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The Karamazov Brothers – Fyodor Dostoevsky

The karamazov brothers is a book written by Fyodor Dostoevsky in the year 1880. Topics such as morality, religious faith, love, revenge, death, forgiveness are addressed here, among other topics that make us reflect on topics deep and philosophical.


Characters from “The Brothers Karamazov”

Within the story, the main character is Alyosha, who is the third daughter of Fyodor Pavlovich. She is intelligent, generous and cordial, very different from her father.

We also find Dmitri, son of Fyodor who is very passionate and unbridled, he is always carried away by his emotions, he falls passionately in love with Grushenka. Ivan, for his part, is the middle brother and has many doubts about God.

In this way we find Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, who is a wealthy patriarch belonging to the Karamazov dynasty. Father of Ivan, Alyosha and Dmitri. He is a very greedy man, full of lust and very vulgar. For which he is repudiated by most of the people who know him.

On the other hand we find other characters such as Grushenka, who is a beautiful young woman and object of desire, since she has the reputation of being promiscuous, but in truth, she is too proud to be intimate with men; Smerdyakov is the son of Lizaveta and Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, but he was raised by Grigory and his wife Marfa and is required to work in the Fyodor Pavlovich house as a servant.

He also suffers from epilepsy; Zosima is the wise old wise man in the monastery who is the teacher of Alyosha; Katerina Ivanovna Verkhovtsev is Dimitri’s fiancée, whom she abandons because she falls in love with Grushenka; Katerina Ospovna Khokhla, is a wealthy lady in the city, known to the Karamazovs and also a friend of Katerina; Liza Khokhlakov, is the daughter of Mrs. Khokhlakov, is naughty and capricious; Mikhail Osipovich Rakitin, a sarcastic young student.

We also meet other characters such as Piotr Alexandrovich Miusov, a wealthy landowner; Pyotr Ilyich Perkhotin, A friend of Dmitri; Kuzma Kuzmich Samsonov, an old merchant; Stinky Lizaveta, a retarded young woman who is considered the idiot of the village; Fetyukovich, a famous lawyer for Dmitri; Ippolit Kirrillovich, who is the prosecutor during Dmitri’s trial; Father Ferapont, a monk who hates Zosima; Nikolai Ivanov Krasotkin, a friend of Alyosha; Ilyusha Snegiryov, who is the son of a military captain; Grigory Kutuzov Vasilievich, is the servant of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, and along with his wife Marfa, takes care of the upbringing to Smerdyakov.

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Summary and synopsis of “The Brothers Karamazov”

This work tells us about Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov who in his youth was always rude, and whose main goal was to obtain money and women. He was married twice and had three children: Dmitri, who is the son of his first wife, Ivan and Alyosha, are the children of his second wife. But this one does not show any love for his children, he displaces them completely.

When the play begins, Dmitri is shown to be currently a twenty-eight-year-old soldier and has recently arrived in the city. Fyodor Pavlovich is not pleased that his son has returned, since he came to ask for the inheritance that his mother left him, because he plans to keep everything.

But Alyosha, is also in the city, and now she is an apprentice in the convent and studies with the elderly Zosima. Later Dmitri and Fyodor Pavlovich have a dispute because they are both in love with Grushenka, and Dmitri has abandoned his fiancée, Katerina, to conquer Grushenka.

But Fyodor Pavlovich gave his word to her that he would give her 3,000 rubles if he became her lover.
On the other hand, Fyodor Pavlovich had a fourth son with a mute and retarded girl. But the girl died when she had the baby, and the baby was kidnapped by Fyodor Pavlovich’s servants and put to work as a servant. But this one never treated him like his son. So Smerdyakov manages to have a rare personality. He also suffers from epilepsy.

Later, Alyosha visits Katerina, and is surprised to see that Ivan is with Katerina, and realizes that they are in love. Alyosha returns again to the monastery, where the fragile Zosima is in her last days. Finally he dies and as his corpse begins to smell bad very quickly, they think he was corrupt and unreliable in life.
In the course of the plot Dmitri strikes the servant Grigory and knocks him unconscious and bloody, and flees to Grushenka’s house. But he discovers that she went to see a lover who left her long ago. So he is disappointed and thinks about killing himself, but decides to meet Grushenka before doing so.

So he is going to meet her and her lover. When Grushenka is with the two men, she realizes that she loves Dmitri, and he puts the other man in a closet, while they plan their wedding. But suddenly the police came in and arrested Dmitri. He is accused of having killed his father, and there is much evidence against him.

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On the other hand, Ivan talks to Smerdyakov about Fyodor Pavlovich’s death, and Smerdyakov confesses that he killed him. But some time later he hangs himself, during the trial, Iván pleads guilty to the death of his father. Which greatly confuses the court. But then Katerina shows him a letter he received from Dmitri where he said that one day he was likely to kill his own father. However, despite that letter, people in court think he is innocent.
Finally, after the trial, Katerina drives Iván to his house to take care of his illness. She and Dmitri reconcile and she plans Dmitri’s escape from prison to go to America with Grushenka.

Analysis of “The Brothers Karamazov”

Within the work we can appreciate the main philosophical conflict between the Karamazov brothers, regarding religious faith. Here the characters reveal the different types of behaviors generated by the two positions. On the one hand we find the Christian faith in a positive way in Zosima and Alyosha, who have love for others and practice in their lives the gift of forgiveness and goodness.

On the other hand, IvánKaramazov looks for the truth from a more logical point of view, rejects God and criticizes morality. Dmitri reflects the negative, feels hatred and abandons his wife. Therefore this novel examines the psychology of the characters, who act according to their ideals and what they lived in their childhood, for which the author of Fyodor Pavlovich’s death turns out to be his own son, Smerdyakov, whom he never treated as such.

Verbatim quotes from the work

It is the duel between God and the devil: the human heart is the battlefield ”: the debate of all people in their day. The Karamazov Brothers

“My opinion is that if the devil does not exist, if he has been created by man, he has done so in his image and likeness because the devil is created according to the horror that man can cause, with all the suffering it generates”

“Who deceives himself can also feel offended before anyone else”: because the lie does not harm the other, but himself.