Russian development, they deaden by their parasitic existence everything that is best in Russia, they stifle and crush the Russian people.

Gogol clearly felt the huge living forces that lied in the depths of the country, in the depths of the Russian people. The writer contrasts the image of the great Russ, which has the heroic power. In his denunciation of social evil Gogol objectively reflected the protest of broad sections of the population against the feudal system. It was that basis where the scourging satire exposing the lords of serfs, bureaucratic rulers, was growing.


The literary hero’s father gives to his son, who goes studying, an order which sinks down into the soul of the offspring so much that will determine the future of his destiny. The most important thing for Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov, the protagonist of Gogol’s poem Dead Souls, is money and he devotes all his life to making a capital. Following his father's testament "to save a penny", Chichikov stepped over the morality and virtue, adapting to any situation, confessing only one faith that he was inspired by his father: "Everything is done by a penny." Other parting words came down to the fact that the son had to try to please teachers and superiors, to become a friend for rich. All Chichikov’s school life turned into a continuous accumulation. He resells rolls to his fellows, profitably sells a trained mouse and wax bullfinch, saves his own money, refusing the necessary things. A quiet, inconspicuous but practical youngster grows into a lucky and nimble speculator. His mind, inventive and resourceful, is capable of all benefit. All his efforts are directed towards his personal enrichment. He is a hypocrite and a cynic, he is a crook of crooks, he is a great actor-hoaxer. And all his temporary, in some way, and occasional hits and success he owed to his father. And we, the readers, are obliged to Gogol for the fact that he showed the face of these terrible predators, for who money is the purpose of existence, a means for an influential position in society.

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