I have just started Part II; the first chapter, entitled "Night" starts off sort of slow, and it also reflects upon the previous chapter, when the infamous "slap" was administered. No one seems to know who "spilled the beans" with respect to what happened on Sunday night.
Question: I still don't know what the relationship is between the "Crippled" (I call her Mary) and Shatov. What is the relationship, other than their being merely friends?
Specific Questions About Chapter: In Chapter I, Part II, I am assuming that Pyotr went around trying to find his father, Stepan -- but why? And, later in the section, the following is stated:
==> "They are cunning; they were acting in collusion on Sunday." (Question What does this mean? Later, they talk about the people during the meeting being totally "transparent." Does this mean that the meeting was "set up" by those who were part of the meeting? Are the only ones who don't know "why" the meeting took place are G____ and Stepan?
Question: What is the underlining meaning of section I, Chapter I. It does not seem to make much sense.
Question: In Part III, Chapter I, Pyotr (whom I call "Peter") talks with Nicholas, telling him that he came to the town, knowing that he will act as a fool, rather than acting with his own character. Is this a means by which he is able to obtain information from people? By acting as if he does not know everything? He makes a statement at the end of this paragraph: "neither wise nor foolish, rather stupid, and dropped from the moon, as sensible people say here, isn't that it?" (this statement sort of answers my own question, I think; but what say you about this? Does Peter act as if he is a fool in order to make others believe that he really does not know what happened on that Sunday, in order to extract information from others?
In the same section, "Peter" tells Nicholas that he (Peter) is acting "Stupid" so that others do not understand that there are "secret designs." What does he mean by this? Is this a prelude to what might be happening later in the novel? Is "Peter" warning the reader about what might come to pass later? Is there some sort of special relationship that will endure throughout the novel between this "Peter" and Nicholas?
Later in that same section, "Peter" tells Nicholas that the "secret designs" have to do with publishing "Manifestoes," so I think that I am on the right track, as the essential plot of this novel has to do with politics -- and the publication of these manifestoes, in which Nicholas himself will later be heavily involved. So, tell me, Ivan, am I reading this material correctly?
Question: In part III, of Chapter I (which happens to be a very important part of this chapter), Nicholas suggests that "Peter" told a "story" on Sunday -- in order to "hide" from others that there is some sort of "relationship" between "Peter" and Nicholas. What story did he tell? I don't recall "Peter" telling a story on that Sunday (the day of the infamous "slap").
There is a lot more to section III of this chapter, but I have only highlighted the important parts with respect to the first portion(s) of section IV, which, as I said, is an important section to understand. It seems to lead the reader into an understanding that Nicholas is becoming the main character of the novel, and "Peter" is becoming the leading (second) charcter of the novel..
There is evidence that a "story" was told during the meeting on there Sunday, as reflected in the following text, taken from section III, chapter I:
==>"That is, you told your story as as to leave them in doubt and suggest some compact and collusion between us, when there was no collusion and I'd not asked you to do anything"
Later in the same section, we learn that "Peter" is the one who moved the Lebyadkins. He also gave the new location (of them) to Nicholas, in a letter. Question: Why did "Peter" find it necessary to move the Lebyadkins? Where did he move them to? (the text is not clear on that). And, then, afterwards, Nicholas asks that "Peter" no longer send him any more letters......why?
I am moving on to Sections IV and V of the chapter, without totally understanding the reason for section I and section II; but I proceed in any event.