Suffering and Salvation in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

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Suffering and Salvation in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

Condemned to be shot by a firing squad for radical ideas, the author of The Brothers Karamazov once found himself seconds away from death, only to be granted a reprieve moments before the firing. Although only a method intended to teach him a lesson, the trick had quite a harrowing effect on Dostoevsky. After his close encounter with death, Dostoevsky underwent a total change, and so all of his new notions became a part of "The Brothers Karamazov", which he wrote at the end of his life. For example, once he reexamined his values he began to reject the blindly accepted Russian beliefs. Spiritually, he altered so much that he emerged with the prophetic belief that the world's salvation relied upon the people of Russia. He believed Russia would dominate the world and thus felt that her children needed to be harbored with this theory. Also, he began to develop theories about the role of suffering as man's sole means of salvation. All of these beliefs, through either characters or events, are reflected in this 19th century classic. Even before this firing squad incident, when his father was slaughtered by serfs, Dostoevsky was haunted by and obsessed with the idea of death, which became the subject of all his novels, including his masterpiece, "The Brothers Karamazov".

From the first page of the novel, Fyodor is presented as a vulgar beast, which dissolves any sympathy for him when he is murdered. Although the father of Dmitri, Ivan, and Alyosha, he is a true father to neither of them; in fact, the only person to whom he is any sort of parental figure is his bastard son Smerdyakov. Dmitri, the fierce sensualist, is an impulsive man who quarrels with Fyodor reg...

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...inty, and so the strength of his beliefs is doubled, perhaps even tripled.

Like the personalities of "The Brothers Karamazov", the characters of any well-written piece become extremely significant to the reader. In that case, it becomes vital for the reader to know the fates of these characters, who are known almost intimately, and their destinies[1] are highly anticipated. In "The Brothers Karamazov", the reader wants to know, for example, if Ivan will ever answer his questions, how Alyosha will lead his life, and if Dmitri will be convicted for a crime he didn't commit. By having these fates determined through cognitive events, these occurrences become some of the most memorable of Dostoevsky's novel, which itself becomes psychoanalogical. Thus, "The Brothers Karamazov" has become one of the greatest novels ever written and a true psychological masterpiece.
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