I’m a bit late reporting in for my own read-along. And I could offer up all sorts of excuses, but what it really comes down to is this…I didn’t finish the reading on time. But! I persevered (because I’m reading this book so you don’t have to (I know, I’m too kind)). So, finally, here is the second installment of the…
Today, I’ll be discussing Part 2, consisting of Books IV, V, and VI (aka 4, 5, and 6).
Book 4 starts off with Father Zosima espousing peace, love and understanding. Alyosha then makes the rounds. He visits his father (same old story), the Khokhlakov’s (where Katerina insists she does not love Ivan and that she plans to marry Dmitri), and the home of a poor captain who Dmitri once beat, where Alyosha offers money and is rebuffed.
Moving on to Book 5, Alyosha makes the rounds again. This time he starts at the Khokhlakov’s, where he and Lise profess their true love and agree to marry (did I mention Alyosha will be leaving the monastery?). He then goes in search of Dmitri. First, he runs into Smerdyakov, who he singing to the housekeeper’s daughter. Then, he runs into Ivan, and they bare their souls (kind of) over fish soup, tea and jam. Ivan states he is leaving in the morning, but gee, it sure has been swell getting to know his little bro. There is also much (pages!) of Ivan blathering on about the existence of God and human suffering (that would be Ivan talking about suffering, although you would also be correct in thinking that I was also suffering by this point). He also recites his prose poem, about which all I remember is that it was exceedingly (and excessively) long. Alyosha never did find Dmitri.
Book 6 returns us to Zosima, who is (finally) dying. Alyosha recounts his last words (of which (no surprise), there are many). Let’s just say it’s some of his life story, be thankful we didn’t have to listen to the whole damn thing, and leave it at that.
What I’m Thinking:
Oh sure, I could talk about how Alyosha represents hope and Ivan fatalism, and how the women all seem to embody worry and hysteria (I am SO not impressed with you over this, Dostoevsky), and how all the religious blathering (excuse me, religious discourses) are representative of the age.
What Others are Thinking: