There are no heroes in this dark world of isolation and alienation. Gogol does seem to suggest that the only recourse to the denizens of this existence is to find a distraction to make the mind soar above the dirt and the grime, even if only for a time.
Indeed, the narrator's own flights and digressions provide an example: we can't help but laugh at the black humor that the narrator shows with such relish and detail. In dark times, satire and lampooning -- keeping a sense of humor -- is heroic.
Yet, even while Akaky revels in the though of his new overcoat and becomes more than a zombie for a day, the narrator reminds us what kind of world he lives in. It's one that does its best to pummel delight, as Akaky soon learns from thugs and those he solicits for help.
At the end, however, the Person of Consequence does have a -- perhaps fleeting -- thought that he should think before he is ever harsh to another the way he was to AA. Maybe this is all the heroism that can be mustered.