The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Katerina “Katya” Ivanovna Verkhovtsev Character Analysis

An old colonel’s second daughter with his second wife. She is the younger sister of Agafya Ivanovna. Katerina falls in love with Dmitri Fyodorovich soon after offering herself to him in exchange for the money she needed to protect her father from dishonor due to his misappropriation of government funds. It is Dmitri who suggests through Agafya Ivanovna that Katerina offer her body in exchange for the money, though Katerina kindly conceals this fact during Dmitri’s trial, making it look as though she came up with the idea to prostitute herself for the money. She is described as “a beautiful, proud, and imperious girl,” who is quite tall and makes “strong, cheerful strides.” Alexei initially perceives her as arrogant, but he comes to regard her as a noble, courageous woman with a “clear, strong faith in herself.” She was welcomed into the family of a general’s widow and given a dowry of eighty thousand roubles. She sends Dmitri forty-five hundred roubles in the mail and, three days later, sends a letter declaring her love and offering herself to him as his fiancée. Dmitri believes that she doesn’t love him, but “her own virtue.” Meanwhile, Ivan Fyodorovich is passionately in love with her. When Ivan succumbs to “brain fever,” Katerina moves him into her home so that she can care for him. She tells Dmitri that, if Ivan is unable, she will do the work of ensuring Dmitri’s escape from prison.

Katerina “Katya” Ivanovna Verkhovtsev Quotes in The Brothers Karamazov

The The Brothers Karamazov quotes below are all either spoken by Katerina “Katya” Ivanovna Verkhovtsev or refer to Katerina “Katya” Ivanovna Verkhovtsev. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of The Brothers Karamazov published in 1990.
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 3 Quotes

“‘To insects—sensuality!’ I am that very insect, brother, and those words are precisely about me. And all of us Karamazovs are like that, and in you, angel, the same insect lives and stirs up storms in your blood. Storms, because sensuality is a storm, more than a storm! […] Too many riddles oppress man on earth. Solve them if you can without getting your feet wet.”

Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 5 Quotes

“‘The thing is that I am precisely in my right mind...my vile mind, the same as you, and all these m-mugs!’ he suddenly turned to the public. ‘A murdered father, and they pretend to be frightened,’ he growled with fierce contempt. ‘They pull faces to each other. Liars! Everyone wants his father dead. Viper devours viper…If there were no parricide, they’d all get angry and go home in a foul temper…Circuses! ‘Bread and circuses!’ […] Calm yourselves, I’m not mad, I’m simply a murderer! […] I have no witnesses. That dog Smerdyakov won’t send you evidence from the other world…in an envelope. You keep asking for envelopes, as if one wasn’t enough. I have no witnesses…except one, perhaps [….] He’s got a tail, Your Honor, you’d find him inadmissible! Le diable n’existe point!

Epilogue, Chapter 2 Quotes

“Love is gone, Mitya!” Katya began again, “but what is gone is painfully dear to me. Know that, for all eternity. But now, for one minute, let it be as it might have been,” she prattled with a twisted smile, again looking joyfully into his eyes. “You now love another, I love another, but still I shall love you eternally, and you me, did you know that? Love me, do you hear, love me all your life!” she exclaimed with some sort of almost threatening tremor in her voice.

Thus they prattled to each other, and their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying. “Katya,” Mitya suddenly exclaimed, “do you believe I killed him? I know you don’t believe it now, but then…when you were testifying…Did you, did you really believe it!” “I did not believe it then either! I never believed it! I hated you, and suddenly persuaded myself, for that moment…While I was testifying…I persuaded myself and believed it…and as soon as I finished testifying, I stopped believing it again. You must know all that. I forgot that I came here to punish myself!” she said with some suddenly quite new expression, quite like her prattling of love just a moment before.

Page Number: 766
Explanation and Analysis:
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Katerina “Katya” Ivanovna Verkhovtsev Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Katerina “Katya” Ivanovna Verkhovtsev appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Book 2, Chapter 4: A Lady of Little Faith
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...is doing and extends her “exquisitely gloved hand.” She then hands him a note from Katerina Ivanovna, who has asked that Alexei visit her very soon. Katerina has come to a... (full context)
Part 1: Book 2, Chapter 6: Why Is Such a Man Alive!
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...Zosima how Dmitri got “one of the noblest girls to fall in love with him” (Katerina Ivanovna) but that he still “keeps visiting one of the local seductresses (Grushenka).” Fyodor claims... (full context)
Part 1: Book 2, Chapter 7: A Seminarist-Careerist
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...who, between father and son, is the more profitable. He thinks that Dmitri will drop Katerina, his fiancée, for Grushenka. Meanwhile, Ivan hopes to acquire Katerina as a result, and will,... (full context)
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Alexei finds it hard to believe that Rakitin would have been at Katerina’s while Ivan was talking about him. Rakitin confirms that he wasn’t, but that Dmitri was,... (full context)
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 3: The Confession of an Ardent Heart. In Verse.
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The note that Madame Khokhlakov gave Alexei, saying that he should visit Katerina Ivanovna at once, “awakened some tormenting feeling in his heart.” Alexei is afraid of Katerina... (full context)
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...the table in the gazebo. Dmitri says that he wanted to send Alexei—“an angel”—to both Katerina Ivanovna and to Fyodor on his behalf. He remembers that Katerina sent for Alexei and... (full context)
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 4: The Confession of an Ardent Heart. In Anecdotes.
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...who “had just finished one of the institutes for well-born young ladies.” Her name was Katerina Ivanovna. She was the daughter of the colonel’s second wife, who was long dead and... (full context)
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...promised that he wouldn’t say anything if she would “secretly send” Dmitri her “institute girl” (Katerina). Agafya was outraged by the suggestion and called Dmitri a “scoundrel.” Agafya later told Katerina... (full context)
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While Dmitri was preparing to go out, Katerina Ivanovna appeared at his door. She told him how Agafya Ivanovna told her that he’d... (full context)
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Dmitri turned away from Katerina Ivanovna, leaned his forehead on the frozen glass pane of his window, and opened his... (full context)
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 5: The Confession of an Ardent Heart. “Heels Up”
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Alexei asks if Dmitri is still Katerina Ivanovna’s fiancé. Dmitri says that he became her fiancé three months after the events that... (full context)
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Ten days later, Katerina Ivanovna, Agafya Ivanovna, and her aunt left for Moscow. There, Katerina was welcomed by an... (full context)
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Dmitri responded and said that he was only a poor boor, while Katerina Ivanovna was now rich. Dmitri then wrote to Ivan in Moscow and explained everything in... (full context)
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...Dmitri regards himself as a “thief” and a “pilferer” for taking three thousand roubles that Katerina Ivanovna entrusted him to send to her sister Agafya Ivanovna, who was in Moscow. He... (full context)
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 9: The Sensualists
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...Dmitri trusts, assures him that Grushenka hasn’t appeared. Dmitri then reminds Alexei to go to Katerina Ivanovna to remind her that Dmitri bows to her and “bows out.” (full context)
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...describes Grushenka as “a cheat.” He then asks where Dmitri asked Alexei to go. To Katerina Ivanovna, Alexei says. Before he leaves, Fyodor asks him to return the next morning but... (full context)
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...Alexei says that he’ll be with the Khokhlakovs, and he may have to return to Katerina Ivanovna’s if he fails to find her now. Ivan knows about Dmitri’s request that Alexei... (full context)
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 10: The Two Together
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...things will end between his father, his brother, and “this terrible woman.” He hurries to Katerina Ivanovna’s. It’s seven o’clock when he arrives. Katerina comes with “quick, hurrying steps” and smiles... (full context)
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Soon after giving this opinion, Alexei felt ashamed for speaking so authoritatively about Katerina Ivanovna. Now, he notices that she seems excited. She tells Alexei that she’s been waiting... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna interprets that Dmitri’s emphasis on the word “bow” means that his decision to leave... (full context)
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Alexei tells Katerina Ivanovna about the scene that just took place between Dmitri and Fyodor. Alexei is sure... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna tells Alexei about an officer, now a widower, whom Grushenka has always loved. Katerina... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna says that Grushenka can now save Dmitri, and Grushenka gave her word that she... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna is stunned by Grushenka’s disrespect, calls her a “slut,” and orders her out of... (full context)
Part 1: Book 3, Chapter 11: One More Ruined Reputation
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...at him, pretending to be a robber. It’s Dmitri. He asks him what happened at Katerina Ivanovna’s. Alexei tells him that Grushenka was also at the house, and tells him everything... (full context)
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...that he is, indeed, “a scoundrel.” He says that he told Grushenka the story about Katerina Ivanonva in Mokroye. He was weeping on his knees and praying before Katerina’s image. Grushenka... (full context)
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Alexei decides that, despite his promises to see his father, Katerina Ivanovna, the Khokhlakovs, and Ivan, he won’t leave the monastery the next day but will... (full context)
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 2: At His Father’s
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Fyodor says that Ivan left because he’s trying to win over Katerina Ivanovna, and that’s also the reason why he’s living in the house. He thinks that... (full context)
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...all because he needs all of his money for himself. He then asks Alexei if Katerina Ivanovna will marry Dmitri or not. Alexei reports that Katerina won’t leave Dmitri. Fyodor says... (full context)
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 4: At the Khokhlakovs’
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...that the elder Zosima will die today. Madame Khokhlakov says she knows. She adds that Katerina Ivanovna is in the house with Ivan. (full context)
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Alexei announces that he must go to see Katerina Ivanovna. It upsets Lise that he’s leaving her, though he offers to return to her... (full context)
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 5: Strain in the Drawing Room
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In the drawing room, Ivan announces that he must go to Moscow and that Katerina Ivanovna won’t see him for a long time. Katerina says she is glad, which surprises... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna’s anger makes Ivan laugh. He tells Alexei that he doesn’t think that Katerina ever... (full context)
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...Madame Khokhlakov compares him to “an angel” and assures him that he did nothing wrong. Katerina Ivanovna approaches Alexei with two hundred roubles and asks him to go to a captain... (full context)
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 7: And in the Fresh Air
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...he’s come to the house “with an errand.” Alexei tells Captain Snegiryov how Dmitri’s fiancée, Katerina Ivanovna, heard about the incident outside of the tavern and asked that the captain accept... (full context)
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...and a covered cart and take his family out of town. Alexei assures him that Katerina Ivanovna will send him more money, if he needs it, and Alexei can give him... (full context)
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...pick up the bills, smooth them, and put them in his pocket before returning to Katerina Ivanovna to tell her the result of her errand. (full context)
Part 2: Book 5, Chapter 1: A Betrothal
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...the stairs. She discourages Alexei from taking Lise’s affections seriously. Alexei changes the subject to Katerina Ivanovna’s health. Madame Khokhlakov says that she’s still delirious and that her aunts have arrived,... (full context)
Part 2: Book 5, Chapter 3: The Brothers Get Acquainted
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...will be leaving. He says that “Dmitri is only a strain” and that, one day, Katerina Ivanovna will realize that she doesn’t love him at all but loves Ivan. Then again,... (full context)
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Ivan asks how Katerina Ivanovna is doing. Alexei tells him about her hysterics. Ivan admits that he decided to... (full context)
Part 3: Book 7, Chapter 3: An Onion
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...previous day, and Alexei had negative ideas about Grushenka based on her “vicious” action toward Katerina Ivanovna. However, her “whole manner” seems suddenly different since the day before. She seems simpler... (full context)
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...he’d kill her. Grushenka goes back to charming Alexei, apologizing for being “a bitch” at Katerina Ivanovna’s. She then tells Alexei that she loves him “with all [her] soul.” Rakitin reminds... (full context)
Part 3: Book 8, Chapter 1: Kuzma Samsonov
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...is that it’s first necessary to return the three thousand roubles that he took from Katerina Ivanovna. He doesn’t want to start anew as “a scoundrel.” (full context)
Part 3: Book 8, Chapter 3: Gold Mines
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...acquainted with her before. More importantly, Dmitri knows that she can’t stand him. She wanted Katerina Ivanovna to drop him and marry “the dear, chivalrously educated Ivan Fyodorovich, who has such... (full context)
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Dmitri figures that, being so against his marrying Katerina Ivanovna, Madame Khokhlakov will give him the three thousand roubles to be rid of him.... (full context)
Part 3: Book 8, Chapter 8: Delirium
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...to do as she wishes. First, he tells her about the money he took from Katerina Ivanovna, but Grushenka offers that she can give him the money he owes. She tells... (full context)
Part 3: Book 9, Chapter 7: Mitya’s Great Secret. Met with Hisses.
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...for a long time, “with shame and disgrace.” In his view, he stole it from Katerina Ivanovna, who entrusted him with the three thousand roubles “to send to her sister and... (full context)
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...well-known secret. The prosecutor asks Dmitri why he set aside half of the money that Katerina Ivanovna gave him. (full context)
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Dmitri says that he intended to go to Katerina Ivanovna and admit that he’s a “dishonest” and “cowardly” man but still not a thief.... (full context)
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Ippolit Kirillovich expresses sympathy for Dmitri. Then, he asks why he couldn’t have just asked Katerina Ivanovna for the money for his expenses. Surely, with “her generous heart” and the securities... (full context)
Part 3: Book 9, Chapter 8: The Evidence of the Witnesses. The Wee One.
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...pleased to hear this evidence. She also says that she knew the money came from Katerina Ivanovna. (full context)
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...she doesn’t know how much Dmitri had. He also had not “stolen” yesterday’s money from Katerina Ivanovna. Grushenka is then dismissed. (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 5: At Ilyusha’s Bedside
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...stories, jokes, and impressions of people. The captain eventually accepted the two hundred roubles from Katerina Ivanovna, as Alexei predicted. After learning about Ilyusha’s illness, Katerina visited the home and became... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 1: At Grushenka’s
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...Grushenka says that she doesn’t think Dmitri loves her, especially given how he still praises Katerina Ivanovna. She covers her eyes and bursts into tears. Alexei assures her that Dmitri doesn’t... (full context)
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...he’s been very sick since his last falling fit. He adds that he, Ivan, and Katerina Ivanovna have put up three thousand roubles for the lawyer Fetyukovich to represent Dmitri. The... (full context)
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...that she’s been wanting to ask for a long time: is Ivan in love with Katerina Ivanovna, as Dmitri said? Alexei says he doesn’t think Ivan loves her. Grushenka now thinks... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 4: A Hymn and a Secret
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Dmitri asks Alexei to go to Katerina Ivanovna so that she won’t testify about how Dmitri once lent her forty-five hundred roubles.... (full context)
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...and then decides to reveal the “secret” that Grushenka suspects exists between him, Ivan, and Katerina Ivanovna: Ivan has suggested that Dmitri escape if he’s sent to prison. Alexei asks if... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 5: Not You! Not You!
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On the way to seeing Ivan, Alexei stops at the house where Katerina Ivanovna is staying. It’s been more than a week since Alexei has seen her. He... (full context)
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...a child. Ivan tells Alexei that they shouldn’t talk more about it. Ivan mentions that Katerina Ivanovna will pray all night over Dmitri. Alexei says that Katerina loves Ivan. Ivan doesn’t... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 7: The Second Visit to Smerdyakov
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Ivan leaves Smerdyakov and goes to Katerina Ivanovna’s. He frantically tells her about the conversation he just had. Ivan says that, if... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna gets up and goes to her desk and takes out a piece of paper.... (full context)
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Ivan recalls how Katerina Ivanovna would say that Ivan convinced her of Dmitri’s guilt, which is strange because she... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 8: The Third and Last Meeting with Smerdyakov
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...“violent” but “very quiet.” When Ivan enters Smerdyakov’s room, he sits, and then asks if Katerina Ivanovna visited. Smerdyakov confirms that she did. Smerdyakov asks what Ivan is worried about. He... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 9: The Devil. Ivan Fyodorovich’s Nightmare
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...will soon take “complete possession of his organism.” He had already seen a doctor that Katerina Ivanovna sent from Moscow when he began to exhibit symptoms. The doctor warned him that... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 1: The Fatal Day
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...they have an idea of him as “a conqueror of women’s hearts.” For this reason, Katerina Ivanovna becomes a person of interest. They are also excited to get a look at... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 4: Fortune Smiles on Mitya
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...prosecutor as passionate but also “noble, proud, and generous.” Regarding the rivalry between Grushenka and Katerina Ivanovna, he prefers not to say anything. He also says that Dmitri never said anything... (full context)
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...hundred roubles. Though he had the means to pay back half of his debt to Katerina Ivanovna, he couldn’t part with the money. Alexei clarifies that Dmitri didn’t so much pound;... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna is next. The presiding judge speaks to her “with extreme respect,” afraid of causing... (full context)
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...killed Fyodor, though she has no grounds for her accusation. Grushenka insists that it was Katerina Ivanovna—“that man-stealer”—who ruined Dmitri. She recounts how Katerina once sent for her and tried to... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 5: A Sudden Catastrophe
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Turmoil ensues in court. Katerina Ivanovna goes into hysterics. Suddenly, she offers a piece of evidence. She demands that they... (full context)
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Grushenka rushes to Dmitri and says to the court that Katerina Ivanovna has revealed herself to be a snake. The guards try to remove her from... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 11: There Was No Money. There Was No Robbery
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...fifteen hundred roubles, Dmitri has been firm regarding where he got the money—from Miss Verkhovtsev (Katerina Ivanovna). Fetyukovich then says that Katerina’s second testimony may, in fact, be the incorrect one.... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 14: Our Peasants Stood Up for Themselves
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...the room seem pleased. Dmitri cries out that he swears he’s not guilty. He tells Katerina Ivanovna that he forgives her and asks that everyone have pity for Grushenka. He breaks... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 1: Plans to Save Mitya
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Five days after Dmitri’s trial, before nine o’clock, Alexei goes to see Katerina Ivanovna. She talks with him in the same room in which she once received Grushenka.... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna says that, when Ivan first revealed the plan to her, they quarreled because she... (full context)
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Katerina Ivanovna condemns her own character and says that Ivan, too, will probably leave her for... (full context)
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Alexei tells Katerina Ivanovna that Dmitri has asked to see her. She resists, but he tells her that... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 2: For a Moment the Lie Became Truth
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...and finds Dmitri sitting on a cot, wearing a hospital robe. Dmitri is certain that Katerina Ivanovna won’t come, but he also feels that it’s impossible for her not to come.... (full context)
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...escape. Dmitri says she does, but she won’t come this morning. She seems fine with Katerina Ivanovna making all of the arrangements, however, and knows that she loves Ivan and not... (full context)
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Suddenly, Katerina Ivanovna appears in the doorway. She rushes toward Dmitri and seizes hold of his hands.... (full context)
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Grushenka stares at Katerina Ivanovna and says that they’re both “wicked.” Dmitri reproaches Grushenka for not forgiving Katerina, and... (full context)