Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, Sr.
Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, Sr. (YAH-kov peh-TROH-vihch gol-YAD-kihn), the assistant to the chief clerk in a government office in St. Petersburg. From the outset, Yakov Petrovich reveals himself to be an insecure and mentally unstable individual who longs to be a success in his personal and professional life but who fails in both. After he makes a fool of himself as an uninvited guest at the birthday party of the woman he desires, Klara Olsufievna, he rushes into the street in a state of distress. There he repeatedly encounters a mysterious individual who, he realizes to his dismay, is his identical physical double. After quelling his anxiety about the appearance of this double, Yakov Petrovich allows the man to spend the night in his apartment. The next day, however, he begins to perceive that the double, labeled by the narrator as Golyadkin, Jr., has begun to worm his way into Yakov Petrovich’s office and threatens to take over Yakov Petrovich’s place there. Increasingly horrified at the skill of Golyadkin, Jr., in currying favor with Yakov Petrovich’s superiors and at the man’s continued disdain for Yakov Petrovich’s own attempts to make friends with him, Yakov Petrovich launches into a frantic, confused campaign of spying and letter writing to try to protect his own position and to uncover the motives of those he...
(The entire section is 541 words.)