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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Book 5, Chapter 1 Summary

A Betrothal

  • When Alyosha arrives at the Khokhlakovs', Madame Khokhlakov is on her way out the door to tend to Katerina, who is now running a fever.
  • Alyosha and Lise are alone, so Alyosha tells Lise about his encounter with Snegiryov. He reveals that he's actually glad that Snegiryov rejected the money because it gave Snegiryov the chance to prove he was an honorable man. Alyosha decides that Snegiryov will be more receptive to the money the next day.
  • Lise then tells Alyosha that her note to him actually wasn't a joke at all. Alyosha tells her he knows, and Lise is annoyed because he seems so cold. But then he kisses her, which surprises them both. He confesses that he had her letter in his pocket all along.
  • Lise asks Alyosha why he seems so terribly sad, and he mentions how troubled he is by his family's conflicts and Zosima's ill health.
  • After kissing Lise good-bye, Alyosha heads downstairs only to be headed off by Madame Khokhlakov, who is distressed by what she's overheard between him and Lise. Alyosha refuses to show her Lise's letter and continues out the door.

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