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Prince Myshkin

Prince Myshkin (The Idiot), is a fair-haired, blue-eyed epileptic in his late twenties who is innocent, naïve, impractical, compassionate, and immensely kind; to wit, the type of person Ayn despised.

Gathered before the gates of heaven, Prince Mishkin pleads on behalf of Ayn, invoking the Parable of the Onion.

Once upon a time there was an old woman who had died and found herself in hell. She complained to Satan that her assignment to the netherworld was a mistake.

Satan told her, “You've been a greedy, selfish woman all your life. Surely, this is where you belong.”

The woman thought a long time, trying to recollect some shred of altruism in her life. After several minutes she exclaimed, “Aha! I did a good deed once! I gave an onion to a beggar.”

Satan replied, “Oh, yes. That is right. You pulled an onion out of the ground in your yard and handed it (bulb, stalk, and all) to a beggar at the fence.”

At that very moment, God's hand descended into hell, holding the onion out for the woman to grasp. Holding onto the onion with both hands, the woman found herself miraculously being pulled up and out of hell.

The Brothers Karamazov   

“I don't understand how one can walk by a tree and not be happy at the sight of it! Or to speak with a man and not be happy in loving him?… There are so many things at every step so beautiful.”

—Prince Myshkin


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