“The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol is a short story published in 1842. Originally written in Russian, “The Overcoat” is both realistic and yet supernatural, telling the story of Akakiy Akakievitch, a downtrodden clerk who needs a new overcoat for St. Petersburg’s harsh winters. His acquisition and loss of the overcoat make up the bulk of the narrative, which is told in a comic yet tragic style that highlights the rigid social hierarchy of Russian society at the time of its writing. “The Overcoat” has been praised as one of the very best Russian short stories of all time.


Read our full plot summary of “The Overcoat.”


See a complete list of the characters in “The Overcoat” and in-depth analyses of Akakiy Akakievitch and the Prominent Personage.

Literary Devices

Here's where you will find analysis of the key literary devices in “The Overcoat.”


Find the quotes from “The Overcoat” you need to support your essay or refresh your memory.

Further Study

Enhance your understanding of “The Overcoat” by learning about Nikolai Gogol and related works on SparkNotes.