© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Idiot

The Idiot

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary

  • Myshkin suddenly goes over to Radomsky to tell him that he is a totally super duper guy. Radomsky is all embarrassed about Myshkin's strange behavior and guesses that Myshkin really wants to say this to someone else.
  • Myshkin agrees, and makes a little speech to everyone saying that he knows that he is really inappropriate in society and that he is a little weird, and that he knows that sometimes they must be laughing at him behind his back.
  • Aglaya is immediately furious at this, and starts yelling that everyone there is worthless compared to him, and that he shouldn't debase himself in front of them.
  • Then she breaks down in tears, saying that she'll never marry Myshkin.
  • To which he's all, um, I haven't asked you, and I really wasn't ever planning on it.
  • At this, everyone starts to laugh. Everyone is kind of nuts.
  • They all finally go for their walk, and Aglaya walks ahead with Myshkin. While walking, she tells him about a bench in the park where she likes to come early in the morning when everyone else is asleep. Hint, hint.
  • They make their way to the vauxhall, a park where there is a café and music. It's an elegant crowd, and they are doing the society thing of checking out other women's dresses and saying hi to acquaintances.
  • A few dudes glom around Aglaya and immediately get the sense that Myshkin is kind of off. He, meanwhile, is off in his own world, really wishing he were all alone in his house, or even at the top of a mountain in Switzerland. He's kind of sorry that he ever met these people.
  • All of a sudden, he gets the uneasy feeling of being watched. He keeps looking around anxiously, and his anxiety rubs off on Aglaya.
  • Well, they are right to stress, because in walks Nastasya with a bunch of followers in tow.
  • She is a little too loud and a little overdressed for the place, and it's impossible to ignore her, even though most people are trying to do just that.
  • Myshkin is overcome with pain and pity. He can tell that she is completely insane at this point—like seriously, one foot in asylum.
  • As Nastasya walks by them, she again accosts Radomsky. This time, she tells him that his supposedly rich uncle just shot himself this morning—turns out, he was embezzling funds all along. She laughs about it, and says that this must be why Radomsky retired his commission—that he knew all along about his uncle's crimes. Radomsky is totally floored by all of this.
  • One of Radomsky's friends says that Nastasya should be whipped, at which she grabs a riding crop from a nearby soldier and whips the friend across the face with it, hard enough to draw blood. Yikes, dude.
  • The friend rushes at her, about to hit her, when Myshkin steps in between them and goes flying as the guy hits him instead.
  • At this point Keller pops out of nowhere and says that if this friend really wants to fight someone, then Keller is totally game.
  • Because really, no one is going to be hitting women in public then. But, by then, the friend has collected himself. He introduces himself to Myshkin (it's unclear if he wants to fight a duel or something) and leaves.
  • Rogozhin comes out of the woodwork and leads Nastasya away.
  • The police come, and everything is quickly resolved.
  • Aglaya has been standing and watching this whole time, all emotional. But when she rejoins her family, she makes fun of what happened as if she doesn't really care.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement