someday ill be in company of all....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review Poor folk by Fyodor Dostoevesky

Title: Poor Folk
Author: Fyodor Dostoevesky
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Online

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Buy Poor folk from

Review (from the back cover)
Written in the form of letters, it recounts a blossoming romance amid St. Petersburg's slums between a middle-aged writer and a much younger seamstress. Compact and easy to read, it represents an excellent introduction to Dostoyevsky's work.

As the name suggests the story revolves round people ridden with poverty..The two protagonist of the novel Makar Dievushkin a clerk and Barbara Dobroselova a seamstress are poor and Makar is deeply in love with Barbara ..The story spans for a period of eight months through exchange of letters between Makar and his distant relative and orphaned Varvara who is sick and is flirting between the line of prostitution and a life of dignity...Coming back to our main story, Barbara never confesses her love for him nor she encourages the generous gifts Makar bestows upon her with whatever he has and at times depriving himself of his basic needs, yet she never refuses him entirely... A love which is destined to doom and you know  what to expect in the end , yet you keep on reading...Unlike Dostoevesky's other works like Crime and Punishment, Brother K and The notes from the underground this story is pretty simple and the characters do not carry the depth of grey that are usually predominant in his other books...The letters in spite of its somber mood is a clear depiction of people who crave for love,care and affection and a self loathing for their life of ruin ... Makar consistently tries to win Barbara's hand even when he knows deep inside that he would eventually lose his side..Barbara goes on to marry Monsieur Bwikov whom she has no particular affection to, still takes such a decision to drift herself away from poverty..Makar even knowing Barbara's decision asks her to right back may be for one last time...Makar's fate

Misery of a poor man is portrayed in a way that earns compassion from the reader than that of sympathy.. Readers get a feeling that they are quite happy about their tattered state...Apart from the state of people and their behavioral psychology,  Dostoevesky also explores the history of Russia with a dash of melancholy and its fall to disgrace... Life of lower middle class society  and their battle to stay afloat leaves us bit disturbed at times..There are also reference excerpts from other authors and writers were Dostoevesky tries to make his opinion upon them...This is a short novel where you get a peek on to the lives of  poor, down trodden, impoverished mass of people of the gone by era...

1 comment:

  1. Great commentary as always VB. I have not read this but as you know I am currently reading The Brothers Karamazov. I think that you are on to something with the word behavioral Psychology. Dostoevesky was a master of this.


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