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The Nose

The Nose

by Nikolai Gogol

The Nose Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why is it Kovalev's nose that develops a new life? Why not his arm or his ear? Does the body part have significance?
  2. In early drafts, the story ended with Kovalev waking up and realizing the whole thing was just a crazy dream. Why did Gogol remove this ending?
  3. Does Kovalev learn a lesson from his experience? Is he better or worse off for having gone through it? How do you know?
  4. What would this story sound like from the nose's point of view? What can we tell (if anything) about the nose's personality? Would it be scared of the barber? How would it feel about Kovalev?
  5. Is it possible to actually imagine what the action of the story might look like, or are the words and description not actually visual in nature? For example, how big is the nose? Does it change size? How does it walk or wear clothes? How does it transform from being in Kovalev's hand to being the doctor?
  6. Why does Kovalev decide not to marry that girl after all? Would the nose have married her?
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