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A Critical Analysis of Dostoevsky's Brother Karamazov

A critical analysis and interpretation of one of the greatest literary masterpieces in Russian Literature, the Brother Karamazov, written by Dostoevsky, one of the greatest fictionists Russia has ever produced.

language english
wordcount 17555 (cca 50 pages)
contextual quality N/A
language level N/A
price free
sources 22
Table of contents

Introduction 2
Biographical Notes About the Author 2
An Analysis of the Structure and Plot of the Novel 4
Some Points of Consideration in Analyzing the Novel 31
References 33

Preview of the essay: A Critical Analysis of Dostoevsky's Brother Karamazov

In our time the novel has supplanted dramatic and epic poetry as the dominant form of literary expression. Through the novel, writers express not only the comic and prosaic aspects, but also the most tragic and serious levels of human existence. The contemporary emulator of Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare usually turns to the prose novel to mirror and interpret the tragic and heroic-or pathetic-life of man. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is the prime example of the modern poet in prose, the Dante and Shakespeare of modern society. This Russian genius created an extraordinary number of unique, living characters, absorbing plots about the maelstrom of incidents and passions in which these characters are caught up, and marvelous conversations which carry the action forward and comment on it. His works present the depths and heights of human existence, the most seamy and sordid side of life together with an irradiating spiritual vision and concern. His compassion, his tragic insight, and his religious attitude ...

... creativity, as in the Psalms and in such religious figures as Francis of Assisi? What is the religious meaning of. the counsel to love life re¬gardless of logic and meaning? Is it contrary to a rational the¬ology or theodicy; which attempts to justify God's ways to man?

Many of the passages in this novel are directed against the obsession with• material signs and wonders and with rigorous religious observances. Does this indicate the type of religion or Christianity that Dostoevsky espouses in this work? Is it Ivan or Alyosha who speaks for Dostoevsky's views? Does the au¬thor intend to express doubt or faith-or both?

What does the subplot about the children contribute to the story?

Why does Dostoevsky introduce the story of Ilusha, his fam¬ily, and his friends, often returning to it, and ending his book with Ilusha's funeral? Does the subplot reinforce and reiterate the main theme of the novel, adding depth and richness through a different milieu and set of characters? Does it add any new and distinct notes, counter pointing the main theme? What is the main impression upon you of this minor theme about Ilusha, Kolya, Snegiryov, and the boys? Do any of these minor characters correspond to the major characters of the story? Or do you feel that this subplot is an annoying and baffling intrusion of the main line of the story?
Essay is in categories


Humanistic Studies


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