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The Nose

The Nose


by Nikolai Gogol

The Nose Analysis

Literary Devices in The Nose

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory


So, yeah, before we start, let's talk a little bit about St. Petersburg. It was founded by Peter the Great, who was basically Russia's superhero tsar, using his power to modernize and industrialize...

Narrator Point of View

Third PersonPretty straightforward narration here. We get a standard-sounding narrator who sticks closely to the head of the main character, Kovalev. He mostly doesn't clue us into what other chara...


So how exactly do you figure out when you're reading magical realism and not some other genre that's got weird stuff in it, like fairy tales or sci fi? This might come as a bit of shock, but the ve...


Don't you feel like the narrator really has it in for pretty much all the characters in this story? Like, everyone single person he ends up describing gets a good punch square in the jaw just for e...

Writing Style

In an early draft of this story, Gogol planned for the whole thing to be Kovalev's dream. Well, it seems like he went overboard in the rewrite, because he crammed realistic and specific details int...

What's Up With the Title?

Sometimes titles are a little mysterious, trying to push readers into finding that one reference somewhere in the text that explains just what the author meant, or doing some independent research t...

What's Up With the Ending?

Okey-doke, let's start with a little summary of just what happens at the end of the story, shall we? The nose is back on Kovalev's face, and Kovalev is back to his old life. Nothing much has change...


Get out that bowl of popcorn, Shmoopers, because this is an easy read. Funny, exciting, surprising, and brief—this is about as good as a short story gets.

Plot Analysis

So, have you heard the one about the guy who wakes up without a nose? And is all embarrassed and stuff about what his coworkers and semi-girlfriend are going to think? No? Well, that's what happens...


Gogol started life as a minor civil servant, sort of as a day job while trying to make it as a writer—so maybe he knows a little more than the average dude what Kovalev is all about. (source) His...

Steaminess Rating

Well, we're talking the 19th century, so for sure there's nothing overt going on in the whole thing. But then again, the story could be read as one long castration nightmare (check out Shmoop's "Sy...


This is a story about a disembodied nose and its forlorn former possessor. Aside from some St. Petersburg tourist attractions, Gogol pretty much sticks to the folks involved.

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