Friday, February 26, 2010
The children cannot bear the weight of the casket alone but could help others to carry it. The weight of death is too much for them; they must rely on others to help them.
Myshkin states that the doctor that he lived with in Switzerland told him
I was a complete child myself, altogether a child; that it was only in face and figure that I was like a grown-up person, but that in development, in soul, in character, and perhaps in intelligence, I was not grown up, and that so I should remain, if I lived to be sixty.
Myshkin doesn't see himself as childlike; he calls the children they, not we. However, Myshkin is only capable of a childlike love. He is able to empathize with other and show sympathy but is not capable of falling in love. The story of Marie foreshadows his interaction with Natasya.
1--D.P Slattery, The Idiot: Dostoevsky's Prince, 1983, p. 56
The above painting is The Kiss (1908) by Gustav Klimt