Study Guide

The Brothers Karamazov Book 8, Chapter 3

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Book 8, Chapter 3

Gold Mines

  • As we learned in Book 7, Chapter 3, Grushenka told Dmitri that she was off to help Samsonov with his accounts.
  • The narrative picks up with Dmitri, who leaves Grushenka and tries desperately to find some money. He pawns off his shooting pistols with a casual friend, a young official in town.
  • Dmitri then goes off to visit his father's neighbor, Maria Kondatrievna, where he is distressed to learn that Smerdyakov has fallen ill.
  • Dmitri heads home, worried. He washes up, gets dressed, and decides to borrow the 3,000 roubles he needs from Madame Khokhlakov.
  • Dmitri arrives at Madame Khokhlakov's, who is, strangely, thrilled to see him. He keeps trying to ask her for the 3,000 roubles, and eventually succeeds – or so he thinks. But Madame Khokhlakov really is just trying to get him to work with the gold mines, where he would, eventually, earn 3,000 roubles. She drapes a small silver icon around his neck as a kind of good-luck charm.
  • Dmitri, furious and impatient with Madame Khokhlakov's incoherent plans, bangs his fists on the table, spits, and walks out the door.
  • Outside Dmitri dissolves into hopeless tears as he beats himself on a certain spot on his chest, the same spot he had beaten when he talked previously with Alyosha in Book 3, Chapter 11.
  • Grief-stricken, he wanders into the square, where he encounters an old woman whom he recognizes as a servant of Samsonov. When he asks her about Grushenka, he discovers that Grushenka had left Samsonov's shortly after he dropped her off.
  • Furious, he heads to Grushenka, where he discovers from her servant Fenya that she has just recently left for Mokroye. On the way out, he takes a brass pestle from the table and stuffs it in his pocket.

The Brothers Karamazov Book 8, Chapter 3 Study Group

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