This article is devoted to the analysis of Nicolai Gogol’s stories The Story of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich and Old World Land Owners. The first story takes place in a small town of Myrgorod in Ukraine. The two Ivan’s have been great friends, neighbors, and gentle landowners but each one is an almost opposite image of the other. For example, Ivan Nikiforovich is fat, short and is honest while, on the other hand, Ivan Ivanovich is thin, tall and well spoken (Gogolʹ, Leonard and Constance).
This story starts with great harmony and coexistence between the two and the village knows them to be the best friends. This tale is all about an absurd argument between two formerly good friends living in the town of Myrgorod. The story is the funniest of Nicolai’s collection. It is about two men taking each other to court because one called the other a goose. Their bloated ego of these warring friends captures the whole story. The letter of complaint delivered to court gives the reader a deeper understanding of each character. Nicolai’s view of judicial and legal systems is exemplified in this story. Each segment of the story has its conflict making it seem like a serialized story.
Comparing the latter with the former, much has been portrayed of the two characters who continue with an escalated conflict. Their conflicts dominate much of the story. Myrgorod, which means peace town, wants reconciliation between the two friends. They foolishly decide to leave the courts without any decision, instead of pursuing their squabble in court (Gogolʹ, Leonard, and Constance). Their conflict lasts for more than a decade. One can only imagine the consequences, and in most cases, one spends more time thinking about it after reading it than the time one spent in reading. Unsurprisingly individuals have the greatest impact on the way their interpersonal conflicts unfold. These are two individuals who have been the best friends, but a simple conflict is about to erupt a long time conflict that lasted for more than a decade.
Written in a realistic manner, it is a grotesque indication of the two characters. It all starts when Ivans Ivanovich notice his friend hanging clothes to dry. He also notes his friend’s military implements, especially a rifle that interests him most (Brodiansky 36). He goes over and offers to trade it for a brown pick and sacks of oat. His neighbor is not ready to let it go and in turn, calls Ivanovich a goose, which offends him terribly. This was the beginning of their hatred. To rub in the insult, Nikiforovich erects a goose pen with two posts resting on the friend’s property. In retaliation, Ivanovich cuts off the legs at night and fears that Nikiforovich will burn his house down.
It is at this point that Ivan Ivanovich goes to court to have Nikiforovich arrested for ill intentions. The judge finds it hard to believe what is happening between these former friends. He tries to convince them to make amends which infuriates the friend causing him to storm out of the courthouse. On the other hand, Nikiforovich comes to court with his petition, amazing those in court, but strangely the petition is stolen by a brown pig that belongs to Ivan Ivanovich, shortly after he leaves court (Brodiansky 38). The chief inspector attempts to have the pig arrested, as well as convincing them to reconcile, but it is unsuccessful. The pig causes a new petition to be filled, which is quickly duplicated but remains in the archives for several years. The case takes a different direction from then, and the focus is on the pig, and its owner.
Later, the chief of police has a party and invites Ivanovich to the party, but Nikiforovich would not attend because neither of them will be where the other is. Nikiforovich is convinced to come without the knowledge of his friend (Gogolʹ, Leonard, and Constance). He attends the party after being convinced by Anton Prokofievich, and when he sits down during dinner, he realizes that his rival is sited directly opposite, and the party goes silent. The party continues but after the party, both try to leave without being noticed, but some party members try to push them together to make up. The chief of police acts as an integrative instrument trying to bring the two Ivans together (Gogolʹ, Leonard, and Constance). They do not seem to be ready to reconcile voluntarily. No party is ready yet, and neither do they use force to bring them together…