| Quote #1
"And how is Uncle Pavel? Is he keeping well?" inquired Arkady, anxious, in spite of the genuine almost childish delight filling his heart, to switch the conversation as soon as possible from an emotional to a more commonplace level. (3.2)
Why might Arkady wish to switch the conversation to a more commonplace level? Why do you think he feels the need to conceal his love for his father? How do children express their love for their parents differently as they grow older?
| Quote #2
Father and son were equally glad to see him at that moment; there are affecting situations from which one is anxious nevertheless to escape as quickly as possible. (5.35)
Why do both of them feel the desire to escape from the situation? How might the situation have resolved itself if Pavel did not appear? Do you agree with the narrator about these certain types of "affecting situations?" What else characterizes such a situation?
| Quote #3
"That sphinx is – you." (7.4).
The sphinx is engraved on the ring that Pavel gives to his one true love, Princess R. What do the object of love and a riddle have in common? Why is it that Pavel is particularly drawn to the enigmatic nature of Princess R, to the fact that he cannot understand her?