• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analysis of a Key - PassageThe Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol

Extracts from this document...


World Literature Assignment 2C: Detailed Study Analysis of a Key Passage The Government Inspector1, by Nikolai Gogol, is a satirical play about Russian society during the nineteenth century. The play is about corrupt and self-seeking officials of a town in Tsarist Russia mistaking a poor commoner from Moscow for a government inspector. The passage taken for analysis from Act One, Scene One (attached) is central to the development of the whole play, for it is in this part of the play that the main dramatic action - the deception between the government officials, represented by the Governor, and Khlestakov - begins. In the passage, Gogol reveals the unwitting act of deception and profound social problems and thus brings into focus the main theme of the play - widespread corruption in Russian society. The passage offers important insight into the mentalities of the main characters: the Governor and Khlestakov, in particular how guilt plays a large role in shaping their actions. Gogol also uses dramatic irony and verbal and physical humor, which are typical of the play, to enhance the effectiveness of his satire in this passage. ...read more.


A characteristic feature of the Governor is his hypocrisy. In this passage, the Governor's character is vividly revealed in his asides. Although Gogol uses asides elsewhere in the play, they are much more frequently used in this passage. In addition to producing a comic effect on the audience, they expose the Governor's two-sidedness: what he thinks is completely different from what he says. He calls Khlestakov a "scrawny sneaky-looking chap", in one of his asides and says: "I could crack him [Khlestakov] like a flea" (line 210), but treats Khlestakov with utmost respect in front of him. Hypocrisy is also embodied in other government officials. Later in the play they lie to Khlestakov about how well they have performed their duties, while in reality what they have done is the exact opposite. Due to their moral degeneration, hypocrisy has become a necessary and habitual form of self-protection for the Governor and the officials. Gogol's introduction of mutual deception contributes to the dramatic tension in the passage. Like the Governor, Khlestakov is filled with guilt and fear - he has not paid his rent. The passage describes how a fearful Khlestakov is transformed into a confident "Inspector". ...read more.


In addition to verbal humor, the passage also contains physical humor. We see the physical humor of Bobchinsky "peeping around the door" (line 89), "peeping through the skylight" (lines 167 and 272), and "falling through the skylight and clinging on to the chandelier, which gradually sags down on to the bed, which finally collapses" (lines 306-309). Gogol often uses such humor throughout the play, for example, the flashes of lightening and the freeze frame of the final tableau. The physical humor used in the play enhances the slapstick qualities and emphasizes the ridiculousness and stupidity of the officials and townspeople. The passage chosen for analysis is, then, a pivotal moment in the development of the dramatic plot of The Government Inspector. In the passage Gogol not only brings out the major theme of the play, but also sets up the situation in which dramatic irony starts to advance the plot. Gogol's characterization of the Governor and Khlestakov and his use of dramatic irony and satirical comedy in the passage are crucial for our understanding of the whole play. 1 Gogol, The Government Inspector, (London: Methuen, 1985). 2 All further references to the passage will be given in brackets as line numbers. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE An Inspector Calls section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE An Inspector Calls essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How would you direct An Inspector Calls to ensure that it is still relevant ...

    3 star(s)

    Instead he will be the son of a traditional English family, and their habits and attitudes will have passed onto him, which, combined with his wealth, makes him feel like he's upper class. He won't have been a past mayor, but instead a member of the council.

  2. 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist' by Dario Fo - A Plot Summary

    Miss FELETTI, the journalist, also confronts the policemen with new aspects and refers to some contradictions in the protocols and the witness' statements. MANIAC gives explanations for those which bear even more obvious contradictions. He tries to let her find out about the mendacity of the police without them noticing it.

  1. Tom Stoppard's play The Real Inspector Hound - Plot and subplot

    They then move on to the play and Moon expresses his opinion of the play so far. Whilst this is happening Simon is still on stage who in the midst of Birdboot and Moon talking turns on the radio and a similar police message is repeated he quickly turns the radio and appears to be very nervous.

  2. Direct Line Insurance. The investigations focus was the decision to cease writing their own ...

    and a credit card. The following case study, describes how Direct Line moved from in-house bespoke software to Customer Relations Management software to improve the company's acquisition and retention of its customer base. Report Direct Line History The Direct Line story is short but eventful.

  1. Chief Inspector Heat

    "I sent a keeper to fetch a spade. When he heard me scraping the ground with it he leaned his forehead against a tree, and was as sick as a dog." The Chief Inspector, stooping guardedly over the table, fought down the unpleasant sensation in his throat. The shattering violence of destruction which had made of that body

  2. 20th Century Drama Assignment: 'The Best Years of Your Life'.

    Mk S5 P16 Mk then won't stop fussing about Rob and he eventually snaps, 'Yes I'm ok Mark! OK?' Rob S5 P17 Up to now we have seen mark change from not wanting to talk about the disease to being so helpful that it annoys Rob.

  1. Play: Dealer's Choice by Patrick Marber Character: Mugsy Act 3 Scene ...

    the centre, and when tentative he would push them in slowly, or throw some in, whilst having appearing quite grumpy. Throughout the gambling scenes it would be obvious whether he was attempting to bluff and when he had a decent hand, as he would be unable to hide his emotions.

  2. You are the new 'Sheila' in the West End production of 'An Inspector Calls'. ...

    aware of this when dialogue takes place between Birling and Gerald, feel the emotions! Like your father you also have a lot of respect for your mother (played by Dame Judy Dench). She is the woman you have grown up with and you have a close bond.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work