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Thread: Chapter VI: The Subtle Serpent

  1. #1
    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    Chapter VI: The Subtle Serpent

    Chapter VI is perhaps one of the most difficult chapters to understand. The author of the novel keeps interchanging the names of the characters. As an example, when I completed the chapter, and then "dared" to move onto Part II of the novel, chapter I, the name "Stavrogin" was used, as the "receiver of the slap" in the previous chapter. Is this Nicholas? Why on Earth does the author keep changing the names of the characters? This makes the novel that much more difficult to understand and follow.

    Question: In the following chapter, Part II, Chapter I (Night), the name Yulia Mihaillovna is mentioned. Who is this person? The name is mentioned during the first portion of the chapter, as the story about the "rumors being spread throughout the city or town" are being mentioned. Another appropriate question: What are the three "things" that happened in the last chapter that are now comprising the many rumors that are being told throughout the city or town? One of them is the slap. What are the others?

    Again, this note will most likely be edited later, as the chapter is read, to include more information, and possibly some questions.

    --Mark
    Last edited by mea505; 11-13-2008 at 10:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    His full name is Nikolay Vsevolodovich Stavrogin; so he is usually called Nikolay (his mother Varvara Petrovna likes to call him Nicholas) or Stavrogin. Vsevolodovich is patronim - it is made from Vsevolod; his fathers name.
    His not changing anything; you'll just have to use to it.

    Check around forming of Russian names and nicknames, it will be clearer.


    Yulia Mihailovna is new governor's wife.
    What happened in that room before that slap, or what caused it?
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  3. #3
    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    Excellent Question!

    That's an excellent question! I know not what happened that caused the slap, or the fist into the face! It seems as though Shatov just "got up" and hit him for no reason!

  4. #4
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    It seems; yes. But he didn't! Think, mea; think!
    Last edited by bazarov; 11-13-2008 at 02:18 PM.
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  5. #5
    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    "Think"

    As I mentioned in my original post -- above -- I will most likely (I will have to, in fact), go back and re-read the section. I find the re-reading the work is much better. It seems to read a lot better the second time. When I find the answer, I will let you know. I will "think."

    Mark

  6. #6
    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    I thought about it.

    Ivan....

    The reason the "slap" happened is (I think) quite simple. Nicholas is the reason why Stepan cannot marry Dasha, who is Shatov's sister. Nicholas is the one who wanted Dasha to give the roubles to the captain, and because the captain now has money, he is able to buy alcohol and get drunk, and beat his sister. Therefore, Shatov got up and "popped" Nicholas in the mouth.

    Please forgive me if I didn't get the names right; I don't have the book in front of me and I must have it in order to get the names correct.

    Mark
    Last edited by mea505; 11-13-2008 at 09:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Stepan actually don't want to marry Dasha, he would marry her because of ''sins of others'', it's not that he likes her.
    What is connection between Cripple and Shatov?
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  8. #8
    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    You are an astute reader! I am assuming that I have the question correctly answered with respect to why the "slap" was administered. I am not altogether sure as to what the relationship between the Cripple and Shatov is at this moment; but I will go back to that chapter and find out. I know that "something" was said about that, but my memory seems to escape me at the moment.

    I just sent you a couple of new e-mails, by the way.

    Dostoevsky was an excellent author. When I attended college (many, many moons ago), I was told that he was a master of the Russian literary circle in which he belonged. It certainly does require one to think when reading his materials.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Astute...new word, thank you!
    Yep, together with Tolstoy.
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  10. #10
    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    "break"

    I am going to take a slight "break" from this novel for a short period of time to devote some time to "Crime and Punishment," as I think that I might have "over-extended" myself. I will get back to this discussion. We are currently about to start discussing the next chapter, The Duel.

  11. #11
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    In regard to the slap given to Nicholas Stavrogin, I think the more interesting question is why did Nicholas not react violently, but remained quite calm. I found the answer later on in the novel. I only have 11 pages more to finish part II. The book gets better and better as it goes on. Of the five books that I have read by Dostoyevsky, this is the hardest one to follow. Nevertheless, I think all the work you put into it pays off. Also, I can see many political elements that enlighten what is happening in the United States right now.

    I hope Bazarov continues to give his opinions. I really like his approach. As for me, I do not usually remember all the details in any novel. What I stay with is the overall message.

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