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Written by Julia Wolf
Aksenty Ivanovich “would rather not have gone to the office at all today.” He knows “beforehand” that their department-chief will look “as sour as vinegar.” Not to mention that “for some time past” he has been in habit of saying to Aksenty Ivanovich, “Look here, my friend; there is something wrong with your head.” The most interesting part is that the department-chief’s suspicions are not groundless. Aksenty Ivanovich often rushes about as though he was “possessed.” He makes “such confused abstracts of the documents” that “the devil himself cannot make them out.” The titular councillor writes the title “without any capital letters,’’ and adds “neither the date nor the docket-number.” This imagery evokes a feeling of worry, for it is obvious that something is clearly wrong with him.
The weather wasn’t not fine at all. Aksenty Ivanovich even put his “old cloak,” and took his umbrella, “as a light rain was falling.” No one “was to be seen on the streets except some women,” who “had flung their skirts over their heads.” “Here and there” one saw “a cabman or a shop man with his umbrella up.” “Of the higher classes” one only saw an official “here and there.” That wasn’t a good day for strolling at all. This imagery evokes a feeling of coldness, for it is not very pleasant to be outside while it is raining.
Flawless and fragile
Aksenty Ivanovich believed that he was in love with Sophie. It was “already half-past one” when “something happened which no pen can describe.” The door opened and then she “herself” “came into the room.” “How beautifully she was dressed!” Her garments were “whiter than a swan’s plumage.” It was a “splendid” dress! He thought that she was “a sun, indeed, a real sun.” This imagery evokes a feeling of pity. Sophie will never see him in the same light as he sees her. She is young, beautiful and rich, while he is just a titular councillor.
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