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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Book 2, Chapter 4 Summary

A Lady of Little Faith

  • In contrast to the women Zosima greeted in the previous chapter, the next visitor is a wealthy landowner. She thanks Zosima for healing her daughter Lise, or rather, for improving Lise's condition – she seems to be partially paralyzed from the waist down.
  • Lise laughs outright at Alyosha, who seems embarrassed by her attention.
  • It turns out the lady landowner and Lise already know Alyosha. Lise has a message for him from Katerina Ivanovna, who wants to talk to Alyosha about Dmitri.
  • The lady landowner voices her concern to Zosima that she feels unable to love mankind. Zosima praises her for feeling troubled and asks her to keep working at it. But the most important piece of advice he gives her is to avoid lying, in particular lying to herself.
  • Lise continues to mock Alyosha, and Zosima asks her why she's giving Alyosha such a hard time. Lise tells Zosima that Alyosha used to visit them often but no longer does. Zosima promises to send Alyosha to visit them.

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