Existentialism in The Karamazov Brothers by Dostoevsky

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If I had to analyse and evaluate The Brothers Karamazov, written by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, in terms of existential way, I would profoundly handle the themes, characters and conflicts which are mentioned in the book. In addition to this, this paper is going to examine the main subjects which flow through existentialism, and at the same time, my purpose inholding discussion and reflection the ideas about the book on existentialism is going to proceed step my step on this way. Existential figures is posed by the themes, characters and conflicts which are emerged in the book, The Karamazcv Brothers.

Indeed, the book, The Karamazov Brothers reveals many forms of questioning, such as questioning the Christian God and faith. Under this title, the questioning raises new themes which affect the book by means of existential way. Both of them are Atheism and Orthodoxy. There’s an Orthodox belief that people are only saved in community, and belief comes after actions. I guess Dostoevsky wanted to create the strongest argument for atheism that had ever been expressed.

Dostoevsky expresses the words of his own life through Shatov of Demons the book which Dostoevsky wrote: ’’I believe in Russia, I believe in Orthodoxy, I believe in the body of Christ… I believe that Jesus will reappear in Russia again’’ ‘’What about God? Do you believe in God?’’ ‘’I… I believe in God one day.’’ Does this mean that Dostoevsky has a god problem? According to him, there is a conflictive communication between faith and reason which cannot be reduced. The problem of God did not became the recognition of the reality, but also it became the suppression of the doubt. Dostoevsky reflects his ideas in the book by actually creating and imposing Ivan. Like this, despite the fact that the book has a lot of criticisms of religion, Dostoevsky diversely believed that the best thing for the society would be for everyone and it’s clear in the novel even though he presents the opposing views and this implies that he has a faith to Orthodoxy even if just a drop.

The concept of free will associated with ‘’fate and the function of free will’’ and ‘’good and evil’’. The Brothers Karamazov utilizes the subject of free will by displaying and disputing diverse clarifications of attitude. Actually, the book objects and makes difficult the idea which has no moral principles human being is allowed to do everything: the characters who have amoral behavious emerges simply by means of the most restless and damaging in the novel. However, the novel additionally objects to reveal the mental and the social determinism, just because of this reason, the notion that our situation in the social life controls the manner in which we act. Besides we can see some manner in which Brothers, Dimitri and Ivan try to act this way.

These discourses which is immoral, mental and social cannot provide a satisfactory control and answer for the peculiar and inconsistent behavior of Dostoevsky’s characters. The one vision of opportunity the novel appears to support is a religiously dedicated one. It can be truly free to abandon only selfish desires and accept religious morality in a person’s life. To add more and support these, it can be cited that Dostoevsky writes in the voice of the Elder Zossima in the book, “There is only one way to salvation, and that is to make yourself responsible for all men’s sins. As soon as you make yourself responsible in all sincerity for everything and for everyone, you will see at once that this is really so, and that you are in fact to blame for everyone and for all things.”

The notions which Dostoevsky stated in these lines support the above mentioned principles. One of the most famous doctrines of existentialism and absence of free will formulated by Jean Paul Sartre is that people are absolutely free. ‘’ Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does’’ (J.P Sartre, Being and Nothingness). That is existentialism says and shows that we are free, but it takes work. No one says that “free will” is perfectly free.


Cite this paper

Existentialism in The Karamazov Brothers by Dostoevsky. (2020, Dec 15). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/existentialism-in-the-karamazov-brothers-by-dostoevsky/



How was Dostoevsky an existentialist?
As a writer, Dostoevsky explored the themes of free will, individual responsibility, and the search for meaning in life, which are central to existentialism. His characters often grapple with the absurdity and unpredictability of existence, reflecting the existentialist belief that life is inherently uncertain and that individuals must create their own purpose.
Is The Brothers Karamazov an existentialism?
No, The Brothers Karamazov is not an existentialism.
What does The Brothers Karamazov teach us about the problem of evil?
The Brothers Karamazov teaches us about the problem of evil by exploring the idea that humans are capable of both great good and great evil. The novel asks the question of whether humans are ultimately good or evil, and whether evil is an inherent part of human nature.
What is the philosophy of Dostoevsky?
Dostoevsky claims to have considered himself a devout Orthodox Christian, but through his writing he shows that there may not be any real way to ultimately recompense the suffering of mankind. By leaving the question unanswered, he emphasizes the fact that suffering is a mystery that may not be cosmically resolved .
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