Study Guide

The Idiot Part 1, Chapter 14

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Part 1, Chapter 14

  • Okay, gather round everybody. Weird and depressing story time.
  • Ferdishenko first says that all humans are thieves. Myshkin is all, yeah, that's true. He means on some theoretical philosophical level, we're guessing? It's mysterious.
  • Anyway, then Ferdishenko tells the other guests how once he stole three rubles from a friend's house and then watched as the friend blamed and then fired a maid for it.
  • Everyone is pretty grossed out by this behavior.
  • Ptitsyn doesn't want to go, so Epanchin is up next.
  • Epanchin tells about the time he had an annoying old landlady. After he moved out of her place, he went back to yell at her about some final issue, but then later realized that while he was cursing her out, she was in the process of dying. Oof. So since then he's been a big old-lady philanthropist.
  • The party guests are all, hey, you turned this into a story about how you are awesome and not the worst. You've managed to game the game. Epanchin is pretty pleased with himself.
  • Now it's Totsky's turn. Everyone kind of winks and nudges each other since clearly his worst thing is the whole Nastasya situation.
  • Totsky tells about when there was a big fad for camellias and all the ladies wanted the have them for parties, creating a supply problem. His friend was in love with a married woman, and had searched high and low for camellias—and finally found them in some dude's greenhouse. After his friend told him about the plan to go get them from this guy in the morning, Totsky rode out and bought them out from under the friend's nose that same night, gave them to the woman the friend wanted—and, it's implied, reaped the benefits. Meanwhile, two days later his friend had a fit, went off to the Crimean War and was killed there. Um, ok.
  • Nastasya is all, yeah, this game kind of sucked. She decides to go next—and last.
  • Her worst thing is a kind of performance art.
  • She turns to Myshkin and asks, should I marry Ganya? She swears to do whatever Myshkin tells her. He says no. So she is all, okay, it's settled, no marriage.
  • Ganya flips out, all but accuses the prince of wanting the 75 grand for himself, and the whole room is kind of shocked.
  • And then there is a banging at the door. It's Rogozhin. Nastasya is all, oh, good, here comes the grand finale.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...