A government official Golyadkin has a formative discussion with his Doctor Rutenspitz, who fears for his sanity and tells him that his behaviour is dangerously antisocial. He prescribes 'cheerful company' as the remedy. Golyadkin resolves to try this, and leaves the office. He proceeds to a birthday party. He was uninvited, and a series of faux pas lead to his expulsion from the party. On his way home through a snowstorm, he encounters his double, who looks exactly like him. A new evolving relationship is formed.