Summary of “St. Petersburg novels” by Gogol

Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol’s Petersburg Stories is a cycle of amazing works. They carry in themselves the philosophical problem of choice and moral values.

What are the “Petersburg Stories”?

The main theme is the image of a small man, oppressed by life, devastated by his loneliness. Among other works of Russian classical literature, the real highlight is “Petersburg Stories”.

The brief content of these creations will make it possible to refresh the famous statements and high Gogol syllable in memory. The article will be useful for students and applicants preparing for exams. A summary of the Petersburg Stories and their analysis are presented below. Pay attention to the main idea of ​​the author.


The story uses satire, with which the author ridicules greed, stinginess, bribery. One of the masterpieces representing the Petersburg Stories is Nose.

The summary is that once a collegiate assessor

Kovalev wakes up in his apartment and discovers that he does not have a nose. He had only a “smooth place.” Kovalev rushes to various authorities in a panic to resolve this situation, but everyone dismisses it, because it seems to them extremely strange and frivolous. Then Kovalev decides to act independently.

He finds his own nose and asks him to return to his place. The nose refuses the offer and declares that he is on his own, an individual person. This work is included in the cycle “Petersburg Stories”. The brief content of the story will allow students to better prepare for literature lessons.

Main thought

In this work, Gogol’s talent as a satirist is vividly marked. He denounces an unhealthy society in which the position of a person and his position are higher than the person himself, more important than her needs and desires: whoever has a more serious title is right and who has more money, the voice is louder.

The idiosyncrasy of Kovalev’s position emphasizes the absurdity of the situation, when the individuality of a person is trampled upon and

suppressed by external circumstances.


“Portrait” of Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol can be described as the most mysterious and incredible story that could happen to the heroes of the work “Petersburg Stories”.

“Portrait” (a brief summary hereinafter) – the story is striking. A certain little-known artist Chartkov has acquired a strange portrait in the picture shop for the last money. He could not explain how this creature attracted him so much, but his influence on the man was significant. As soon as the night was gathering, the artist was afraid to go to bed because the eyes of the old man, portrayed in the portrait, dreamed from everywhere. When it was time to pay for the room, Chartkov found a bag full of money in the portrait: he accidentally caught the inscription “a thousand red hearts”. These funds, according to calculations, with a modest life, he should have been enough for three years.

The artist’s righteous voice told him that he should lock himself in the room and create from morning till night. But at the same time Chartkov heard another voice coming from the dark beginning: to live on a broad foot, to afford everything that the money has enough for. Chartkov bought himself expensive clothes, dined and dined in restaurants, began to paint pictures on order. He was dictated by conditions and terms of execution, paid a lot of money, and he had to fulfill these requirements. People who knew him before, were surprised: where did his talent disappear? He began to work on a pattern, gradually disappearing liveliness from the canvas.

Once Chartkov was at an exhibition of an unknown artist and was amazed by the talent of young talent. Arriving home, he tried to start writing as elegantly and original, but the hand did not obey: the soul was empty, she did not care anymore. Chartkov realized that just when he was still a poor artist and had bold dreams about the future, he was really happy. Neither money nor fame brought the desired. The inability to go back to correct the mistakes of the past, gave rise to envy in him. He bought up works of talented masters and destroyed them. After some time Chartkov fell seriously ill and died. This creation is part of the cycle “Petersburg Stories”. We presented the summary above.

The main theme of the story is “Portrait”

In this work Gogol shows the conflict of true talent with a demonic beginning. In the terrible eyes of the old man, portrayed in the portrait, the artist sees himself. He himself gave the soul to the devil, so he hated a portrait, bought once for a penny in a picture shop. When God presents a person with talent, at the same time he gives him a great responsibility to be able to apply this talent correctly in life. The more uncommon the person, the more temptations she encounters on the way.


This story is known to everybody from school. He is included in a cycle called “Petersburg Stories”.

“Overcoat” (a brief summary below) – the work is very well known. In one department the titular adviser Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin served. In the service he was so insignificant that he was sometimes not frankly noticed, bantered over him, could not say hello and pass by. Among officials he was not respected, he was insulted, could lower his salary or offend in some other way.

Akaky Akakievich never intervened in gossip, but preferred to tolerate such an attitude towards himself. One day he went to the tailor to fix his greatcoat, but the master replied that the clothes were worn out, so it’s better to replace it. Then the titular councilor decided to save enough money for this. It was not easy: the salary he received was barely enough to feed. He had no family, children, friends.

More than a year Bashmachkin denied himself literally everything in order to raise the right amount: he often was undernourished, walked in rags alone. When the necessary amount was collected, Akaky Akakievich bought himself an overcoat. Colleagues congratulated him with a new thing and suggested to celebrate this event. He returned home late when two unknown men approached him and took off his new overcoat. Despair Bashmachkin there was no limit. He lost the meaning of existence. From the grief suffered titular counselor fell ill with angina and a few days later died. Sometimes, as witnesses say, a ghost of a man appears in that place, who tears off his overcoats from his abusers, preventing them from acquitting themselves. This work is included in the cycle “Petersburg Stories”. The brief content of the story allows to understand what the author wanted to convey to the reader.


In the image of Akaky Akakievich is the image of a small man, humiliated and offended by an unmerciful fate. The hero of Gogol sacrificed himself: he is not engaged in self-development, does not realize his desires, but is busy only by copying the papers. All his thoughts are focused on service. By sacrificing himself, he did not receive anything. In the image of Bashmachkin, Gogol draws the image of a small man who does not know how to take responsibility for the welfare of his own life: everyone can offend him, and he does not even make any attempts to defend himself.


The summary of the Petersburg Stories shows that the leitmotif of all works is the image of a small man. The loneliness of the heroes is emphasized, unbearable: Kovalev is poor in heart, Chartkov gave his soul to the devil, lost his way as an artist, Bashmachkin is humbled and crushed by circumstances. That’s what the “Petersburg Stories” are. Very brief content of the works is set out in this article.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Summary of “St. Petersburg novels” by Gogol