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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel is set in nineteenth century Russia that was comprised of the nobility, the titled or landowning and the ordinary. The Russian society of the century was made up of people who lead a hypocritical life. Into this society enters the honest, kind and generous Prince.
Geographically, the novel is set in St. Petersburg and its surroundings areas. Prince Myshkin returns from Switzerland to Warsaw and takes a train to St. Petersburg.
He visits the Yepanchins who live "on the second floor" of a "fairly modest apartment near the church of the Transfiguration" but takes up accommodation as a paying guest in the third floor apartment of Ganya near Liteyny venue.
The second, third and fourth parts of the novel are set in Pavlovsk. Pavlovsk is a "town about twenty miles south of St. Petersburg, surrounded by vast parks.
Here, he lives in a cozy cottage surrounded by "a number of orange trees, lemon, and Jasmine in large green wooden tubs." In such sylvan surroundings, he recuperates and regains health. In the novel, Pavovsk with its natural surroundings encourages life, while St. Petersburg, especially in the dark and depressing surroundings of Rogozinís house, forebodes death.