Shelves: fiction , philo-psychol , short , relationships , russia , classics , audible-uk , read Oh my, I do love Dostoyevsky. No, not all his books but most. Here is why I like himhis characters are complicated. Nothing is simplified. His books always make you think.
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She spent spring semester of studying Russian in St. She is now applying to graduate schools for Slavic Languages and Literatures. Most often, he examined literature, history, religion, politics and society.
For Dostoevsky, crimes against children were the most unsettling, because they signify a disharmony between the laws of nature and the laws of moral judgment. Although Dostoevsky respected the laws of nature, he sought answers to an unanswerable question: if God is good and all powerful, why is there evil in the world?
The Pawnbroker wants to be free but is bound by necessity and the course of events. Indeed, Dostoevsky suffered ridicule, especially when an apocalypse did not occur. The Ridiculous Man dreams that he lives in and then destroys a utopian society. After the Ridiculous Man wakes up, he preaches his dream to an audience of disbelievers.
The final theme, suicide, had always fascinated Dostoevsky. To Dostoevsky, a lust for life was instinctive, whereas suicide was a revolt against human nature. Therefore, Dostoevsky studied suicides as anomalies, and sought to understand the reasons behind them. Undoubtedly, the factual suicides Dostoevsky studied influenced his portrayal of fictional ones. This fantastic element allows the condemned man to reveal his thoughts without restriction. In fact, she is still in their apartment, lying dead on the table.
The first line of his confession begins with ellipses, making it seems as though the Pawnbroker starts his confession long before the unnoticed eavesdropper had begun to listen. For this reason, the Pawnbroker contradicts himself, retracts his own declarations and has trouble staying on topic, making his fantastic confession seem all too real.
When the Pawnbroker meets the right type of person, he enjoys gaining the upper hand and poking fun at that person. After all, this is one of the few joys he has left in life. He is the proprietor of a pawnshop, a profession scorned by Russian society, and, in his mind, he has been the victim of great injustices, which have nearly cost him everything.
When the Meek One comes to him to pawn her belongings, he immediately thinks he has the upper hand. She is young and poor, and, to her, his profession must appear respectable. He offers her two rubles for a worthless cigar holder that another pawnbroker refused to accept. He is delighted that she has no choice but to accept his two rubles.
Furthermore, the Pawnbroker brandishes and savors his triumph, something perhaps even a wolf would not do. Mikhailovsky explains that there are different forms of cruelty. Mikhailovsky is referring to the Underground Man, but his quote is suitable for the Pawnbroker as well. Like the Underground Man, the Pawnbroker believes he surpasses all others in intelligence and integrity, and a case may be made that he does.
After all, one must be intelligent to be so brilliantly cruel. But everyone fails to recognize this in the Pawnbroker, and, to make matters worse, his profession is lowly and ignoble. He is sensitive about his profession and adamantly defends it. And what of it? Therefore, it is a triumph for the Pawnbroker when he impresses the Meek One and thinks that she sees him as a respectable and cultivated man.
He achieves this by quoting Mephistopheles. The Pawnbroker is one of these people. He proposes almost immediately and delivers his marriage proposal ingeniously. In his speech, he purposely does not declare his love for her and enumerates his defects. This scene is similar to when the Underground Man first meets Liza, and he is glad he seems revolting to her, since this will make their time together more exciting.
Once the Meek One agrees to marriage, the Pawnbroker is overjoyed. Even after presenting himself in the worst light, she has still agreed to marry him. However, the Meek One paused for a long time before saying yes. The Pawnbroker wonders if, at that moment, she had been choosing between him and the fat shopkeeper who also wanted to marry her.
The Pawnbroker is excited by this idea and even contemplates whether he is more repulsive to her than the fat shopkeeper, and whether she decided to choose the worst of the two.
In fact, the Pawnbroker even hopes that he is the worse of the two. He would rather seem repulsive to her, since, like the Underground Man, this idea is incredibly exciting. The Pawnbroker, an exceptional, intelligent and magnanimous man, in his mind, has distinguished himself in these first cruel scenes. He has executed his plan to marry the Meek One, and he even thinks he has gained the upper hand.
And, after all, the Pawnbroker should not be chided, since, for Dostoevsky, a love of cruelty and suffering are an inseparable part of human nature.
When he wants to be cruel and succeeds in being brilliantly cruel. When he delivers his marriage proposal, he leaves out the excess embellishments ordinary men would include. Freedom The Pawnbroker is not truly free. He is utterly bound by the course of events. His life is dominated by an incident from his past, when he was unjustly expelled from his regiment, and he is set on protesting against society, which he maintains is responsible for this tragedy.
Like Stavrogin, Svidrigailov, Raskolnikov and Ivan Karamazov, the Pawnbroker chooses to abandon true freedom, freedom in Christ, in exchange for self-will and self-deification. Indeed, the Pawnbroker assumes the role of Christ. Once married, he wants his wife to come to him freely, without coercion. Instead, He does not coerce man through miracles.
Man is given the freedom to choose, and Christ wants man to freely choose Him. Like Christ, the Pawnbroker places this burden on his wife. He responds to her affection with stern silence, because he hopes that one day she will understand and freely choose him.
However, Pachmuss explains, she is unable to understand, and so the Pawnbroker must show her proof of his love But he refuses to show her proof, just as Christ refused to descend the cross. This brings forth another idea, that of purification through suffering as an excuse for cruelty.
Similarly, the Pawnbroker makes his wife suffer for a greater good. In giving man freedom to choose between good and evil, Christ also causes man to suffer. Because of this, the Grand Inquisitor accuses Christ of not loving man at all. The Pawnbroker too must reason that his cruelty toward his wife is justified in the same way, since he offers her a choice he thinks will lead to a greater good.
The Pawnbroker is also not a half-way man where freedom is concerned, and embraces a rebellious, destructive and godless freedom. She starts to rebel against his rules, lend money without him knowing, and appraise items in excess of their value. When he reprimands her, she explodes. The Pawnbroker starts to defend himself, but in doing so, he only increases his humiliation.
He shuts his eyes and pretends to be asleep. An exciting thought flashes through his mind. He is willing to risk his life over this triumph. Time passes, and he opens his eyes to find she is no longer in the room. The Pawnbroker does not reveal the truth to his wife. Instead, he savors his triumph. The Pawnbroker was ordered to have a formal talk with the hussar. After resigning, he spent three shameful years wandering the streets.
Utopianism The Pawnbroker keeps mentioning a vision. His vision is to protect himself from society by constructing a wall, raise thirty thousand rubles and then retire somewhere in the Crimea and help his neighboring farmers.
He would also have a beloved woman by his side and perhaps children and an ideal in his soul. Society has mistreated and overlooked the Pawnbroker, and the world is unfair and unjust. Therefore, the Pawnbroker strives to construct a new one. He sets up a formula for a moral utopia, where he will be appreciated and respected. However, in their worlds, man would cease to be free. Although it is unspoken, one gets the sense that the Pawnbroker, during his three shameful years wandering the streets, spent much of his time dreaming and devising systems.
After he marries the Meek One, he admits to spending most of his time dreaming. Certainly, the Pawnbroker thinks his dreams are superior to the real world. Consumed by his dreams, the Pawnbroker fails to realize that something horrible has occurred. His wife, who became ill after the incident with the pistol, is ashamed that he is her husband.
He understands this now, but at the time, when she blushed because he was taking care of her, he mistakenly attributed this to humility. The Meek One also sings in front of him. Did she forget about me?
He begins to realize that while he was dreaming the whole winter, his wife had not been as crushed and humiliated as he had thought. Instead, she had forgotten about him. The Pawnbroker, almost in a state of frenzy, decides they must travel to Boulogne. Over there, there is sun, our new sun! This time is no different.
Five Minutes too late . . .
From there he was assigned to a Moscow hospital, where he served as military doctor, and in , he was appointed a senior physician. In he married Maria Nechayeva. The following year, he took up a post at the Mariinsky Hospital for the poor. Mikhail Dostoevsky and Maria Dostoevskaya born Nechayeva. He was raised in the family home in the grounds of the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor, which was in a lower class district on the edges of Moscow. From the age of three, he was read heroic sagas, fairy tales and legends by his nanny, Alena Frolovna, an especially influential figure in his upbringing and love for fictional stories.
The Meek One: A Fantastic Story
Plot summary[ edit ] The story opens with the narrator in a frenzy about an apparent tragedy that has just befallen his household. His wife has apparently died, as he makes repeated references to her being laid out on a table, presumably lifeless. The narrator proceeds to make an attempt to relate the story to the reader in an effort to make sense of the situation. The narrator is the owner of a pawnshop, and one of his repeated customers was a young girl of sixteen who always pawns items to earn money to advertise as a governess in the newspaper.
Dostoyevsky graduated as a military engineer, but resigned in to devote himself to writing. These are marked by cruel realities and unjust lives. Alja alyaofwinterfell rated it did not like it Dec 19, J G rated it did not like it Apr 03, The narrator proceeds to make an attempt to relate the story to the reader in an effort to make sense of the situation. Nora rated it did not like it Jun 15, Let your judges judge me, let them take me to court, to your public court, and I will say that I acknowledge nothing. A Gentle Creature is a repudiation of this idea.
The Meek One
It may nevertheless be one of his greatest. At least two such dissimilar authorities as Knut Hamsun and Saltykov-Shchedrin agree on that. No sooner has he described it as fantastic when he adds that he "considers it utterly realistic. After the introduction of this convention in the preface, the story is then developed in an utterly realistic manner. The narrator presents the interlacing, overlapping, but essentially separate worlds that form the individual human consciousnesses of the two characters involved.
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