Moscow, the decade of reforms of Alexander II. In a small, well-kept apartment, a widow’s mother and her young son, Yegor Dmitrievich Glumov, live. From the conversation it becomes clear that Glumov tells his mother that he will try to achieve success through his acquaintances, and not as before. He also says that he has completely gone to his mother – as smart, envious and evil. He is going to keep a diary in which he will frankly record what he thinks about people.
On a visit to them the hussar Kurchaev comes, accompanied by his friend Golutvin, who, as is known, does nothing special. As it turned out, they are going to publish a magazine, so they need help from Glumov, in particular his diary, which has already been rumored. Glumov refuses them. Before leaving, Kurchaev, who is a distant relative of Glumov, persuades to take on the caricature created on their uncle – Mamaev. Glumov again refuses. Then the hussar tells him that Mamaev’s wife is very much in love with him, after which he leaves with his companion. Immediately Glumov admits that he already bribed his uncle’s servant, and he now will come to look at their apartment, which they seem to lease. At this moment, Mamayev himself appears, along with his servant. He reproaches the servant for bringing him to a dwelling,
To Mamayev’s perplexity, he says that he is a fool. After a while Mamayev begins to think that this young man needs his valuable advice and guidance.
Glumov’s mother complains about a lack of money, but Mamaeva reassures her, saying that she will patronize her son. At this moment Mamayev comes, and Glumova begins to praise her son. However, Mamayev says he will not give money, but will help with valuable advice. Glumova leaves with him. Later, Glumov himself comes, and Mamaev’s wife begins to flirt with him. Arrived young mister Gorodulin Mamaeva talks about the talent of Glumov. He decides to listen. Glumov demonstrates the wonders of eloquence and Gorodulin asks him to write a speech for him. Glumov agrees. After this comes Mamayev, who suddenly learns to Glumov how to take care of his wife. After his departure, Glumov confesses to Mamayeva’s love. The rich widow of the merchants of Turusin returned home because of a bad omen. In her rich house she reprimands her niece Mashenka for her hobby for Kurchaev. Mashenka does not argue, since she’s a well-bred young lady, but she asks her aunt to find her fiance, and then leaves. On a visit to Turusina comes Krutitsky. The widow begins to share with him experiences about where to find her a worthy groom. Krutitsky advises Glumov and leaves.
Instead, Gorodulin appears, who, laughing a little at the merchant’s predilection for the wanderers, also recommends Glumov’s question about her fiancé for Mashenka. The last guest in Turusina’s estate was the fortune-teller Manefa – surprisingly, but she also considered that Glumov would be the best suitor for her niece merchant. Mamayev and Glumov arrive. Turusina promises him to love him as his own son. Glumov brings with him a ready work, which he was instructed by Krutitsky. He is very pleased, since this treatise is an acute parody. Krutitsky offers Glumov his services to the planted father at the wedding, and he agrees. But at the same time he sorts out a bit about what Krutitsky thinks about, while Mamaev’s wife does not interrupt the course of his thoughts. Krutitsky begins to flirt with her, seeing in Mamaeva almost his peers. Suddenly Mamaeva leaves, having received news of the imminent wedding of Glumov with Mashenka, which puzzles Krutitsky. Glumov fills out his diary, making all the expenses in it and teaching the mother how to behave with Turusina. Suddenly, Mamaeva appears, who intends to make a scandal. Glumov tries in every possible way to calm her down, saying that there will be no wedding. Mamaeva believes him. At this moment, a knock at the door is heard, and Glumov, hiding Mamaev in the room, is going to find out who has come to him. As it turned out, this is Golutvin. He tells Glumov that he has proof of his intrigues, and he will give it out if he does not pay him. saying that there will be no wedding. Mamaeva believes him. At this moment, a knock at the door is heard, and Glumov, hiding Mamaev in the room, is going to find out who has come to him. As it turned out, this is Golutvin. He tells Glumov that he has proof of his intrigues, and he will give it out if he does not pay him. saying that there will be no wedding. Mamaeva believes him. At this moment, a knock at the door is heard, and Glumov, hiding Mamaev in the room, is going to find out who has come to him. As it turned out, this is Golutvin. He tells Glumov that he has proof of his intrigues, and he will give it out if he does not pay him.
First, Glumov categorically refuses, but doubts, since he does not want to lose a promising wedding with Mashenka. He wants to know who is driving Golutvin’s room, but then he catches up and pays him for his silence. At this time Mamaeva finds a diary, reads about herself and the angry leaves. Returning Glumov sees that Mamaeva has carried her diary with her and understands that everything is gone. At the dacha of Turusina the whole society gathered. Kurchaev tells Masha that Glumov is an unheard-of virtue. Glamov himself tries to convince Mamayev that he will marry in accordance with the calculation. Unexpectedly, they bring a package containing a fresh magazine with a photograph of Glumov. The magazine is called “How to go out into people”. Mamayev begins to read it, denouncing Glumov in everything. After he is asked to quietly retire with this magazine. However, Glumov, realizing that he had nothing to lose, tries to convict all present in oral form. But, as it turned out, he does not say anything new – after all, all those present are not as stupid people as Glumov thought, and knew what purpose he pursues. Struck Glumov is removed. The audience decides that after a while again they will caress him. Mamayeva takes it upon herself.