horizontescuriosos whispered : I'm reading the Brothers Karamazov, and I admit that I am finding the messages of this novel to be rather difficult to decipher. In your interpretation of the novel, what messages would you say are central to the novel?
The Brothers Karamazov is a quite difficult book to read because the story is built up till the end of the last chapter so it makes sense to be confused about the messages. I’ll try to answer your question without spoiling the story because I don’t know how much you’ve read. Imo the book has three main themes, which all involve the human existence:
1. Religious faith or doubt. On faith’s side we have Alyosha and Zosima, on doubt’s Ivan and Smerdyakov.
2. Shared responsibility and guilt. Which obviously affects the brothers the most.
3. Moral choices of every character in the book. Starting from Dmitri, whose choices are important in the first part of the book.
The messages aren’t clear because Dostoyevsky takes a complex theme and argues on it using the voices of many characters. The whole book is a constant debate on important issues of the human soul. Dostoyevksy never clearly states his preference for one opinion or another. He lets the reader decide based on the events that happen in every character and the ending of the story. That’s why finishing the book will definitely help you understand the symbolism and meaning of each brother’s character.
Looking to impress a lovely lady or dashing gentleman? Take advice from a master of Russian Literature, the man who brought us charming murderers, guys who spend months trying to get someone to bump into them, masochism, and 2+2=5, Fyodor Dostoyevsky!