Notes on Karmazinov



Dostoevsky deliberately creates the character of Karmazinov to satirize the Russian writer Ivan Turgenov. Dostoevsky, through this character, reflects the contempt he has for the Russian liberal movement, and the platform of Turgenov's cause. Karmazinov is depicted as man willing to do anything in order to meet people of higher social standing and also use them for his own personal whims. His arrogance and flamboyance appear briefly in book one. However, Dostoevsky takes time to develop Karmazinov at the feté in book two. Dostoevsky describes Karmazinov as believing he has a great talent and that many Russians value his opinions and ideas. However, when he has an opportunity to present himself to the public, he makes a complete ass of himself. Karmazinov explains his beliefs and ideals through his speech entitled "Merci". The audience pays little attention to his speech and Karmazinov gives a horrible performance. Dostoevsky uses Karmazinov to stress the weakness of the liberal movement, but also uses the character to humiliate Turgenov.

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