When Chichikov went to town N, readers knew practically nothing about him, but as the events developed in the poem, we began to understand a little, although it is still vague what kind of person he is, why and for what purposes he came. Chichikov a little frightened us by how quickly he “copied” the external manners of his interlocutors, by the fact that he is an integral part of the provincial society (there is some unity of the protagonist with the inner world of the people who met him). Although we can not argue that Chichikov is purely inhumane, negative in nature. He, for example, repels many traits in his way of life, in appearance, in the psychology of his new acquaintances, but one can not say that he intended to make some corrections in his plans.
The father and life taught Chichikov to save every penny, to please the boss, not to be friends with comrades who “do not teach good,” to behave in such a way that, on occasion, comrades would be treated and treated. “There was no special ability for science in it, he distinguished himself more by diligence and neatness, but it turned out to be a great mind on the part of the practical.” Judging by these words, we can say that the character of Chichikov was formed depending on the conditions in which he fell. Pavlusha followed the advice of his father.
Moreover, already in his childhood, his mind was very ingenious, “he showed curiosity almost extraordinary: he drew a bullfinch out of wax, painted it and sold it very profitable.” Then for a while he started on other speculations: having bought food at the market, he sat in the classroom near those who were richer, and, as soon as he noticed that the comrade was beginning to feel sick, … took money, thinking with appetite. ” Pavlusha coached a mouse for two months and sold it very profitable too. We can not say that the nature of the hero was stale (remember,... how he dealt with his school mentor), we can not say that he knew neither pity nor compassion.
He began his career twice: the first time, with great difficulty entered the state chamber and served first diligently to become visible, the second time when he served at the customs. But all his attempts to become rich have not been crowned with success. Chichikov is a smart, energetic, enterprising person. He miraculously avoids the prison and again decides on the next step.
The acquisition of dead peasants is the goal of his arrival in the city of N. But for this, a good education and knowledge of the legal case are necessary. Chichikov has all these things. The hero is also characterized by a mild character, sociability, he is only a mask, behind which was a striking perseverance. Chichikov is an excellent psychologist, he has the ability to immediately determine the character of a person. So, Chichikov is a “new” person in Russia, attracting the greatest interest and curiosity. He lived at a time when the capital was in the minds and hearts of people.
For Nikolai Gogol, Chichikov is not a petty crook. The writer saw the indomitable energy in the Chichikovs (precisely in the Chichikovs, because Russia is great, there are many of them on earth, and Chichikov’s image seems to me collective), in striving for capital, for “one million.” But he also understood that, when striving for millions, people are freed from all pure, honest, noble in the soul and become merciless towards people who are interfering with the implementation of their plans.
“My hero is not a villain…” are the words that Gogol wrote in one of his letters to his friends. They can be attributed to Chichikov. He is the only character whose life story is described in detail.
The whole life of the hero passes before us. To fully depict the character of Chichikov, it was important for the writer to show him in the sources – psychological and social – and the process of his subsequent development.