The Queen of Spades Literary Elements

The Queen of Spades Literary Elements


A short story with supernatural elements

Setting and Context

The action takes place in Russia, in the house of Naroumov, who is a cavalry officer.

Narrator and Point of View

Actually, most of the story is recounted by the third person. But there are a lot of conversations between personages. And some fragments such as the biography of Anna Fedorovna are recounted by the first person.

Tone and Mood

The tone and mood of this story is mystic due to the supernatural moments. Also it has a dramatic mood, because of Herman’s life difficulties.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The main protagonist of this story is Herman. The main antagonist is money.

Major Conflict

There are many conflicts in this short story, but the main one is a problem of person and its destiny. The Herman’s destiny is almost dependent on him. But he destroys it in no time.


The climax happens, when Herman kills Anna Fedorovna and she begins to take vengeance for her life.


Card-playing is a game of chance with bad results. The main hero decides to save his situation and to escape from debts, using the card-playing. And this game foreshadows his further social status and moral lapse.




This story alludes to Paris, when Naroumov tells about his grandmother Anna and her life in this romantic city.


The author turns to imagery when descrining the weather and house decotations.


The paradox happens, when the queen on the card winks one eye at Herman mockingly during the game.


The reader can observe the parallelism, when the late Anna Fedorovna tries to help Herman to save his from the poverty and at the same time she decides to spoil his soul and teach him a good lesson.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



In this story, the queen of spades is a personification of the angry incarnation of the female archetype. And this female figure is very heartless, who likes to play with somebody’s destiny.

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