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The Idiot

The Idiot


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot Hypocrisy Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Yet [Ganya's] smile, in spite of its sweetness, was somewhat too subtle; it showed his somewhat too pearly and even teeth; his gaze, for all its cheerfulness and ostensible simple-heartedness, was somewhat too intent and searching.

"When he is alone he probably doesn't look that way, and maybe never laughs," the prince somehow felt. (1.2.70-71)

Wow, that's some perceptive face-reading, mister!

Quote #2

Nastasya had long satisfied herself of the fact that Ganya was merely marrying her for money, and that his nature was gloomy and greedy, impatient and selfish, to an extraordinary degree; and that although he had been indeed tried passionately to win Nastasya Philipovna over before, now that the two friends had agreed to exploit his passion, which had begun to be mutual, for their own purposes, and to buy Ganya by selling him Nastasya Philipovna as a lawful wife, he had begun to hate her like his own nightmare. In his heart passion and hate seemed to hold divided sway, and although he had at last given his consent to marry the woman (as he said), under the stress of circumstances, yet he promised himself that he would "take it out of her," after marriage. (1.4.26)

How is Ganya's love/hate for Nastasya similar to, and different from, Rogozhin's love/hate for Nastasya?

Quote #3

[Aglaya's note from Ganya said,] "This day I must give my word irrevocably. I have no right to ask your help, and I dare not allow myself to indulge in any hopes […]. Say one more such word, and save me from utter ruin. […] if you say but this word, I will take up my cross again with joy, and return once more to my battle with poverty. I shall meet the storm and be glad of it; I shall rise up with renewed strength. Send me back then this one word of sympathy, only sympathy, I swear to you; and oh! do not be angry with the audacity of despair, with the drowning man who has dared to make this last effort to save himself from perishing beneath the waters. G.L."

"This man assures me," said Aglaya, scornfully, when the prince had finished reading the letter, "that the words 'break off everything' do not commit me to anything whatever; and himself gives me a written guarantee to that effect, in this letter. Observe how ingenuously he underlines certain words, and how crudely he glosses over his hidden thoughts. He must know that if he 'broke off everything,' first, by himself, and without telling me a word about it or having the slightest hope on my account, that in that case I should perhaps be able to change my opinion of him, and even accept his—friendship. He must know that, but his soul is such a wretched thing." (1.7.107-110)

Aglaya is really very astute at catching the double meaning behind Ganya's obnoxious note. Ganya's hypocrisy consists of him wanting the women around him to commit to him in ways that he can't bring himself to commit to them.

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