The narrator embarks on beautiful strains of thought, such as when he reflects on idealism in the story of his life:
"For, after all, you do grow up, you do outgrow your ideals, which turn to dust and ashes, which are shattered into fragments; and if you have no other life, you just have to build one up out of these fragments. And meanwhile your soul is all the time craving and longing for something else. And in vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking in these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes, and that so splendidly deceived him!"This reminds me of Oswald Chambers thoughts in Baffled to Fight Better. One can blind themselves to the tragedy at the core humanity and live a perfectly happy life raking the cinders all the while being "splendidly deceived". But if one removes the blinders, honestly facing the way things really are, one can not help but be pessimistic.
Later, the narrator ponders, after the simple minded Nastenka shares of her love for a man:
"But how beautiful people are when they are gay and happy! How brimful of love their hearts are! It is as though they wanted to pour their hearts into the heart of another human being, as though they wanted the whole world to be gay and laugh with them!"For the same reason that Crime and Punishment is one of my favorite books, White Nights is written with a fantastic grip on human emotion. Specifically, at times I became filled with such embarrassment by the awkward tension created between the narrator and Nastenka.
Dostoevsky concludes this suprisingly easy to digest, tender, at times humorous, and raw perspective on love with a solid emotionally climatic ending.