The Brothers Karamazov Summary


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Human Factor in the Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov: Introduction

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, known as Dostoevsky, is a Russian novelist who lived in the 19th century (Berdiaev, 2011). He has an active role in Russian literature in his century and nowadays. Besides being a writer, he was also a military engineer (Troyat, 1946). He spent his childhood with a sick mother and an alcoholic father (Big Larousse Encyclopedia). It is known that his father was an incompatible, though, and cruel man. In the 19th century, Russian literature was a mirror for social problems, and the writers in this era were associated with solving social issues with their creativity ("Fyodor Dostoevsky," 2018). Dostoevsky was one of the writers who represent this situation in his works. With the difference of others, Dostoevsky had two eras in his literary life as the before and the after the exile. In the 1840s, his thoughts were under the influence of westernism. Dostoevsky protested every type of slavery and absolutism, and he defended the idea of new social order in Russia. The themes of the works committed to the paper were social inequality and poverty. From the exile in Siberia until his death, Dostoevsky's worldview changed. His thoughts turned from the westernism to his national values. The main subject of literary works written after the exile was religion. The existence of God and the world without God's subjects were handled.

Body Paragraphs

The Brothers Karamazov, which is his last work, is regarded as the masterpiece of Dostoevsky. It consists of twelve books and an epilogue. Books are divided into four main chapters. The Brothers Karamazov is a synthesis of Dostoevsky's whole life as the events he lived, the people he met, and all social and political views. The plot of the book is storied around a murder case. Unlike the other literary works, the crime committed in this work is murdering a father, and it is based on reality. Dostoevsky was inspired by the murdering of a father subject from his inmate friend, Ilynsky, who he met in prison in Omsk (Dostoevsky, Notes from the House of the Dead, 1860). But Dostoevsky represented Ilynsky's story differently in The Brothers Karamazov. The real criminal did not show up, and Dmitri Karamazov served a sentence even though he did not commit an offense. Therefore, that is the conclusion for unbelief. Dostoevsky wanted to mention unbelief, which becomes prevalent in society.

Suffering has an important place in Dostoevsky's life, and creativity and pain always existed in his whole life. Dostoevsky, who grew up as a child of a tough and cruel man, committed to paper the people who suffer he met. After the exile, pain turns into a Godless world's pain. In the Brothers Karamazov, he handled an idea that defends real pain can make someone pure on moral grounds, and he appealed to people to suffer. Pain is the first step for new birth and starting a new life. Ivan Karamazov, who lost faith in the existence of God, is the most suffering character in work. For Ivan Karamazov, God is necessary for developing civilization; he thinks, "If there were no God, he should be invented," and he believes he is more powerful rather than God. In work, there is another character who suffers like Ivan, and his name is Smerdyakov. Smerdyakov valets his own father, and nobody cares about him all along with his life, and that is the main reason he hates his past and everybody. Because of his pain, he committed suicide, and until his death, he did not think he is a murderer of himself. Also, Katerina Ivanovna is an example of the sufferer. Ivanovna is in love with her fiancé's brother Ivan, and she suffers from torturing herself. Ivanovna hopes that she will get rid of the debt of gratitude for Dmitri.

Dmitri Karamazov is not his father's actual murderer, even the thought to kill his father. Dmitri hates his father just as Ivan and Smerdyakov, but he is guilty of all humanity. Therefore, for all humanity, he decided to go to exile. Dmitri Karamazov does not think the exile is for only sanctify himself. He accepts his decision is a gift for universal love and fraternity. Alyosha Karamazov is another character who suffers a lot. He purified himself and locked the monastery. Because even though he does not rise up unkindness around him, he can not prevent the pain in himself. He could not manage to get angry with someone or blame anyone for his life, and that is the reason he locked himself in the monastery. But Starets Zosima advised him to find happiness in sadness and leave the monastery. Starets Zosima was the voice of Dostoevsky's voice in the Brothers Karamazov.

The Brothers Karamazov: Conclusion

After all, Dostoevsky's artistic creativity and world view improve by the individual and societal problems. Characters in Dostoevsky's literary works have a different and new type of suffering, happiness, and problems. Works after the exile, some mystical and metaphysical properties take part instead of poverty. The problem of the existence of God was the main subject in addition to this, and characters became skeptical. However, the social problems committed to paper by Dostoevsky in the 19th century illuminated the other centuries' social problems and reoriented, including nowadays. Suffering, crime, and religion formed a basis for Dostoevsky's works' subject.


Berdi︠a︡ev Nikolaĭ, & Attwater, D. (2011). Dostoevsky. Whitefish, MT: Literary Licensing.

Dostoyevsky, F., Ibsen, H., Ibsen, H., Ibsen, H., & Ibsen, H. (1990). The brothers Karamazov. Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (2018, March 9). Wikipedia

Troyat, H. (1946). Firebrand: the life of Dostoevsky. New York: Roy Publisher.

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Zendaya Kane
Zendaya Kane
Content Lead at Tamara Research. Major in Advertising, loves working.

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