DISCUSSION: Dostoyevsky had three major criticisms of the radicals. In paragraph 2, he thought they misunderstood reality. In paragraph 3, he thought they didn’t understand the importance of good writing. In paragraph 4, he said it was impossible to know when and how art would be useful.
The critics could have made Dostoyevsky happy by improving their opinions on any of those points.
- This would have annoyed Dostoyevsky. Lines 23-25 show he wanted to mix fantasy and reality.
- Lines 30-33 show that Dostoyevsky thought a work’s formal aspects were important.
- Lines 10-12 show that Dostoyevsky was a realist. This would have horrified him.
- CORRECT. The third paragraph shows that Dostoyevsky thought artistic merit was very important. See lines 35-41. The critics would have pleased Dostoyevsky by agreeing on this point.
- This refers to lines 16-19. Dostoyevsky wasn’t saying he didn’t understand when he called their position “meaningless”. He understood what the critics meant, but he thought there was no such thing as “reality as it is.”
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