Summary of Oblomov

The novel “Oblomov” by IA Goncharov was published in 1859 in the journal Otechestvennye zapiski (Fatherland Notes) and is considered the pinnacle of the writer’s entire work. The idea of ​​the work appeared in 1849, when the author published in one of the chapters of the future novel “The Sleep of Oblomov” in the “Literary Collection”. Work on the future masterpiece was often interrupted, ending only in 1858.

The novel “Oblomov” Goncharova is included in the trilogy with two other works of Goncharov – “Cliff” and “Ordinary story.” The work is written according to the traditions of the literary realism direction. In the novel, the author deduces an important for that time problem of Russian society – “Oblomovism”, considers the tragedy of the superfluous person and the problem of the gradual extinction of the personality, revealing them in all aspects of the hero’s everyday

and spiritual life.

To read a brief summary of Oblomov’s chapters will be convenient for those who would like to familiarize themselves with the plot of the work or recall the main events of the novel.

Main characters

Oblomov Ilya Ilyich – a nobleman, a landowner of thirty years, a lazy, gentle man who spends all his time in idleness. A character with a subtle poetic soul, inclined to constant dreams, which replaces the real life.

Zakhar Trofimovich is a faithful servant of Oblomov, who has been serving him since his early years. Very similar to the owner of his laziness.

Shtolts Andrey Ivanovich – a friend of Oblomov’s childhood, his age. Practical, rational and active man who knows what he wants and is constantly developing.

Ilyinskaya Olga Sergeyevna – beloved Oblomov, intelligent and tender girl, not devoid of practicality. Then she became Stolz’s wife.

Pshenitsyn Agafya Matveyevna – the hostess of the apartment in which Oblomov lived, an economic but weak-willed woman. She genuinely loved Oblomov, who later became his


Other characters

Taranteev Mikhei Andreevich is a cunning and greedy friend of Oblomov’s.

Mukhoyarov Ivan Matveyevich – brother Pshenitsyna, an official, as cunning and mercenary as Tarantyev.

Volkov, the official Sudbinsky, writer Penkin, Alekseev Ivan Alekseevich – familiar Oblomov.

Part 1
Chapter 1

The work “Oblomov” begins with a description of Oblomov’s appearance and his habitation – in the room of the mess, which the master as if does not notice, dirt and dust. As the author tells me, a few years ago Ilya Ilyich received a letter from the elders that in his native estate Oblomovka it is necessary to restore order, but he still does not dare to go there, but only plans and dreams. Calling after his morning tea his servant Zahar, they discuss the need to move out of the apartment, because the owner of the house she needed.

Chapter 2

On a visit to Oblomov in turn come Volkov, Sudbinsky and Penkin. They all talk about their lives and are invited to go somewhere, but Oblomov resists and they leave with nothing. Then Alekseev comes – an indefinite, spineless person, no one could even say exactly what his name is. He calls Oblomov to Ekateringof, but Ilya Ilyich does not even want to get out of bed at last. Oblomov shares his problem with Alekseev – a stale letter came from the headman of his estate, in which Oblomov was informed of serious losses this year, which is why he is very upset.

Chapter 3

Tarantyev comes. The author tells that Alekseev and Tarantyev entertained Oblomov in their own way. Tarantyev, making a lot of noise, took Oblomov out of boredom and stillness, Alekseev was as an obedient listener who could spend hours in the room unnoticed until Ilya Ilyich paid him any attention.

Chapter 4

As with all visitors, Oblomov hides behind Tarantyev with a blanket and asks not to come close, as he has come from a cold. Tarantiev suggests Ilya Ilyich to move to an apartment for his kuma, who is in the Vyborg side. Oblomov consults with him on the letter of the headman, Tarantyev for advice asks for money and says that most likely the elder is a fraudster, recommending him to replace him and write a letter to the governor.

Chapter 5

Further, the author tells about Oblomov’s life, in short, it can be retold as follows: Ilya Ilyich lived in Petersburg for 12 years, being a collegiate secretary. After the death of his parents, he became the owner of the estate in a remote province. Young he was more active, he tried to achieve a lot, but with age he realized that he was standing still. Service Oblomov perceived as a second family, which did not correspond to reality, where he needed to hurry and work sometimes even at night. For more than two years, he somehow served, but then accidentally not there sent an important paper. Not waiting for the punishment from the authorities, Oblomov himself left, sending a medical certificate, where he was ordered to refuse to go to the service and soon resigned. Ilya Ilyich never really fell in love, soon stopped talking with friends and dismissed the servants, was greatly lazy,

Chapter 6

Oblomov training considered punishment. Reading tired him, but poetry fascinated him. For him there was a whole gap between study and life. It was easy to deceive him, he believed everything and everyone. For him, distant travel was alien: the only trip in his life – from his native estate to Moscow. Spending his life on the couch, he always thinks about something, then planning life, then experiencing emotional moments, then imagining himself to be one of the great people, but all this remains only in his thoughts.

Chapter 7

Characterizing Zakhar, the author presents him as a thievish, lazy and awkward servant and a gossip who was not averse to drinking and taking a walk at the expense of the master. It was not from evil that he would invent gossip about the master, while he sincerely loved him with special love.

Chapter 8

The author returns to the main narrative. After leaving Terentyev Oblomov lay down and began to think about developing a plan for his estate, as there will be a good rest with friends and wife. He even felt full of happiness. Gathering strength, Oblomov finally got up to breakfast, having decided to write a letter to the governor, but he turns out awkwardly and Oblomov tears the letter. Zahar again talks to the master about the move, so Oblomov left his house for a while and the servants could safely transport things, but Ilya Ilyich strongly opposes everything, asks Zakhar to settle the matter with the owner so that they can stay in the old apartment. Quarreled with Zakhar and, thinking about his past, Oblomov falls asleep.

Chapter 9 The Dream of Oblomov

Oblomov dreams of his childhood, quiet and pleasant, which slowly passed in Oblomovka – almost heaven on earth. Oblomov remembers his mother, his old nanny, other servants, how they prepared for dinner, baked pies, how he ran around the grass and how his nanny told fairy tales and retold myths, and Ilya pictured himself as the hero of these myths. Further, he dreams of his adolescence – 13-14th anniversary, when he studied in Verkhnev, in the hostel Stolz. There, he almost learned nothing, because Oblomovka was nearby, and it was influenced by their monotonous life, like a calm river. Ilya recalled all his relatives, for whom life was a string of rites and feasts – births, weddings and funerals. Feature of the estate was that they did not like to spend money and were ready because of this to tolerate any inconvenience – an old stained sofa, worn out chair. Days spent in idleness, sitting in silence, yawning or conducting half-ridiculous conversations. The residents of Oblomovka were strangers to chance, change, trouble. Any question was decided for a long time, and sometimes did not dare at all, being put off in a long box. Parents understood that Ilya needed to study, they would like to see him educated, but since it was not put in the foundations of Oblomovka, he was often left in the school days at home, fulfilled any of his whims.

Chapters 10-11

While Oblomov was asleep, Zakhar went out into the yard to complain about the master to other servants, but when they spoke ill of Oblomov, ambition awoke in him and he began to praise both the master and himself in full.

Returning home, Zakhar tries to wake Oblomov, as he asked to pick it up in the evening, but Ilya Ilyich, scolding his servant, tries in every possible way to sleep on. This scene is very amusing for Stolz who arrived and stood in the doorway.

Part 2
Chapters 1-2

The second chapter of the story “Oblomov” Ivan Goncharov begins with a retelling of the fate of Andrei Ivanovich Stolz. His father was German, his mother was Russian. Mother saw in Andrei the ideal of the master, whereas his father brought up by his example, taught agronomy, drove through the factories. From the mother, the young man took over the love of books, music, from his father – practicality, ability to work. He was an active and lively child – he could leave for a few days, then returned to the dirty and frayed. Zhivosti his childhood gave the frequent visits of princes, filling their estate with fun and noise. The father, continuing his family tradition, sent Stolz to the university. When Andrew returned after school, his father did not let him stay in Verkhov, sending a hundred rubles and banknotes to St. Petersburg.

Stolz lived strictly and practically, most afraid of a dream, he did not have idols, while he was strong and attractive physically. He stubbornly and accurately walked along the chosen road, everywhere he showed perseverance and rational approach. For Andrei Oblomov was not only a school friend, but also a close friend with whom you could calm an anxious soul.

Chapter 3

The author returns to Oblomov’s apartment, where Ilya Ilyich complains of Stolz on the problems in the estate. Andrei Ivanovich advises him to open a school for him there, but Oblomov believes that for the peasants it’s too early. Mentioned Ilya Ilyich and the need to move out of the apartment and a lack of money. Stolz does not see the problem in the move and is surprised with how Oblomov is mired in laziness. Andrei Ivanovich forces Zakhar to bring clothes to Ilya to take him to the people. Also Stolz orders the servant to evict Tarantyev every time he comes, since Mikheil Andreevich constantly asks Oblomov for money and clothes, not intending to return them.

Chapter 4

A week Stolts drives Oblomov to various societies. Oblomov is dissatisfied, complains about the fuss, the need to walk all day in boots and the loudness of people. Oblomov blurts out to Stolz that Oblomovka is the ideal of life for him, but to Andrei Ivanovich’s questions, why he will not go there, Ilya Ilyich finds many reasons and excuses. Oblomov paints before Stolz an idyll of life in Oblomovka, to which a friend tells him that this is not life, but Oblomovism. Stolz reminds him of the dreams of youth that it is necessary to work, and not spend days in sloth. They come to the conclusion that Oblomov must finally go abroad, and then to the village.

Chapters 5-6

Stolz’s words “now or never” made a great impression on Oblomov and he decided to live differently – he made a passport, bought everything he needed to travel to Paris. But Ilya Ilyich did not leave, because Stoltz introduced him to Olga Sergeevna – on one evening Oblomov fell in love with her. Ilya Ilyich began spending a lot of time with the girl, and soon bought a dacha in front of her aunt’s dacha. In the presence of Olga Sergeyevna Oblomov felt uncomfortable, could not lie to her, but admired her, with a sinking heart listening to the girl singing. After one of the songs, he did not control himself exclaimed that he felt love. Recovered, Ilya Ilyich ran out of the room.

Oblomov blamed himself for his incontinence, but after meeting with Olga Sergeevna after, said that it was a momentary hobby for music and untruth. On which the girl assured him that she forgave her liberty and forgot everything.

Chapter 7

Changes affected not only Ilya, but his whole house. Zahar married Anissya – a lively and agile woman, who in her own way changed the established order.

While returning from a meeting with Olga Sergeyevna Ilya Ilyich was worried about what had happened, he was invited to dinner with the aunt’s girlfriend. Oblomov is tormented by doubts, he compares himself with Stolz, thinks whether Olga is flirting with him. However, when meeting a girl, she behaves with restraint and seriousness.

Chapter 8

All day Oblomov spent with Olga’s aunt – Marya Mikhaylovna – a woman who knew how to live and manage life. Aunt’s relationship with her niece had a special character, Marya Mikhailovna was the authority for Olga.

After waiting all day, missing Olga’s aunt and Baron Langvagen, Oblomov still waited for the girl. Olga Sergeyevna was cheerful and he asked her to sing, but in her voice he did not hear yesterday’s feelings. Frustrated, Ilya Ilyich went home.

Oblomov was tormented by the change in Olga, but the meeting of the girl with Zakhar gave a new chance to Oblomov – Olga Sergeevna herself appointed an appointment in the park. Their conversation turned to the topic of an unnecessary, useless existence, to which Ilya Ilyich said that his life is like this, because all the flowers have fallen from her. They touched the question of feelings to each other and the girl shared Oblomov’s love by giving him her hand. Walking with her on, the happy Ilya Ilyich kept repeating to himself: “This is all mine! Mine!”.

Chapter 9

Lovers are happy together. For Olga Sergeevna with love, the meaning appeared in everything – in books, in dreams, in every moment. For Oblomov, this time was a time of activity, he lost his previous peace, constantly thinking about Olga, who in every possible way and tricks tried to get him out of the state of idleness, forced to read books and go on a visit.

When they talk about their feelings, Oblomov asks Olga why she does not always say that she loves him, to which the girl responds that she loves him with special love, when she is sorry for a while, but for a long time it hurts. Talking about her feelings, she relied on her imagination and believed him. Oblomov did not need anything more than the image in which he was in love.

Chapter 10

The next morning in Oblomov, a change occurred – he began to wonder why he burdensome relationships and for what could love him Olga. Ilya Ilyich does not like that her love is lazy. As a result, Oblomov decides to write a letter to Olga, in which she says that their feelings have gone far, began to influence their life and character. And those “I Love, Love, Love,” which Olga told him yesterday were untrue – he is not the person she dreamed of. At the end of the letter he bids farewell to the girl.

Having given the letter to the maid Olga, and knowing that she would walk in the park, he hid in the shade of bushes and decided to wait for her. The girl went and cried – he first saw her tears. Oblomov could not stand it and caught up with her. The girl is upset and gives him a letter, reproaching that yesterday he needed her “love”, and today her “tears”, in fact, he does not like her, and this is just a manifestation of selfishness – Oblomov only Speaks of feelings and sacrifice, but in fact it is not. Before Oblomov was an insulted woman.

Ilya Ilyich asks Olga Sergeevna for everything to be as before, but she refuses. Walking next to her, he realizes his mistake, and tells the girl that the letter was not needed. Olga Sergeyevna gradually calms down and says that in the letter she saw all his tenderness and love for her. She had already moved away from the insult and was thinking how to mitigate the situation. Having asked Oblomov for a letter, she pressed his hands to her heart and fled happily home.

Chapters 11-12

Stoltz wrote to Oblomov that he settle matters with the village, but Oblomov, busy with feelings for Olga Sergeevna, pushes the solution of the problems. Lovers spend a lot of time together, but Ilya Ilyich begins to oppress that they meet secretly. He tells Olga about this and the lovers are discussing that they may need to officially declare their relationship.

Part 3
Chapters 1-2

Tarantyev asks Oblomov for money for the housing of his kuma, in which he did not live and tries to get more money from Oblomov. But the attitude of Ilya Ilyich to him has changed, so the man does not receive anything.

Joyful that relations with Olga will soon become official, Oblomov goes to the girl. But the beloved does not share his dreams and feelings, but approaches the matter practically. Olga tells him that before talking about their relationship with aunt, you need to settle things in Oblomovka, build a house there, but in the meantime, to rent housing in the city.

Oblomov goes to the apartment, which he advised Tarantyev, there his things are heaped. I met his cousin Tarantyev – Agafya Matveyevna, who asked to wait for her brother, as she herself does not manage. Not wishing to wait, Oblomov leaves, asking to convey that he no longer needs a flat.

Chapter 3

Relations with Olga are, in Ilya Ilyich’s view, sluggish and prolonged, he is increasingly depressed by uncertainty. Olga persuades him to go settle matters with the apartment. He meets with the mistress’s brother and he says that for the time that his things were in the apartment, no one could pass it to anyone, so Ilya Ilyich owes 800 rubles. Oblomov is indignant but then promises to find money. Finding that he had only 300 rubles left, he can not remember where he squandered money for the summer.

Chapter 4

Oblomov still moved to the queen Tarantyev, a woman worried about his quiet life, life, educates his wife Zakhar Anisyu. Ilya Ilyich finally sends a letter to the elder. Their meetings with Olga Sergeevna continue, he was even invited to the Ilinsky box.

One day, Zahar asked if Oblomov had found an apartment and whether there would be a wedding soon. Ilya is surprised whence the servant can know about the relationship with Olga Sergeevna, to which Zakhar responds that the servants of the Ilinskys have long spoken of this. Oblomov assures Zakhar that this is not true, explaining how troublesome and costly it is.

Chapters 5-6

Olga Sergeevna appoints Oblomov a date and, putting on a veil, secretly from his aunt meets with him in the park. Oblomov is against deceiving her relatives. Olga Sergeevna suggests that he open his aunt tomorrow, but Oblomov delayed this moment, because he wants to get a letter from the village first. Not wanting to go in the evening and the next day to visit the girl, he passes through the servants that he fell ill.

Chapter 7

Oblomov spent a week at home, talking with the hostess and her children. On Sunday, Olga Sergeevna persuaded her to go to the Smolny, because they agreed to meet Oblomov there. The baron tells her that in a month she can return to her estate and Olga dreams how Oblomov will be pleased when she learns that one can not worry about the fate of Oblomov and immediately leave to live there.

Olga Sergeyevna came to visit Oblomov, but immediately noticed that he was not sick. The girl reproaches the man that he deceived her and did not do anything all this time. Olga makes Oblomov go with her and her aunt to the opera. Inspired Oblomov is waiting for this meeting and letters from the village.

Chapters 8, 9, 10

A letter comes in which the owner of the neighboring estate writes that the Oblomovka business is bad, almost no profits, and that the land is giving money again, an urgent personal presence of the owner is needed. Ilya Ilyich is upset that this wedding will have to be postponed for no less than a year.

Oblomov shows a letter to his hostess’s brother, Ivan Matveyevich, and asks for his advice. He recommends his colleague Zatertogo, that he went to settle matters in the estate instead of Oblomov.
Ivan Matveyevich discusses a “good deal” with Tarantyev, they consider Oblomov to be a fool, who can make good money.

Chapters 11-12

Oblomov comes with a letter to Olga Sergeevna and says that there was a person who will settle everything, so they will not have to part. But with the question of the wedding will have to wait another year until everything is finally settled. Olga, who hoped that Ilya would ask her aunt from day to day, fainted from this news. When the girl comes to, she blames Oblomov for his indecisiveness. Olga Sergeevna tells Ilya Ilyich that he will not settle his life in a year, continuing to torment her. They part.

Upset Oblomov late in the night walking around in unconsciousness around the city. Returning home, he sits for a long time motionless, and in the morning the servants find him in a fever.

Part 4
Chapter 1

A year has passed. Oblomov lived there with Agafya Matveyevna. Zaterty settled everything in antiquity, sent good revenue for bread. Oblomov was glad that everything was settled and money appeared without the need for his personal presence in the estate. Gradually, Ilya’s grief was forgotten and he fell unconsciously for himself into falling in love with Agafya Matveyevna, who, too, without knowing herself, fell in love with him. The woman in every way surrounded Oblomov with care.

Chapter 2

At a magnificent celebration in the house of Agafia Matveyevna Ivanov, Stolz also came to visit. Andrei Ivanovich tells Ilya Ilyich that Olga left with her aunt abroad, the girl told Stolts everything and still can not forget Oblomov. Andrei Ivanovich reproaches Oblomov that he again lives in the “oblomovke” and tries to take away with him. Ilya Ilyich again agrees, promising to come later.

Chapter 3

Ivan Matveyevich and Tarantyev are concerned about Stolz’s arrival, since he can find out that the dues from the estate were collected, but they took it without the knowledge of Oblomov. They decide to blackmail Oblomov by pretending that he went to Agafya Matveyevna.

Chapter 4

The author in the narrative is transferred to a year ago, when Stolz accidentally met in Paris, Olga and her aunt. Noticing the change in the girl, he became worried, starts spending a lot of time with her. She offers her interesting books, tells something of his exciting, travels with them to Switzerland, where he realizes that he is in love with a girl. Olga herself, too, feels a great deal of sympathy for him, but worries about past love experience. Stolz asks to tell about her unhappy love. Having learned all the details and the fact that she was in love with Oblomov, Stolz discards her experiences and calls her to marry. Olga agrees.

Chapter 5

A year and a half after Ivanov’s day and the name day of Oblomov, everything became even more dull and gloomier in his life-he was even more flabby and livid. The money for him is the brother of Agafia Matveyevna, so Ilya Ilyich does not even understand why he is losing money. When Ivan Matveyevich married, the money became very bad and Agafya Matveyevna, taking care of Oblomov, even went to pawn her pearls. Oblomov did not notice this, giving himself further to laziness.

Chapters 6-7

To St. Oblomov, Stolz visits. Ilya Ilyich asks him about Olga. Stolz tells him that she is all right and the girl married him. Oblomov congratulates him. They sit down at the table and Oblomov begins to tell that now he has not enough money and Agafya Matveyevna has to manage herself, since the servant is not enough. Stolz is surprised, because he regularly sends him money. Oblomov talks about borrowing debt to the landlady. When Stolz tries to find out the terms of the loan from Agafia Matveyevna, she assures me that Ilya Ilyich owes her nothing.

Stolz draws up a paper indicating that Oblomov does not owe anything. Ivan Matveich plans to substitute Oblomov.

Stoltz wanted to take Oblomov with him, but he asked to leave him only for a month. At parting, Stolz warns him to be cautious, since his feelings for the hostess are noticeable.
Oblomov quarrels because of deception with Tarantyev, Ilya Ilyich beats him and throws him out of the house.

Chapter 8

For several years Stolz did not come to Petersburg. They lived with Olga Sergeevna in complete happiness and harmony, enduring all difficulties, coping with sadness and loss. One day, during a conversation, Olga Sergeevna recalls Oblomov. Stoltz tells the girl that in fact it was he who introduced her to Oblomov, whom she loved, but not what Ilya Ilyich really is. Olga asks not to leave Oblomov, and, when they are in St. Petersburg, take her to him.

Chapter 9

In the Vyborg side everything was quiet and peaceful. After Stolz arranged everything in Oblomovka, Ilya Ilyich had money, pantries were bursting with food, Agafya Matveevna had a wardrobe with outfits. Oblomov, in his habit, lay all the days on the couch, watching Agafya Matveyevna’s studies, for him it was a continuation of Oblom’s way of life.

However, at one point after lunch with Oblomov, an apoplexy stroke occurred and the doctor said that he needed to change his way of life urgently – to move more and keep to a diet. Oblomov does not follow the instructions. He increasingly falls into oblivion.

Stolz comes to Oblomov to take him with him. Oblomov does not want to leave, but Andrei Ivanovich calls him to his house, informing him that Olga is waiting in the carriage. Then Oblomov says that Agafya Matveyevna is his wife, and Andrei’s boy is his son, named after Stolz, so he does not want to leave this apartment. Andrei Ivanovich is leaving frustrated, telling Olga that now in the apartment of Ilya Ilyich there was “Oblomovism”.

Chapters 10-11

Five years passed. Three years ago Oblomov again had a stroke and he died quietly. Now her brother and his wife are in the house. The son of Oblomov, Andrew Stolz, took to his upbringing. Agafia yearns for Oblomov and her son, but does not want to go to Stolz.

Once, while walking, Stolz meets Zakhar, who is begging on the street. Stolz covenants him to himself, but the man does not want to leave far from Oblomov’s grave.

On the question of the interlocutor Stolz, who is Oblomov and why he disappeared, Andrei Ivanovich answers – “The reason… what a reason! Oblomovshchina!”.


Roman Goncharov “Oblomov” is one of the most detailed and accurate studies of such a Russian phenomenon as “Oblomovism” – a national trait characterized by laziness, fear of change and dreaminess, replacing real activity. The author deeply analyzes the reasons for “Oblomovism”, seeing them in the pure, gentle, non-calculating soul of the hero, seeking tranquility and quiet monotonous happiness bordering on degradation and stagnation. Of course, a brief retelling of Oblomov can not reveal to the reader all the issues considered by the author, so we strongly recommend that you evaluate the masterpiece of 19th century literature completely.

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Summary of Oblomov