Summary of the novel by F. M. Dostoevsky “White Nights”

Summary of the novel by F. M. Dostoevsky “White Nights”

Night One

The work begins with the nightly lyrical reflections of the hero. He is romantic, shy and lonely. The young man in his imagination communicates with strangers on the street, talks and is friends with the houses that meet on the way, saying goodbye to people leaving for the country. Suddenly in his house, he draws attention to the “smoky walls” and “the ceiling hung with cobwebs,” and this begins to weigh him. He recalls the day spent in a dreary walk around the city and beyond, admires the countryside nature, able to transform his inner state and feel the joy and ease of being. Returning late in the evening in a wonderful mood, happily singing, he notices the girl, who is weeping bitterly on the embankment of the canal. His heart began to beat and “trembled like a trapped bird”, but his timidity and triviality of the situation prevent him from talking to her. She notices him and hurries away. At this point, the girl is tied up by the swaying “gentleman in the dress coat of respectable years… but not of a solid walk,” and the hero comes to the aid of a frightened girl, driving away a girl with a knotty stick “blessedly happened” in his hand. A grateful, frightened girl who turned out to be “bonny and brunette”, favorably treats the young man, and they have an open conversation without any ceremony. The hero admits to the girl he really liked, that for twenty-six years he had never

met and talked with women, that in his dreams he often fell in love with imaginary dreaming ideals and that he always wished to speak openly in the street with an aristocratic stranger and confess to her in his timidity and loneliness. The girl encourages him, asking why he spoke to her. The young man speaks of compassion for her tears. The girl intends to say goodbye to him. He anxiously asks her for a meeting, openly calls himself a dreamer and promises to dream of her. The girl, having thought, agrees to a meeting, but asks him not to fall in love with her, saying that it is impossible, he swears. The girl, in turn, admits that she “also has no one with whom I could say a word, who would have advice to ask,” and says that “I know you as if we were friends for twenty years already “. Young people say goodbye, promising to trust each other at tomorrow’s meeting. An inspired and happy young man walks all night.

Night Two

Young people meet cordially again. The girl asks her to tell her her story, “all her inside story,” saying that yesterday she acted recklessly, referring to her gullibility. The hero responds that he has no history. During the conversation, it turns out that the girl’s name is Nastenka, that she has a blind grandmother who, having fastened her granddaughter with a pin to the dress after prank, two years ago, “a whole life” does not let her anywhere. The young man, in turn, does not give his name, again setting up a lengthy conversation about the dreamers. These strange creatures of the middle kind, in the expression of the hero himself, seem to him a snail or a tortoise that has crept into a dull dusty corner, so shy and embarrassing that the unexpected visit of a new acquaintance can bring such a dreamer into terrible consternation and shame, because there is no ability to support the conversation at ease. The girl reasonably assumes that the hero talks about himself. The young man confirms her conjecture and pours out in a passionate long revelation. Then he, carried away by his dreams, almost frightened with screaming venerable courteous old woman, who asked him the way, then dined, “resolutely seeing how it happened.” Then he tells Nastenka his dreams: here he is a poet, at first unrecognized, and then crowned, here he is friends with celebrities, participates in great battles, like a hero, here he is a lover of different great fatal beauties and much more. He even “is ready to believe at another moment that all this life… not a deception of the imagination… but the present, real,” is so enthralled by his eternal dreams. Dreams, including love, necessarily passionate, stormy, full of all kinds of terrible and exciting events. Having finished the story, the hero is embarrassed and waits for Nastenka to laugh at himself, but she shows understanding and participation in the unenviable part of the hero, then telling him that it is impossible and wrong to live like this. The young man agrees, thanks the girl for sympathy and bitterly regrets about wasted empty years of fantasy.

Nastenka, who feels emotionally, says that she herself experienced such things when she was pinned to her grandmother’s dress, and that now they will not part so simply and will not be alone as before. Then she is ready to tell him her story and asks for it to give her a “heartfelt fraternal” advice. He gladly and willingly agrees.

History of Nastenka

With Nastenka’s grandmother for a very long time, since childhood, how her parents died. Previously, my grandmother was, judging by her recollections, richer, learned her granddaughter “in French” and taught with the teacher until she was fifteen when Nastenka and defrauded a little, for which she was “pinned to the grandmother’s dress.” They live in a small old house with a mezzanine, which they rent. After the old tenant died, a dumb, blind, lame old man, a new house settles in. He turns out to be a young man. Grandmother, showing vigilance, worries about whether the new tenant is good and young, after Nastenka answers in the affirmative, the grandmother warns her granddaughter to stare at him. Then comes the case when the tenant becomes aware that the grandmother pins Nastenka with a pin, and, after the embarrassment and tears of the girl, The tenant shows tact and delicacy to the girl’s feelings. After a while he again appears before the hostess with a proposal to use his library and read good French novels. Grandmother, a little worried about the morality of books, agrees. After reading Walter Scott, Pushkin and other authors, Nastenka realized that books became vital to her. Then there are several short meetings of the tenant with Nastenka, during which both are embarrassed and blush, the young man is wondering whether the girl and her grandmother are bored and if she has girlfriends. When it turns out that he does not, he invites the girl to go to the theater secretly from her grandmother. After Nastenka, not wanting to deceive my grandmother, refuses, he invites them both to the theater. Going to the theater is very successful, joyful and cheerful for everyone, the girl seems, that the morning offer to go alone was only a test of her piety. Nastenka hopes that the tenant will come more and more often, however, except for a couple of rare visits to the theater, he does not show initiative to communicate, politely and seriously bowing at meetings. The frustrated girl believes that the young man just showed pity and compassion for her dependent position, “but nothing more,” although she herself demonstrates all the signs of falling in love: “I do not sit and I do not read, and I do not work, sometimes I laugh and do something to spite my grandmother, I just cry another time. Finally, I lost weight and almost became ill. ” About a year ago the tenant announced to both women that his affairs in this city were over and tomorrow he needed to go to Moscow for a year. Nastenka is killed by this report. The same evening, all having thought over, the bold girl has collected all things in a knot and, “is not dead or alive”, has gone to the beloved to explain. At the sight of a girl standing barefoot from the excitement, he cried out and “rushed to give water.” The girl, having come to herself, sat down on the bed to the tenant and sobbed “in three streams.” He understood everything without words and, pale, sadly told her that he was poor, did not have anything, “even a decent place,” having expressed doubt about the material side of the matter. After a long conversation, Nastenka, mixing love with pride and shame, “finally got into a frenzy, said that she can not live with her grandmother, that she will run away from her… and that she, as he wants, will go with him to Moscow, because without him he can not live. ” After a few minutes, a young man, taking the girl by the hand and shedding tears, swore that now, if he ever “will be able to marry, then surely it will be his happiness”, if she does not stop loving him for this year, and without tying the girl in a word. They agreed to tell Grandma nothing, it was the young man’s desire. Now this year has passed, he came to the city three days ago, that’s for sure, but so far Nastenka has not appeared.

Then Nastenka fell silent, “lowering her head,” and burst into tears so “that my heart turned from these sobs.” Filled with compassion and compassion for the desperate situation of the girl, the dreaming hero offers various options for help in this difficult, delicate situation. Overcoming the doubts of a girl who does not want to impose himself, he persuades her to write a letter to her beloved, insisting that “writing a letter is different” and judging her lover as a delicate and decent person. Fully agreeing on the contents of the letter, the newly-made friends and associates agree on the details. To the surprise of the hero, the letter has already been written and prepared for transmission, it is already in Nastenka’s hand! They again say goodbye until tomorrow in full harmony of feelings.

The night of the third

The hero, in a sad and gloomy mood, remembers his third meeting with Nastenka. Dark and strange sad thoughts crowd in his head after this ambiguous meeting. He does not find an answer to many questions that worry him.

Today they will not see it, because it’s raining, but the girl refused to come in this case.

The hero admits to himself that she loves Nastenka, remembers all her words and deeds, the course of events during the meeting. The dreamer sings the hymn of joy and love, but is bitterly aware of calling himself a blind man, that all of her tenderness, affection and kindness towards him is but the joy of her own love for another, the desire to share happiness, the expectation of the long-awaited outcome.

At first he came to the meeting “with a full heart,” and “she shone with joy,” waiting for her lover, coming an hour earlier. She was incredibly cheerful, laughed at everything, confessed to brotherly love for the dreamer, explaining this by saying that he did not fall in love with her, did not bother her with her harassment, that he was nice and disinterested. He says that he will be very friendly with him after his marriage, which is wonderful, that they love each other so much with a dreamer. The hero becomes terribly sad from these confessions, he realizes that Nastenkino has a different feeling for him than his. Finally, he does not stand and almost with tears in his eyes trying to admit to a girl in love. She guesses before the words, interrupts him and begins to laugh and laugh loudly and flirt with him, wanting to make him laugh and interrupt this topic. Nastenka with a laugh is annoyed that the dreamer did not fall in love with her. He is angry and points out to her at a time that says that the groom did not come for unknown reasons. She is instantly upset, shy and afraid of possible conclusions. The hero, repenting in his selfish outburst of anger, begins to reassure the girl in every possible way, giving her the possible reasons for not showing up the groom. She seems to believe him, but true joy is already far away. Again tears in the eyes of a young lover. She becomes timid and attentive, trying to calm down. He speaks with love of his fiancé, regrets that people, even the very best, conceal their feelings, keep silent about the main thing, “why are we not all like brothers and brothers?”, That is, they are not always open with each other. The hero feels that this more than ever relates to him now, because he never told Nastenka about his love. The girl, full of gratitude to a friend,

Realizing that the groom does not come today, they agree that the hero descends after an answer to Nastenkino letter, and again say goodbye until tomorrow, in the event that there is no rain. But it was raining, and they did not meet the next day. His hero spends in melancholy and despondency, suggesting that they have already met and are happy together.

Night Four

In a strong excitement, the characters meet every other day, Nastenka with the last hope waits for a letter – he is not, and the hero is surprised that they have not met yet. The girl is silent in despair, then burst into tears. She decides that her lover refused her. She can not understand the actions, or rather, the “failures” of the groom. Overflowing with emotions, resentment, humiliation, Nastenka decides to forget it, so as not to suffer.

Experiencing the incident, the girl in the hearts asks if the hero could do the same with a lover, a weak girl. A young man, unable to restrain himself, wants to speak out completely. She “with strange curiosity” asks him, he almost shouting about his true, “not brotherly” love for Nastenka. She is confused and confused. He passionately continues to tell her about his feeling that these days, despite her confessions, he still did not give up hope, perhaps, afterwards after reciprocity. The young man cries, the girl, resolutely wiping his tears with her handkerchief, comforts the young man in love with her, laments his recent words and begins to cry, starting to speak. Through sobbing, she says that she wants to forget her former love, which is still alive, of course, that she is ready to fall in love with him, a noble, pure young man, able to understand and empathize with her. She feels injured and insulted by that person, asks the hero if his love is so great, so that he can wait until her previous feelings cool, so as not to leave her now alone in such a distressing situation, and much more. They cry together, they say “without stopping”, they laugh nervously, they make joint plans, they walk “without a goal” like a child. The newly-minted couple agrees that the hero moves to them tomorrow, by hiring a mezzanine to live with his grandmother, who just wanted to hand him over to some young man with the secret purpose of marrying Nastenka. Finally they are ready to say goodbye, he escorts her to the apartment. so great is his love, to wait until her previous feelings cool down, so as not to leave her now alone in such a distressing situation, and much more. They cry together, they say “without stopping”, they laugh nervously, they make joint plans, they walk “without a goal” like a child. The newly-minted couple agrees that the hero moves to them tomorrow, by hiring a mezzanine to live with his grandmother, who just wanted to hand him over to some young man with the secret purpose of marrying Nastenka. Finally they are ready to say goodbye, he escorts her to the apartment. so great is his love, to wait until her previous feelings cool down, so as not to leave her now alone in such a distressing situation, and much more. They cry together, they say “without stopping”, they laugh nervously, they make joint plans, they walk “without a goal” like a child. The newly-minted couple agrees that the hero moves to them tomorrow, by hiring a mezzanine to live with his grandmother, who just wanted to hand him over to some young man with the secret purpose of marrying Nastenka. Finally they are ready to say goodbye, he escorts her to the apartment. The newly-minted couple agrees that the hero moves to them tomorrow, by hiring a mezzanine to live with his grandmother, who just wanted to hand him over to some young man with the secret purpose of marrying Nastenka. Finally they are ready to say goodbye, he escorts her to the apartment. The newly-minted couple agrees that the hero moves to them tomorrow, by hiring a mezzanine to live with his grandmother, who just wanted to hand him over to some young man with the secret purpose of marrying Nastenka. Finally they are ready to say goodbye, he escorts her to the apartment.

Suddenly she “stops like a dug in”, timidly, cuddles close to the hero, her hand trembles in his hand. A young man passes by them, stops, looks… Yes, this is he, the former beloved Nastenka. Hail and she runs into his arms. The hero “stood and looked at them as killed.” She again runs up to him, hotly and impulsively embraces him, kisses and again runs away, carrying with her his real groom. The hero remains alone in the street.

Morning

In the morning, this short story ends. He receives a letter from Nastenka. She “on her knees” asks to forgive her, saying that she deceived him and herself, calling everything that happened a dream. Experiencing for a close friend, the girl assures the hero of the same love for him, as yesterday, regrets that she can not love them both at once. He promises to keep the memory of their meetings forever, immensely grateful to him. She informs that next week she is getting married, again invites him to be a brother and friend, generously asks to remember and love himself, as before.

The hero is crying over the letter. At this time, the hostess informs him that she removed from the ceiling the web that he did not like, and now “at least get married”. Ok looks at the hostess, “the young still an old woman,” and she appears to him decrepit, wrinkled, bent, like his entire room – dull, faded, and “cobwebs became even larger.” His old friend – the house opposite, also faded, peeling off and cracking. And his life seemed to him as dull and useless even after fifteen years, not a drop in the same room.

But in the heart of the dreamer there is no resentment for the one that caused such sadness, there is no shadow of reproach, the desire for secret her remorse, nothing that could cloud her serene happiness. He blesses her and thanks for the precious moments.

“My God, a whole minute of bliss! Is it really not enough for a lifetime of human life? ..”


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Summary of the novel by F. M. Dostoevsky “White Nights”