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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Book 4, Chapter 4 Summary

At the Khokhlakovs'

  • Alyosha arrives at the Khokhlakovs', bloody finger and all.
  • Madame Khokhlakov wants to talk about Zosima's "miracle," but she's also mystified by what she perceives to be her daughter's hysteria. Lise pipes up behind a door that she isn't hysterical at all, but Madame Khokhlakov chides her for driving herself into hysterics.
  • Alyosha interrupts this little tiff by asking for a clean cloth for his wounded finger, the sight of which horrifies Lise and Madame Khokhlakov.
  • As Lise sends her mother off to get various dressings for Alyosha's wound, she has a moment alone with him. She tells him her love letter was just a joke, and now that she's embarrassed, she'd like it back. Alyosha replies that he left the letter back at the monastery, and besides, he took her letter very seriously and plans to marry her.
  • Lise is thrilled, but just then her hysterical mother returns. Lise slyly announces to her mother that Alyosha is planning on getting married, but doesn't reveal that it's to her.
  • Her mother is just confused and rambles on about rabid schoolboys. Then she announces that Katerina has also arrived and is eager to speak with Alyosha.

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