Golyadkin is a low-level bureaucrat struggling to succeed. His doctor tells him that his behaviour being dangerously antisocial should improve in cheerful company. Golyadkin resolves to try this, and leaves the office. He arrives uninvited at a birthday party and is asked to leave later. On his way home through a snowstorm, he encounters his double, who looks exactly like him. They soon become friends and we witness this surreal evolving relationship.