The Double centers on a government clerk who goes mad. It deals with the internal psychological struggle of its main character, Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, who repeatedly encounters someone who is his exact double in appearance but confident, aggressive, and extroverted, characteristics that are the polar opposites to those of the toadying pushover protagonist. The motif of the vella is a doppelganger (Russian dvoynik ), kwn throughout the world in various guises such as the fetch.
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, (born Nov. 11 [Oct. 30, Old Style], 1821, Moscow, Russia-died Feb. 9 [Jan. 28, Old Style], 1881, St. Petersburg), Russian novelist and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the darkest recesses of the human heart, together with his unsurpassed moments of illumination, had an immense influence on 20th-century fiction. Dostoyevsky is usually regarded as one of the finest novelists who ever lived. Literary modernism, existentialism, and various schools of psychology, theology, and literary criticism have been profoundly shaped by his ideas. His works are often called prophetic.