Dmitri

Dmitri is the oldest, and an impulsive sensualist. He's kind of the party animal and his love for life has gotten him into incredible debt. The night his father was murdered he blew 3,000 rubels on a party saying it was his last night to live, making him the greatest suspect in his father's murder, but did he do it? ...

Alyosha

10/14/06 11:00AM EDT

My Submission

This was my submission to the OWD book contest, but now it is my fourth Design for Open Designs. The Brothers Karamazov tells the story of three brothers, Alyohsha, Ivan, and Dmitri, seemingly very different, but as they all struggle to figure out who they are, we see how similar they are. On the surface it's a murder mystery after their father is murdered. But at a deeper lever this is Dostoevsky's masterpiece exploring all aspects of human life and faith.

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10/07/06 5:23PM EDT

Alyosha

At the onset of the novel, Alyosha, the youngest, is training to be a monk. But when his mentor dies, he has a revelation that drives him back into the world.

Oh! in his rapture he was weeping even over those stars, which were shining to him from the abyss of space, and "he was not ashamed of that ecstasy." There seemed to be threads from all those innumerable worlds of God, linking his soul to them, and it was trembling all over "in contact with other worlds." He longed to forgive everyone and for everything, and to beg forgiveness. Oh, not for himself, but for all men, for all and for everything.

With this realization of how much God cares for everything and looks after it, he goes out on a mission to "forgive everyone and for everything." Which is good because he's just in time to help his brothers through their most life-altering period.

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10/07/06 5:23PM EDT

Ivan

Ivan's column is a gallery so I'll put a short description here. He is the middle brother and the intellectual. His studies have made him incredulous of God and faith. He delivers probably the most famous passage of the book "The Grand Inquisitor" in which he imagines that Jesus returned during the Spanish Inquisition and how he would be treated. The Grand Inquisitor has this to say to him:

Too, too well will they know the value of complete submission! And until men know that, they will be unhappy. Who is most to blame for their not knowing it?-speak! Who scattered the flock and sent it astray on unknown paths? But the flock will come together again and will submit once more, and then it will be once for all. Then we shall give them the quiet humble happiness of weak creatures such as they are by nature.

So Ivan dismisses faith based on the hypocritical actions of the church. Within a thousand years, he claims, the church became such that its founder would just be a silent nuisance. In the end, Ivan's great mind gets the best of him, and he spins into madness in the wake of his father's death.

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Ivan

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