About the Project

Site Navigation

The site's "Methodology" page details the way in which the markup and visualizations were produced. The "Text" page has two dropdown menus: one with links to each of the work's thirteen chapters, and another that lists Goliadkin's voicings. To see the voices as they appear in the text, click on the labels that appear under "Voices of Goliadkin." Once clicked on, portions of the text should highlight in a color that corresponds to the color of the label in the menu. The "timid" voicings appear in blue, while the "confident" and "mocking" voices appear in orange and purple, respectively. "Goliadkin's Route" provides a map of Goliadkin's walk through Petersburg at the end of chapter five. Click on the dots on the map to see the portions of the chapter that correspond to the locations on the map. The "Results" page contains all generated visualizations and the project's conclusion.


First published in 1846, Fedor Dostoevskii's The Double [Двойник] chronicles the mind of Yakov Petrovich Goliadkin—a Petersburg titular councillor—as he is confronted by a living mirror image of himself; moreover, this mirror image possesses all the qualities Goliadkin deems lacking in himself. The original Goliadkin is referred to as Goliadkin Senior [Голядкин-старший], while his double is referenced as Goliadkin Junior [Голядкин-младший]. Where Goliadkin Senior lacks confidence and performs poorly in social situations, Goliadkin Junior is charming and quickly outperforms his Senior at their place of work. The appearance of the titular double occurs following a social experience so humiliating, Goliadkin states that "Mr. Goliadkin was killed—killed entirely, in the full sense of the word" [«Господин Голядкин был убит—убит вполне, в полном смысле слова»]: in this rejection of the self, Goliadkin's consciousness manifests an alternate, superior version of the self, Goliadkin Junior. By the end of the story, Goliadkin's self-consciousness shatters further, and he begins to feel surrounded by other manifestations of himself; the story ends with his journey to an asylum.

The project explores Goliadkin’s self-consciousness through quantification of his inner and external dialogue, utilizing Mikhail Bakhtin’s theoretical text Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics as a basis for the analysis. In this work, Bakhtin introduces ideas of dialogism and polyphony to literary criticism, asserting that Dostoevsky innovated a type of polyphonic novel that is characterized by dialogic speech acts made by recognizably different voices of different characters, each of whom are fully equal and thus not subordinate to the authorial or narratorial voice. This dialogic discourse allows a plurality of consciousness and affirms multiple points of worldview. Bakhtin posits that there are three forms of speech: direct, indirect, and free indirect, as well as three forms of emotional valence in Goliadkin’s speech acts: timid, self-confident, and mocking.

Through our research, we would like to re-examine and develop Bakhtin’s literary analysis of Dostoevskii’s works, with an emphasis on self-consciousness or self-reflexiveness of the characters, beginning with The Double. For further research, the project would develop in two different directions: analyses of Gogol’s works and their influence on The Double, or analyses of Dostoevskii’s further development of dialogism and the theme of the double in his later novels, such as The Possessed and The Karamazov Brothers. Information on the project can be found on Github.


Bakhtin, M M. Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. Ed. and Trans. Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

Dostoevskii, Fedor M. Dvoinik. Sobranie sochinenii v piatnadtsati tomakh, tom 1, Leningrad:Nauka, 1988.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.