Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Readalong: The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky Post 2

I am participating in the readalong for The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, hosted by A Literary Odyssey. This is the second post of 4 total posts, it covers Part 2 in The Idiot. My first post can be found here.

I am really enjoying The Idiot, as I do most 19th century Russian literature. I love the characters most of all. Each character has a personality and back story and they all respond to situations differently.

My two favorite characters are Prince Myshkin and Lizaveta Prokofyevna.

I love Prince Myshkin's innocence and belief in people. Many people assume that he is an idiot, or at least very simple, but he does have an acute understanding of most people and situations. He often remains fairly calm during stressful situations, although they can make him go into an epileptic seizure. He also blushes a lot when people directly accuse him of anything, which I find endearing.

I also like Lizaveta, who is Myshkin's remaining relative. Lizaveta overreacts to situations and can talk her mouth off when she's upset. She is also very impulsive. For example, she is offended by the Prince at his house towards the end of Part 2 when the common people show up, but she comes back only 3 days later to make sure that they are alright and to invite him to her house.

Part 2 of The Idiot is based less on action and more on intrigue and gossip. In the beginning, the reader doesn't follow Prince Myshkin around personally, we only get hints of what he's been up to through the gossip of people in St. Petersburg. Later when the Prince comes back, a lot of characters show up at his apartment and plenty of people get offended and overworked. I love the gossip and scandals that form their society. An especially good example of this is when they are leaving Myshkin's and Nastasya shows up and tells Yevgeny that she has promissory notes of his and she uses the familiar form of 'you' instead of the formal form! OMG! How could she do that?! Now the Epanchin family doesn't want to talk to him since Nastasya used the familiar form and there's a slight possibility that she wasn't lying about the IOU's.

I am highly enjoying re-reading this great classic. Thank you Allie for hosting this readalong! The next post for The Idiot is on June 15.

1 comment:

  1. I love that scene where Nastasya shows up in the carriage and her "beautiful voice rings out." Just when the reader had nearly forgotten her. Lizaveta is growing on me. She's bi-polar: first she denounces the entire company, and then she is showing so much compassion to the consumptive Ippolit. Her mood swings and storms of temper somehow make her sympathetic. I've just gotten in to Part 3-can't wait to see what everyone thinks.