The Double (1846) Dostoevsky (in translation)
Dr. Rimma Volynska
Philosophy and Psychology
Written before Dostoevsky’s penal servitude.
The concept of a double is one that repeats itself throughout Dostoevsky’s works.
Poor Folk a humanistic tragedy, while The Double is a philosophical tragedy.
• Social and economic factors present in The Double, but not primary
o Psychology is the focus: Dostoevsky is writing pre-Freud, pre-Hegel, pre-
o Dostoevsky presents us with a clinical psychoanalysis
o Presents the revolutionary notion that man’s great tragedy stems from his
own drive (for dignity, self-worth, security)
• Elements of revolt with the “I”.
o Signs of rebellion in Makar Devushkin (Poor Folk), who talks back to
Gogol through Varenka.
One must subordinate oneself