Study Guide

The Brothers Karamazov Book 4, Chapter 6

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

Book 4, Chapter 6

Strain in the Cottage

  • Alyosha heads off for Snegiryov's, but, as he has to pass his brother Dmitri's house on the way, he decides to stop and see if he's around. Dmitri's landlord insists he's not around, so Alyosha continues on his way.
  • At Snegiryov's, Alyosha hesitates to introduce himself, but Snegiryov invites him to make himself at home in his humble cottage. Crowded into the room is the rest of Snegiryov's family, including his ill wife and two daughters. When Alyosha mentions the incident with Dmitri, the young boy who bit him earlier emerges from behind a curtain in the corner.
  • Alyosha denies that that's what his visit is about, but Snegiryov offers to whip the boy, which appalls Alyosha. Bust as suddenly, Snegiryov refuses and even yells angrily at Alyosha.
  • Alyosha tries to calm Snegiryov down by reassuring him that Dmitri will apologize and make amends if necessary. Snegiryov seems calmer and introduces Alyosha to his wife. But his behavior – and his wife's – annoy his children, so Snegiryov recommends that Alyosha follow him outside.

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