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Thread: Part II, Chapter I: Night

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    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    Part II, Chapter I: Night

    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.
    Last edited by mea505; 11-16-2008 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Clarification Purposes Only

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    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    Why in French Literature?

    Whereas I am currently reading "Demons," written by Dostoevsky, I am also reading Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I know that I posed (at least part of) this question in the past; but I need further clarification:

    Why, in French literature, do authors tend to state only the first letter of some names of people and places, added by a line, such as in "G_____"? What is the purpose of doing this? Is there a reason that I am not aware of? It is commonly done in "Les Miserables," and I just want to know the significance.

    --Thanks, Mark
    Last edited by mea505; 11-17-2008 at 02:15 AM.

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    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    "Shooting Oneself"

    In Part V, "Night," the following passage can be found, as Stavrogin is talking:

    ==>"I understand shooting oneself, of course,"......"I sometimes have thought of it myself, and then there was always came a new idea: if one did something wicked or worse still, something shameful, that is disgraceful, only very shameful and......ridiculous, such as people would remember for a thousand years and hold in scorn for a thousand years........."

    ==> What does Stavrogin mean by the above statement? It is not complete, as there is more in the text; but I placed enough there to let you understand from where it came.

    Later in the same chapter, Nicholas reveals to Shatov that "Mary," (The Cripple) is his lawful wife. Now, that is even more confusing than before. I was about to state (well before) that the reason the infamous "slap" was administered was because "Mary" (The Cripple) was Shatov's wife; now I learn that this is not true. It "seems to me" that this information is also revealed somewhere in the beginning of the novel, but I seem to have forgotten all about it and where it is stated.

    Question: Was I correct in my assumption as to why the infamous slap was administered to Nicholas (in my previous posts)????
    Last edited by mea505; 11-17-2008 at 02:46 AM.

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    The Brain Man mea505's Avatar
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    Whew!

    Night, Part I is chock full of philosophy, and I am assuming that it is the author's philosophical views! After reading what Shatov had to say to Nicholas about the "rise and fall of nations" with respect to their belief in "a god," I was sure to understand that I am not going to be able to comprehend this material in one passing!

    And, now, after reading "Night" (Part I), it is necessary to go back and re-read the entire chapter, for it is one of the most difficult chapters to date!
    Last edited by mea505; 11-17-2008 at 04:26 AM.

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    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mea505 View Post
    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?
    None.

    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?
    He wants his money - 15 000 rublyas for that forest. Stepan doesn't have that money so he was prepared to marry Darya ( sins of others, you remember).


    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?
    Yes, of course


    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").
    You remember Peter told something about Marya, money and Stavrogin after Stavrogin took Marya home?



    [B]
    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?
    So nobody can find them and ask questions about Stavrogin and Marya; and Stavrogin probably wanted his wife to be left in peace.
    Maybe you realized that Stavrogin is sick of that ''society things''.




    Quote Originally Posted by mea505 View Post
    Whereas I am currently reading "Demons," written by Dostoevsky, I am also reading Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I know that I posed (at least part of) this question in the past; but I need further clarification:

    Why, in French literature, do authors tend to state only the first letter of some names of people and places, added by a line, such as in "G_____"? What is the purpose of doing this? Is there a reason that I am not aware of? It is commonly done in "Les Miserables," and I just want to know the significance.

    --Thanks, Mark
    It's not common, at least from my translation. Maybe writers wants to show it's irrelevant where did it happen; it could be anywhere.



    Quote Originally Posted by mea505 View Post
    In Part V, "Night," the following passage can be found, as Stavrogin is talking:

    ==>"I understand shooting oneself, of course,"......"I sometimes have thought of it myself, and then there was always came a new idea: if one did something wicked or worse still, something shameful, that is disgraceful, only very shameful and......ridiculous, such as people would remember for a thousand years and hold in scorn for a thousand years........."

    ==> What does Stavrogin mean by the above statement? It is not complete, as there is more in the text; but I placed enough there to let you understand from where it came.
    People are often afraid what will others think about them which is stupid and irrelevant. Especially if you're dead, what others think of you is irrelevant, like you care for it or it will merely change anything. You're dead, you don't feel anything, you don't know anything; so what they think, good or bad is absolutely irrelevant. Who are they to even judge you? One Shakespeare quote would go here perfectly...

    Quote Originally Posted by mea505 View Post
    Later in the same chapter, Nicholas reveals to Shatov that "Mary," (The Cripple) is his lawful wife. Now, that is even more confusing than before. I was about to state (well before) that the reason the infamous "slap" was administered was because "Mary" (The Cripple) was Shatov's wife; now I learn that this is not true. It "seems to me" that this information is also revealed somewhere in the beginning of the novel, but I seem to have forgotten all about it and where it is stated.

    Question: Was I correct in my assumption as to why the infamous slap was administered to Nicholas (in my previous posts)????

    That's why the slap happen; Shatov knew Marya is Stavrogin's wife Remember, the were together in Peterburg.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by mea505 View Post
    Night, Part I is chock full of philosophy, and I am assuming that it is the author's philosophical views! After reading what Shatov had to say to Nicholas about the "rise and fall of nations" with respect to their belief in "a god," I was sure to understand that I am not going to be able to comprehend this material in one passing!
    Yes, I'm sure these are the author's views. However, one must always be aware that the author speaks through his characters, using irony almost all the time. Even when his philosophical view is more aligned with particular characters (like Lembke the mayor), not all of Lembke's statements necessarily agree with the author's way of thinking. By this method he is giving broad brushstrokes about what happened in the decades previous to 1917. On the back cover of the Penguin Classics edition (the one I'm using), it says that this work is: "A grim prophecy of the Russian Revolution." It truly is a prophecy, and I am overwhelmed at how deeply and thoroughly Dostoyevsky understood politics, valid for any day and age!

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