Review of "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

June 6, 2017

 

 

This was not my first read of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I first read this book back in my 20's and with it came a rush of spiritual questions that have helped me see the world in a new light. Upon reading this a second time the ethical debates that are centered around human morality, our free will, and our relationship and belief in God could not have been more applicable than in the current state of America and the world, quite frankly. Dostoyevsky is not a read for everyone and if you are a struggling reader it will make or break you, but I think that the sheer reality of our ever changing world, moving toward modernizing and inserting technology into every facet of life makes The Brothers Karamazov as relevant now as it was in 19th century Russia. This work, as well as most of his more popular books, delve into the human psyche during tumultuous spiritual, political, and even social upheaval and The Brothers Karamazov is no different. This book is a must read by anyone who believes in their political or religious agenda to a fault. Dostoyevsky confronts the struggles of faith and a changing world,one that struggles to keep up with ideologies that sit in contradiction sometimes, to a set and never evolving christian climate. He also confronts the very personal moral struggles that erupt from both the political and spiritual sides of Russian life and tries to reconcile them with God, man's free will, and the psychological aspects of both doubt and personal reason that can be used to justify or confuse actions and beliefs.

A quote from this book is just one of many that defines the true struggle of man to reconcile life with God and is also a great reason to read this work. 

"Rebellion? I am sorry you call it that," said Ivan earnestly. "One can hardly live in rebellion, and I want to live. Tell me yourself, I challenge your answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature- that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance- and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth."

"No, I wouldn't consent," said Alyosha softly.

"And can you admit the idea that men for whom you are building it would agree to accept their happiness on the foundation of the unexpiated blood of a little victim? And accepting it would remain happy for ever?"

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