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FREE Barron's Booknotes-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free
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PART V, CHAPTER 2

The pathetic ritual of the funeral dinner, which Katerina Ivanovna can't really afford and yet feels compelled to hold, ends in nearly total disaster. The disturbed and irrational widow has grasped this occasion as one to prove that she has not always been poor and must be respected. Her tendency to exaggerate the slightest detail makes her appear ridiculous, but her advancing illness is pathetic.


NOTE:

The trauma of illness and poverty is a powerful message of the novel, and one that Dostoevsky describes brilliantly. You can't escape it.

Her most foolish idiosyncracy is her mockery of the landlady Amalia Ivanovna. Like many other characters in the novel, the landlady is considered offensive because she is German (a prejudice of Dostoevsky's), but that hardly seems to explain Katerina Ivanovna's constant tormenting of the woman. The landlady has the upper hand, though; it is her house. She screams that they must move out, and insults Sonia in the bargain. As Katerina Ivanovna leaps for her, Luzhin appears on the threshold.

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FREE Barron's Booknotes-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free
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