Study Guide

The Brothers Karamazov Book 8, Chapter 1

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Book 8, Chapter 1

Kuzma Samsonov

  • Meanwhile the novel finally returns to Dmitri. So what's he been up to for the past 200 pages – which take up only two days, by the way, as the narrator reminds us on the first page of this chapter?
  • Dmitri has been making a royal fool of himself, that's what.
  • Ashamed of stealing 3,000 roubles from Katerina only to spend it all on Grushenka, Dmitri decides he must return the money to Katerina somehow to save his honor. Only then can he begin a new life with Grushenka.
  • But Dmitri has no money. So he hatches up the desperate plan of going to see Samsonov, Grushenka's old "patron," to borrow the money to repay Katerina and to whisk away Grushenka.
  • Dmitri arrives at Samsonov's and is taken upstairs to see the old man himself, holed up in a small bedroom with his swollen legs. In Dmitri's confusion, he notices a malicious glint in Samsonov's eyes, but he quickly brushes this aside as the peevish wincing of an old man in constant pain from his gouty leg.
  • Dmitri proposes that Samsonov lend him money, using his inheritance, a woodlot in Chermashnya, as collateral. Of course Dmitri doesn't yet have his inheritance, nor is it likely he will ever receive it because it's being held by his father.
  • Samsonov rejects Dmitri's proposal, but then suggests that Dmitri see a fellow by the name of Lyagavy, who's been trying to purchase the woodlot from his father. Lyagavy is staying with a priest in the village of Ilyinskoye.
  • Dmitri is effusively thankful for the tip and leaves Samsonov. The narrator tells us that it was all a malicious joke on Samsonov's part, and that he was infuriated by Dmitri's visit.

The Brothers Karamazov Book 8, Chapter 1 Study Group

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