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Word Count: 1,386
Within Diary of a Madman Gogol attempts a tale of epic proportions if only for the schizophrenic mumblings of a character so immersed in his own psychosis that he fails to realize that the entire world does not share his own delusions Through numerous journal entries Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin leads us throughout his world from his mediocre job and crush on his employers daughter to his encounters with dogs of higher intelligence to the torments he undergoes at the hands of the Spanish Inquisitor This is a tale of suffering Poprishchin is just a pathetic Walter Mitty-esque soul whos only pleasure lies within his own imagination When his only possible bridge to an escape from this world collapses when his employers daughter Sophie rejects him his world ceases to exist in the normal realm and wholly resides through his journal entries and his subsequent trek to Spain to claim what is rightfully his throne In the end this throne turns out to be the other side of his mind This decline in consciousness begins with the very first entry Even upon writing this initial entry one questions the reasoning behind it why does Poprishchin decide to begin keeping a journal Has he perhaps always kept one but just needed a new book or has someone given him a gift that he feels he must utilize One possibility is that Poprishchin decides that something has finally happened in his life that is worth recording for prosperity The very first sentence of the first record dated October 3 rather proves this theory Today the most extraordinary thing happened to me1 Poprishchin then begins to tell of the days events leading up to this most extraordinary event showing to the reader that he is rather unlearned in the art of journal writing--he writes of every little insignificant detail that happened to him from when he overslept in the morning to when he finally spies upon
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