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Word Count: 3,277
Of the many characters we see in Dostoyevskys novels few of the principal characters are female However in one of his more famous novels The Idiot we find perhaps one of the strongest female characters of most nineteenth-century literature if not of Europe then at least of Russia Nastasya Filippovna a proud yet exploited woman is by far one of Dostoyevskys most intriguing characters She has an instantaneous and dramatic affect on the characters surrounding her Nastasya Filippovna has been systematically destroyed by her surroundings She finds she is unable to survive in the society of her time Valued by men only for her beauty or her possessions feared by jealous women Nastasya Filippovna succumbs to insanity and finally her own murder Believing herself to be guilty and in need of punishment and purification Nastasya Filippovna fights yet finally submits herself to destructive forces that surround her Nastasya Filippovna defined by her sensual beauty and remarkable looks is already mentioned by page ten Her presence remains strong throughout Book One and we may learn a great deal from this section about the proud Nastasya Filippovna The most dominant feature of Nastasya Filippovna is her beauty Her great beauty overwhelms even the Prince who at first we may believe is not inclined to notice sensuality of women Looking at her picture he calls her astonishingly pretty he notes her exquisite simplicity her dark deep eyes 31 Even from her youth Nastasya Filippovnas beauty has caused her to become the object of mens sexual desires There are three men who are particularly dominant in Nastasya Filippovnas life prior to the arrival of the Prince Afansy Ivanovich Totsky Gavrila Ardalionovich Ganya and Parfion Semyyonovich Rogozhin Totsky is the first of the three men to become enchanted with Nastasya Filippovna Living on Totskys land with a German family the orphaned Nastasya Filippovna developed into a delightful little girl of about twelve a clever little thing winsome and spirited42 Apparently
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