This double, "Golyadkin junior", ( they have the same name too )at first seems to be a friend of "our hero." After all, upon meeting on a bridge on a stormy night, they enjoy an evening of drinking and conversation. But then, the double turns enemy. He receives undeserved favours, he sets up Golyadkin to be blamed for his own terrible behaviour, he actively and publicly condescends Golyadkin before their superiors. And our poor hero never seems to get a break.
With an odd point-of-view - it seems to be omniscient first-person - Dostoevsky sets us up to question whether or not Golyadkin's double is real, or if he's a creation of Golyadkin's broken mind. We join Golyadkin in his constant chase through claustrophobic, labyrinthine streets--he's always moving, even when he doesn't know where he's going, much to the ire of his cab drivers. And the question over whether or not the double exists almost seems to be moot when we realize that, as far as Golyadkin is concerned, he exists whether he's real or not. And in the most concrete terms, Golyadkin's life and dignity may never recover.