Viy Literary Elements

Viy Literary Elements


A mystic (horror) story

Setting and Context

The actions take place in the seminary of the Bratsk Monastery in Kiev

Narrator and Point of View

The story is recounted by the third person

Tone and Mood

Due to the actions of this story, the tone is mysterious and scaring

Protagonist and Antagonist

The main protagonist is Thomas Brutus. The main antagonist is the witch.

Major Conflict

The major conflict happens between Thomas Brutus and the evil spirit, which ruins Thomas’s life.


The climax happens in the church, when Thomas says his prayer for the dead girl, who is actually a witch. Just there, the witch gathers all evil spirits to kill Thomas.


When readers get to know about the witch, they imagine the further picture at once. The appearance of the witch in Gogol’s story foreshadows unhappy end.


What is not said directly is that the young girl is a witch, everyone knows that, but it is not revealed literally


This story alludes to Kiev. Also during the studies, Thomas mentions about sciences such as grammar, rhetoric, philosophy and theology.


Nature descriptions serve as the background of the story, and depending on the situation create peaceful or disturbing atmosphere


We can observe the paradox throughout the entire story. For example, the existence of the witch and Viy are some elements of the paradox. It is also concerns the moment, when the witch puts Thomas under a spell and flies in the church. The appearance of the witch in the church is also a paradox; the evil spirit cannot stay in the holy place.


The parallelism can be observed when the witch turns into a beautiful, young girl and an ugly old woman simultaneously.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



A lot of monsters and evil spirits personify animate creatures, who scoff at human soul

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