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Thread: Interesting paragraphs or scenes

  1. #1
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    Interesting paragraphs or scenes

    What could the most important or interesting paragraph (or set of paragraphs) in the novel be.. or the most interesting scene?

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    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    The final confrontation between Prince Myshkin and the two young women is fascinating. Here's a sample:

    He could bear it no longer, and with a look of entreaty, mingled with reproach, he addressed Aglaya, pointing to Nastasia the while:

    "How can you?" he murmured; "she is so unhappy."

    But he had no time to say another word before. Aglaya's terrible look bereft him of speech. In that look was embodied so dreadful a suffering and so deadly a hatred, that he gave a cry and flew to her; but it was too late.

    She could not hold out long enough even to witness his movement in her direction. She had hidden her face in her hands, cried once " Oh, my God!" and rushed out of the room. Rogojin followed her to undo the bolts of the door and let her out into the street.

    The prince made a rush after her, but he, was caught and held back.

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    Alright, thanks for the suggestion.

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    most interesting/important paragraph in the idiot

    When Rogozhin says to Prince Myshkin 'One might almost believe that your pity is greater than my love.`

    When Lebedyev says to Myshkin 'Illustrious Prince,I'm a poor creature in soul and spirit, but ask any poor creature, any scoundrel even, which he'd rather have to do with, a scoundrel like himself, or a noble-hearted man like you, most true-hearted prince, he'll answer that he prefers the noble hearted man, and that's the triumph of virtue...'

    many more in the book... a point to raise - I believe that the whole book is about suffering, in that all the characters suffer one way or another. It is easy to condemn say Rogozhin as being repulsive or Aglaia as proud etc etc but I think the whole point of the book is saying that everyone has their problems. we shouldn't condemn others before we know how they feel, and that is why the Prince is so sympathetic towards people. one small point only, the book is very complicated and open to discussion!

  5. #5
    mvr_moorthy
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    Quote Originally Posted by staka View Post
    What could the most important or interesting paragraph (or set of paragraphs) in the novel be.. or the most interesting scene?
    The most interesting scene in "The Idiot" is the one dipicting the Prince's induction into the Epanchin family. It is one of the most UnDostoevskian beginnings lacking his usual social, psychological and dramatic contours. The way all the characters are introduced and the leisurely pace are also different--- as there is no specific incident which revolves round them. Still Dostoevsky holds our attention and sets up the elaborate stage for the high drama of the later part.

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    spiritus ubi vult spirat weltanschauung's Avatar
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    "There is nothing so annoying as to be fairly rich, of a fairly good family, pleasing presence, average education, to be "not stupid," kind-hearted, and yet to have no talent at all, no originality, not a single idea of one’s own--to be, in fact, "just like everyone else." To have wealth, but not that of Rothschild’s; to be from an honoured family but that has never distinguished itself for anything relevant; to be goodlooking but with it, not expressing anything in particular; to have intelligence, but no original ideas; to have a good heart, but no soul grandiosity; to have good education, but not even know what to do with it etc etc..

    For instance, when the whole essence of an ordinary person’s nature lies in his perpetual and unchangeable commonplaceness; and when in spite of all his endeavours to do something out of the common, this person ends, eventually, by remaining in his unbroken line of routine--. I think such an individual really does become a type of his own--a type of commonplaceness which will not for the world, if it can help it, be contented, but strains and yearns to be something original and independent, without the slightest possibility of being so.

    Of such people there are countless numbers in this world--far more even than appear. They can be divided into two classes as all men can--that is, those of limited intellect, and those who are much cleverer. The former of these classes is the happier.

    To a commonplace man of limited intellect, for instance, nothing is simpler than to imagine himself an original character, and to revel in that belief without the slightest misgiving.

    Many of our young women have thought fit to cut their hair short, put on blue spectacles, and call themselves Nihilists. By doing this they have been able to persuade themselves, without further trouble, that they have acquired new convictions of their own. Some men have but felt some little qualm of kindness towards their fellow-men, and the fact has been quite enough to persuade them that they stand alone in the van of enlightenment and that no one has such humanitarian feelings as they. Others have but to read an idea of somebody else’s, and they can immediately assimilate it and believe that it was a child of their own brain. The "impudence of ignorance," if I may use the expression, is developed to a wonderful extent in such cases;--unlikely as it appears, it is met with at every turn."

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    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    The 'most important' and possibly the most interesting and subtle paragraph has to be Ch 49's:

    Meanwhile the daylight grew full and strong; and at last the prince lay down, as though overcome by despair, and laid his face against the white, motionless face of Rogojin. His tears flowed on to Rogojin's cheek, though he was perhaps not aware of them himself.
    Followed by Ch 50's:

    Evgenie takes this much to heart, and he has a heart, as is proved by the fact that he receives and even answers letters from Colia. But besides this, another trait in his character has become apparent, and as it is a good trait we will make haste to reveal it. After each visit to Schneider's establishment, Evgenie Pavlovitch writes another letter, besides that to Colia, giving the most minute particulars concerning the invalid's condition. In these letters is to be detected, and in each one more than the last, a growing feeling of friendship and sympathy.

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