Brothers Karamazov (671-735) Cross Ref

Date: April 24, 2009

Submitted by: Rebecca L’Heureux (group 2)

Subject: Alyosha is the prophetic voice?

Quote 1:

“‘Karamazov,’ cried Koyla, ‘can it be true what’s taught us in religion, that we shall all rise again from the dead and shall live and see each other again, all, Ilyushechka too?’

‘Certainly we shall all rise again, certainly we shall see each other and shall tell each other with joy and gladness all that has happened!’ Alyosha answered, half laughing, half ecstatic.

‘Ah, how splendid it will be!’ broke from Koyla.

‘Well, now we will finish talking and go to his funeral dinner. Don’t be put out at our eating pancakes – it’s a very old custom and there’s something nice in that!'” (Dostoevsky, 735)

Quote 2:

“‘My triumph,’ he said, ‘is that I am not dead. I have outlived my mission, and know no more of it. It is my triumph. I have survived the day and the death of my interference, and am still a man. I am young still, Madeleine, not even come to middle age. I am glad all that is over. It had to be. But now I am glad it is over, and the day of my interference is done. The teacher and the savior are dead in me; now I can go about my business, into my own single life.'” (Lawrence, 174)


This last chapter of The Brothers Karamazov once again puts Alyosha on a pedestal and especially in this last scene, he is a leader of the mob. The last scene also takes away his credibility as the Christ figure and Ilyusha seems to be sacrificed in that way. Dmitri is sort of the older more corrupt version of Ilyusha in that they both seem to have been ruined by their respective father’s neglect and cruelty. Dmitri reacts more strongly to his father’s neglect and threatens to kill him, but we are to believe that he is still innocent. Illyusha seems still too innocent and easily influenced to be a Christ figure, yet everyone’s compassion turns towards him and even his drunken, neglectful father seems to have a moment of retribution at his son’s funeral.

Alyosha preaches to the mob of children because they seem to be the only characters over whom he might still have influence, since his two brothers are ruined and his father is dead. His sermon about eternal life is at once religious and sort of skewing the religious view. He seems to be using religion as a sort of tradition and eternal life meaning that their memory is eternal. In which case, religion seems to not be taken literally but more as a crutch, which the reference to the pancakes being “a very old custom” which is “nice”. Alyosha seems to be preaching a more humanistic religion as opposed to the structure of the Church. Even going back to the scene of Father Zosima’s death, Alyosha does not follow the other monks who believe that Zosima’s decomposition is a sign. Alyosha believes that Zosima was a good person who helped a lot of people and that was all that he needed, not a sign from God.

The quote from Lawrence goes along with this rejection of the formalities of the Church and living one’s own life is everything. This seems to be a reoccurring theme across the works that we have read this semester, that the individual is more important than conforming to a set of ideals, so long as you don’t hurt anyone else in the process.

The Brothers Karamazov, P 671-735, Key Passage

Key Passage

Date: April 24, 2009

Submitted by: Erin Dwyer, Group 2

Key Passage Subject: Fathers


 “ Not for nothing is this tribune given to us by the highest authority- all Russia hears us! I am not speaking only for the fathers here present, I cry aloud to all fathers: ‘Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.’  Yes, let us first fulfill Christ’s injunction ourselves and only then venture to expect in of our children.  Otherwise, we are not fathers, bunt enemies of our children, and they are not our children, but our enemies, and we have made them our enemies ourselves.”

“How can we blame children if they measure us according to our measure?” (707)


The defense lawyer’s attack on Fyodr’s poor parenting skills nearly blames the man himself for his own death.  At the very least, he removes all blame from the children in their poor relationships with their parents.  Indeed, “how can we blame our children” suggests that one cannot blame Dmitri, or even Smerdyavok, for the murder of their father.  Instead, by making enemies of his own children, Fyodr deserved such a betraying murder.  Furthermore, the defense lawyer attacks Fyodr for not living a Christian life, not “fulfilling Christ’s injunction”.  Without a clean slate of the Christian personality, Fyodr is in no position expect loyalty or love from his children.  His carelessness as a father leads to the punishment of his death. 

Dostoyevsky provides another critique of Chritianity through this logic at the court room.  The word “father” is always used to refer to God, as he is envisioned to be the one who gave life, lead and guide us morally, and accept the repentant son back into his arms to reestablish his life.  However, in this section, the word “father” is attributed to Fyodr, who has made enemies of his sons through his negligence, selfishness, and self-serving behavior.  How can Fyodr possibly compare to God?

There seems to be an inherent criticism of the idea of “God” as a father.  After all, does He fulfill Christ’s message? The passage argues instead that He is negligent, like Fyodr, of his poor child of humankind, and that he is self-serving.  In some ways, this is true to the Christian belief; literally, you must love God to attain salvation.  It sounds self-serving in this connotation.  But furthermore, if we “measure” God as this all powerful, but all fallible, soul, we should be able to reject him, and as Alyosha would put it, and his world.  

Character Map: Karamazov, 671-734

Submitted by: Ben Bower and Brian Leon, group 1
Date: 4/24/09
Subject: Character Map

Smerdyakov: According to Ippolit Kirillovich, he is an “unhappy idiot,” poor, sick and easily pushed into submission by Mitya. He is “always prone to continual and morbid self-reproach.” Ippolit decides that he has no motive for murdering Fyodor Pavlovich. The defense says he “found in him, on the contrary, an extreme mistrustfulness concealed under a mask of naïveté, and an intelligence of considerable range.” He describes him as, “a distinctly spiteful creature, excessively ambitious, vindictive, and intensely envious.” For a motive, he states that, “he resented his parentage, was ashamed of it, and would clench his teeth when he remembered that he was the son of ‘stinking Lizaveta,’” and that, “Believing himself to be the illegitimate son of Fyodor Pavlovich (there is evidence of this) he might well have resented his position compared with that of his master’s legitimate sons. They had everything, he nothing. They had all the rights, they had the inheritance, while he was only the cook.” Smerdyakov thus has a powerful motive. Like the dragon’s teeth sown by Jason, Fyodor’s bastard seed is the cause of the Karamazov’s own demise. But is this familial disintegration a destruction or cleansing?

Ippolit Kirillovich: Builds a strong argument around the absurdity of the idea that Smerdyakov murdered Fyodor Pavlovich, which is due to the absence of a logical motive on his part. Presumes that Smerdyakov is lowly fool. He creates false dichotomies that the reader can resolve, but which cannot be recognized as such by the characters this makes the reader angry. More importantly, though, he paints a picture of a character and then asks whether or not the person he has created is capable of doing what is suggested. So long as you accept his assumptions, he is right—Dostoevsky makes it obvious that this is supposed to reflect the legal system as a whole, as well as a lot of the philosophical systems discussed throughout the book, so that they seem as if they are true, even though they aren’t. This farcical miscarriage of justice reflects Zosima’s questioning of the moral authority of any mortal accuser. In this courtroom passage, Dostoevsky’s influence on Kafka becomes painfully clear.

Ivan: Ippolit Kirillovich puts words into his mouth concerning his assertion that Smerdyakov is the murderer: “The man is dead, I can throw the blame on him and save my brother. I have money. I will take a roll of bills and say that Smerdyakov gave them to me before his death.” He suggests that maybe Ivan really believes this happened due to his illness. Is his mental breakdown Dostoevsky’s gesture towards his guilt by silence, or secret desire, as Smerdyakov accuses him of?

Defense: Unlike Ippolit Kirillovich, he makes no attempt at eloquence, at pathos, or emotional phrases. He speaks like a man in a circle of intimate and sympathetic friends with a genuine and simple voice. He presents himself as though he is without preconceived ideas, as if he is a clean slate, as opposed to the town, of which he says, “the moral sentiment of local society is justly excited against him [Mitya].” He is able to take a step back and realize that Ippolit Kirillovich is creating characters and accusing them, rather than accusing the real Dmitri Kramazov, and that his logic takes into account only half of the reality.

Fyodor Pavlovich: God! Or, at least in the defense attorney’s eyes. The argument he presents for why Fyodor Pavlovich is not really Dimitri’s father (p. 707-8) is Ivan’s Grand Inquisitor argument in allegory. A “Father” is not a “father” if he abandons his children. If he does, then it is not only the right, but the duty of his son (man) to judge for himself, based on intellect and reason, what is right and wrong. He is no real father. Therefore, if we kill him, it is not parricide, it is not even murder.

Mitya: Broken by his conviction. He seeks reconciliation with Katya and admits that he is too weak to bear the cross of innocent suffering that he would find in Siberia. He is not ready to meet this unjust death.

The Crowd: An interesting expression of the moral conscience of the novel. The crowd, initially clamoring for Dimitri’s conviction, is outraged at this injustice and fervently maintains his innocence. As Dostoevsky has observed, the capacity for encompassing good or grotesque evil lies in all of our hearts. The great task of life, Dostoevsky suggests, is to struggle to keep your devotion to goodness.

Katya: “She was now at that stage of unbearable suffering when even the proudest heart painfully crushes its pride and falls vanquished by grief.” She blames herself for Mitya’s conviction, though she proves to be confused about her relationship with him. Though she doesn’t love him anymore, she says that he will keep a significant place in her scarred heart.

Kolya: Admits that he admires Mitya and that he would like to die for all humanity, that he wishes he could sacrifice himself for truth.

Snegiryov: Almost completely broken by his son’s death. Like all of the other characters, his future is very unclear at the end of the novel.

Plot Summary for The Brothers Karamazov, Pages 671-735, The Final Plot Summary

Date: 4/24/09

Submitted by: Group 1 (Ben Brishcar, Caitlin Christlieb)

Subject: Plot Summary or Funerals and Pancakes

Reading Assignment: The Brothers Karamazov, 671-735

Chapter VIII

Within this chapter Ippolit Kirillovich argues why it is more likely for Dimitri to have killed Fyodor Paclovich in an attempt to prove he is guilty. In order to make his case he argues that Smerdyakov had neither the resources nor the courage to commit one of the most horrendous crimes that can be committed and that is patricide. To prove his point, Kirillovich points to several faults of Smerdyakov such as the weakness of his mind which lead him to commit suicide in a “fit of insanity”. He also points to the feebleness of his mind as far as education goes claiming that he could not even grasp simple philosophies which had been explained to him. How then, he asks , could Smerdyakov have come up with and succeeded in constructing something as artful and well crafted as a plan for murder. In the end Kirillovich brings his statement back to the violence that is needed to commit such a crime and proposes that it is the same violence which is found within Dimitri’s letter to Katerina. The anger with which he writes within the letter should, he believes, be all the evidence that is necessary in finding the Karamazov brother guilty especially when all that is left on his side are a few poor character witnesses.


Chapter IX

In this chapter Kirillovich is once again making speeches against Dimitri in attempts to bring the murderer of Fydor Pavlovich to justice. This time, however, instead of arguing against Smerdyakov (someone he has made out to be a convenient scapegoat) Kirillovich manipulates the jury by playing on their heart strings. He describes the murder of Fydor as the greatest crime which can be committed and that is murder of ones own father. What makes his speech throughout this chapter even more convincing is the way in which he manipulates the jury by bringing the notion of love and passion into the mix of everything else. Kirillov essentially puts Dimitri’s character on trial as he attempts to prove that he had every reason to kill his father out of vengeance and great passion. He also points to the “wild recklessness” of the entire Karamazov family as a clear indicator of his guilt and as an example of precedence for motive.


Chapter X/XI/XII

This chapter centers around the defense attorney and his counter argument to what Kirillovich has been talking about for the past two chapters. For the sake of brevity and clarity of argument these three chapters have been grouped together, as with the argument ultimately failing, what is important is more that the effort was made, than what necessarily the effort was. What essentially happens in this chapter is that Fetyukovich twists the arguments that the prosecutor Kirillovich has been using in an attempt to prove Dimitri’s guilt. Fetyukovich’s main argument is that the prosecutor doesn’t really have a case. Not only was the witness used within the trial unreliable but that is all the “evidence” that can be held against Dimitri and it is most certainly not enough to prove him guilty. Despite the character analysis made against Dimitri it does nothing but prove that Dimitri may be ruled by his passions this does not automatically prove that he has committed murder. On top of this the evidence given to discredit Smerdyakov as a viable suspect for murder can be just as easily argued in the opposite direction. What the defense attorney does is basically discredit the prosecutor as  in his favor with the courtroom laughing “at the expense of the prosecutor”.  Fetyukovich goes on to say as he continues his closing statement by going on to say that the charges layed against Dimitri are ridiculous due to the fact that much of the evidence is circumstantial. There is no proof that Fydor even had a secret cash of money. There is also no way to prove without a doubt the intentions Dimitri’s true intentions.


Chapter XIII

In the final moments of his closing argument Fetyukovich argues that Kirillovich is wrong in claiming that Dimitri has committed the most heinous of crimes in the murder of Fydor Pavlovich. He claims that this is because if he had killed this man it would not have been so horrible a deed because the man never loved his boys the way a father should. On top of this he proposes a theory on how cunning Smerdyakov could be because he knew that if anyone else would be accused of this murder then it would be the other person within the house his master.


Chapter XIV

The trial ends and the jury leaves to deliberate, and much of this chapter is centered in gossip, of which the reader already knows is wrong.  The general consensus is that Mitya will be declared innocent but the text has previously stated this not to be the case.  It’s a scene that is rather horrible in its own irony, as all of the people watching are raising their own expectations to only have them fall again.  Mitya is allowed one chance to speak for himself in which he declares his own innocence one last time, claiming that he is both completely sane and guilty of many things, just not of his father’s death.  It bares note here that he is lacking any of the fire and zeal that has up until this point has been associated with Mitya, which seems to state that he knows his fate before the verdict is dropped.  The jury returns with a verdict of guilty on all counts, with the expected punishment being twenty years labor in Siberia.


Epilogue, Chapter I

This chapter serves mostly either to clean up loose plot threads or to set up for some sort of closure on the novel as a whole.  Ivan is horribly sick, almost to the point of death, although everyone is convinced that he will survive.  Alyosha has seemed to retake the mantel of Dostoyevsky’s bouncing plot point machine by being the go-between between Mitya and Katerina, first serving as the ear for Katerina’s venting of her guilt from the trial and then informing her of Mitya’s want to see her. Also, this chapter sheds some light on an argument between moral law and the law of the land.  According to the law of the land, Mitya will spend the next 20 years in Siberia, but Ivan, before he got sick, laid down escape plans with Mitya, and these plans are accepted by Alyosha, the voice of morality in the novel.


Epilogue, Chapter II

This chapter marks the last time we see many of the characters in the novel and serves to give at least some closure to them, although Dostoyevsky does not allow the reader the satisfaction of a either a ‘happily ever after’ ending or a ‘they all die in hellfire and brimstone’ ending.  In this section, the relationship between Katerina and Mitya is finally put to some end, and likewise some of the animosity between Katerina and Grushenka has been put aside for the time being, all of this of course hinging on Mitya’s escape.  The most interesting part of this section though, is the tentative stability on which all of the characters are treading, and how easy it’d be for all of it to fall apart and devolve back into chaos.


Epilogue Chapter III

While Dostoyevsky does not give the reader the satisfaction of a set, definitive ending, he does instill the last chapter with something far more important to the rest of the novel.  Namely, this last chapter contains the first untainted death in the novel.  Zosima’s body corrupted quickly, Fyodor’s death became a fiasco, and Smerdyakov’s suicide is seen by many of the main characters with distain at best.  But with Ilyushechka’s death and funeral, the reader sees a body that almost untouched by corruption, and is given a proper respectful burial.  Likewise, in contrast to the “An Adulterer of Thought” chapter, this chapter brings actual fatherly love and tenderness in with Snegiryov’s reactions to his son’s funeral.  It is strange, that between the solidarity speech at the rock, and the tenderness associated with the death, this gives the end of the novel a vaguely hopeful feel that although the novel has been dark and depressing through most of the narrative, there is still hope for something good and tender to come out of it.

Corrected Protocol for Brothers Karamazov (462-531)

Submitted by: Natalie Sayth and Katie O’Connor (Group 4)
Date: 4/24/09

Draft Protocol and Corrected Protocol were fine.

Plot Summary:

John and Dawn did a good job covering the plot summary.  We start off with Mitya’s confession of keeping half the money in a necklace, but no one bealives him.  This is pretty much expected considering the implausibility of what he is talking about, yet the question still appears to be left open (somewhat) by the narrator.  Mitya does bealive however that he should be in jail because he wanted to murder his father, though he may not have.  We talked a bit about Mitya’s distributing of cash to the peasants and how that act is disturbing the social order (which leads credo to it being considered unusual and a spectacle).  The introduction of the boy Koyla is present in this secton.  He precocity is quickely seen and he comes to represent a fashionable/jargon socialist.  One who mau have the desire but not the exptertise.  A notable quote that is good to keep in mind when formulating a broader critique of Dostoevsky comes from Koyla, he says “If there were no God, he’d have to be invented.”

Character Maps:

Katie and Nataylie talked a bit about the certain importance of Alyosha and his relationship to Kolya in this summary.  Alyosha becomes a good teacher to Kolya, gives him an oppturnity to be taken seriously.  This led into a talk about the level of corruption that is daily in Doestoevsky as absent in Lawrence.  An example raised was the depravity of getting the dog to eat the pin, then the deception of Koyla to trick Illusyha by decieving him about the dog.   We talked a bit about Kolya being not an ordinary 14 year old, and despite his actions how Alyosha can remain so non-judgemental.

Patrick’s Key Passage
Love and the Honor of One’s Word

Patrick analyzes the love between Mitya and Grushenka. He also addressed what he sees to be one of the main conflicts of the novel, the honesty of words. As in weather or not Mitya and Grushenka’s claim to Mitya’s innocence in the death of his father is enough to stand up in court. The word of one versus the word of another.  The passage brought up the Karamazov trait of passion. In which all of the Karamazov has a tendency towards being very passionate in their endeavors. (Grushenka is the object of that passion with Mitya.)  It was also mentioned that the Karamazov’s (Mitya in particular) always tell the truth about their passions, though it may be difficult for them to articulate and confusing to the listeners, it is none the less, the truth.  These ideas of passion and truth were identified as characteristics of the Prophetic Voice, that has been seen in all of the novels we have read.  Another concept that reoccurs is that of credibility of word. In order for a book to be Prophetic in nature then the credibility of what is being said must be tested and deemed true, just as Mitya’s word is being tested now.

Nick’s Key Passage
Dmitri’s Dream

Nick analyzes the realization of suffering in Mitya’s dream. He highlights the importance of the journey Mitya is embarking upon in asking the question of “Why” there must be suffering in the world.  It was commented that in his dream Mitya rejects Ivan’s philosophy of suffering, that of an uncompassionate god, and embraces Alyosha’s ideology, in which compassion can only be discovered through a realization of suffering.  Also analyzed is the idea of community being the solution to suffering. Nick explains that the light at the end of the dream, as well as Grushenka’s voice can represent the fact that a solution for the pain in the world (the hunger of the babe) can be found within a system of community, in which people help and believe in one another.  It was commented that through the dream and this realization that community (therefor everyone) is the solution then responsibility (i.e. guilt) must be taken by the community before there can be any change.

Sarah’s Cross Reference

Dmitri’s Dream versus Dream of a Ridiculous Man

Sarah analyzes Dostoevsky’s use of dreams as prophetic and essential in the realization of the dreamers state of mind.  It is pointed out that in both dreams the dreamer is send into a state of confusion in which he questions the connection between love and suffering.  The dreams are also made much more powerful by the emotions felt by the dreamer during the episode.  It was mentioned that the concept of dreaming is a typical Dostoevsky trait. Harding opened discussion to the idea that dreaming, for everyone, is a projection of how a person sees things and a chance to analyze that vision of the world.

The Brothers Karamazov-Cross Reference

Cross References: “The Brothers Karamazov” pp. 671-735.

Date: 22 April 2009

Submitted by: Cheryl Fishback (Group #2)

Cross Reference Subject:  A Zarathustra Narrative? Thus Spake Zarathustra or Fetyukovich ?

Quote #1: The Defense Attorney for Dmitri, Fetyukovich gives a speech:

Who has authorized me to preach to fathers? No one. But as a man and a citizen I make my appeal-vivos voco (I call upon the living)! We are not long on earth, we do many evil deeds and say many evil words. So let us all catch a favorable moment when we are all together to say a good word to each other. That’s what I am doing; while I am in this place I take advantage of my opportunity. Not for nothing is this tribune given to us by the highest authority. (The Brothers Karamazov 707)

Quote #2: One of Zarathustra’s last Speeches:

Do not be virtuous beyond your strength! And will nothing from yourselves against probability!! Follow in the footsteps made by the virtue of your fathers! How could you want to climb high if the will of your fathers did not climb with you? But whoever wants to be a firstling, see to it that he does not be lastling too! And where the vices of your fathers are, there you should not want to count as saints! (Thus Spake Zarathustra 255)

Analysis: Comparison Speeches: Dmitri’s Defense Attorney / Zarathustra.

It seemed that, Fetyukovich, the defense attorney for Dmitri, during the murder trial took advantage of an opportunity to make a speech to the jury and the Russian public at large. He made a sympathetic appeal to the jury in favor of Dmitri. His reason for making such an appeal is that Dmitri had been treated poorly by his father who, by no means was a saint. Many of the people in attendance, from all over Russia, were ready to condemn Dmitri. But the defense attorney’s prophetic voice, seemed to be swaying everyone, to include the lowly masses. His speech had such a redemptive quality and such a humane approach that it made everyone sympathize with the fact that Dmitri had no control of his father being a scoundrel, and the fact that he had no control of being Fyodor’s son. This made Dmitri seem less like an evil son and more like a man who just had fate against him.

The redemptive quality of his prophetic voice mimicked what Zarathustra had said to his disciples in one of his final speeches at his cave. In fact, both Zarathustra’s and Fetyukovich’s speeches could have been interchangeable. The difference in voice, appeal and love for humanity seemed indiscernible. Indeed, Zarathustra could have been in that courtroom vying for the masses to appeal for a son who had a scoundrel for a father. In his speech he said no man of vice, like Fyodor, should be held up for sainthood. The Russian people had not looked down on Fyodor as much as they had Dmitri. As Zarathustra would take any opportunity to teach the masses, so did Fetyukovich. Zarathustra’s prophetic voice basically excuses Dmitri for becoming a scoundrel, because why would he want to reach for something bigger and better when his own father would not try to become something other than a scoundrel, and more or less cause Dmitri to remain as a lowly scoundrel. Zarathustra warns that these type of fathers should never be called saints.

Key Passage: The Grand Inquisitor’s younger brother

Date: April 23, 2009
Submitted by: Sam Krieg, Group 2
Key Passage Subject: Is faith the evidence of things unseen?

Quote: [Defense lawyer speaking]: “Listen, gentlemen, could anything be more likely than this theory and such an action? Why is it out of the question? But if anything of the sort could have taken place, the charge of robbery falls to the ground; if there was no money, there was no robbery. If the envelope on the floor my be taken as evidence that there had been money in it, why may I not maintain the opposite, that the envelope was on the floor precisely because the money had been taken from it by its owner?” (Brothers Karamazov 693).


     The quote comes within the context of the courtroom as a follow-up to the emotive speech given by the prosecutor, Ippilot Kirillovich. What the defense proposes here goes beyond those four walls though: it becomes a statement of worldview, a religious question. The speaker here is working to turn the opinions of the jury by asking a question with far-reaching consequences: why must we believe what we are told must be believed on faith?

     In this quote, the defense lawyer asserts his right to not believe what he is told must be believed. Reminiscent of Nietzsche, the lawyer takes the position opposite of his opponent (that Mitya is not guilty) and radically changes the paradigm of thinking (no longer will it be assumed that there was money in the envelope). To be more specific, what exactly is it about Kirillovich’s speech that the defense lawyer is speaking against? He is speaking out against the attempt to seduce the audience through their emotions, through rhetorical eloquence and erudition. The crowning jewel (both of the prosecutor’s speech and the defense’s rebuttal) is the employment of psychology. As has been mentioned in class, psychology is still, at the time of this novel, an almost-completely unproven field of study. In contrast to this, the defense takes the stance of empiricism, of reliance on evidence to prove things.

     The defense lawyer here is refusing to allow the prosecution to make assertions of great importance, putting the life of a man in jeopardy, by relying on evidence that they themselves have not seen to validate their statements. The example of the ax-murdering young man from Petersburg fits his position perfectly. It shows how clear-cut simple evidence makes things: “That’s what I call evidence, gentlemen of the jury! In that case I know, I see, I touch the money [stolen by the man, found on his person], and cannot deny its existence. Is it the same in the present case? And yet it is a question of life and death, of a man’s fate” (694).

     Later on in his speech, the defense lawyer overtly brings religion into the equation of things, equating Kirillovich’s emotion-over-evidence argument with “… many other things which I do not understand, but which religion bids me believe” (708). While the defense lawyer seems to state that he is willing to accept that requirement from religion, it is at moment that his critique has come full circle. He asks the people in the courtroom to stay within “the sphere of actual life” and accept empiricism over blind faith. While the Grand Inquisitor cannot accept a God that allows suffering, the defense lawyer cannot accept a God that requires men to abandon their reason in order to believe. This makes me wonder if Dostoyevsky had ever read the works of Kierkegaard, who advocated just such a “jump.”

Draft Protocol: The Brothers Karamazov 671-735

Submitted by: Nicholas Wagner and Patrick Whelan
Date: 4/23/2009
Subject: Draft Protocol for class date 4/22/09 (Brothers Karamazov 600-671)

1) The Draft and Corrected Protocol‘s were good.

2) Plot Summary
Sarah thought the the three doctors’ interpretations of Dmitri entering the courtroom was interesting, but almost heavy-handed in the depiction of incongruous psychoanalytic methods. Harding observed that Dostoevsky might have been shining a light on the medical “quackery” that was going on during that time period. Harding also pointed out that Dostoevsky’s psychological work in the novel predates the majority of Freud’s publications by nearly twenty years (at a time when psychology wasn’t quite a science yet). The real psychologist within the text isn’t any one of the doctors, but Dostoevsky himself. Kyle was fascinated with Ivan’s hallucination of the Devil, while Harding asked if the meeting was a dream, a revelation, or if the experience was really even about the devil – an issue discussed more thoroughly in the Cross References/ Key Passages.

3) Character Maps
Nicholas and Patrick discussed the benefits of the prosecutor’s interpretations of Karamazov personality types when designing the character maps and the fact that the novel takes place against a backdrop of a decaying society that seems to inform a generational divide/fear. Professor Harding argued that Dostoevsky’s work depicts atheism as inherently lacking morality, which isn’t necessarily the case. Harding suggested that by framing any arguments from the mouthpiece of the devil, Dostoevsky unfairly discredits that argument (due to our socializiation in the Judeo-Christian tradition). Nietzsche, on the other hand, argues that Christianity is what is fundamentally corrupt. Finally, professor Harding discussed Dostoevsky’s skill in creating three-dimensional characters (even if many of them happen to be wretched) that contend with issues in a more grounded setting than the works of DH Lawrence.

4) Key Passages:
Brian Leon:
The issue with Brian’s passage is that the devil is laying down the sensibilities of the atheists. Leon was impressed here at Dostoevsky’s ability to “argue against himself.” Harding’s problem with the chapter was the aforementioned socialization that informs any appearance by the devil; Hades is assumed to be plying a seductive logic to lead the audience astray. Harding commented that this argument foreshadows the courtroom scene, which is ultimately an example of the legal system as incapable of delivering justice or placing guilt.

Ben Bower:
Ben noted Ivan’s theory that the devil was just a component of himself relaying his own forgotten doctrines to illustrate the foolishness of his philosophies. Ben argued that Smerdyakov and Ivan were opposites: Ivan founds the philosophy, but doesn’t have the strength to perform it. Smerdyakov has the strength to perform it, but perhaps doesn’t really understand it. Harding (or maybe Ben) called this “complementing insufficiencies). Dostoevsky’s view is that society is inadequate to meet the social needs of human. Is the legal system capable of addressing guilt/interpreting evidence? Or is the legal system treating the surface symptoms of a disease that’s much deeper?

5) Cross References:
Caitlin Christlieb
Caitlin compared two passages from the novel, juxtaposing Ivan’s devil with his Grand Inquisitor in an effort to compare Jesus and the Devil. The Devil in Ivan’s dream forces Ivan to question his philosophy – can there be a world without values? The projection of the Devil is indicative of the Judeo-Christian belief structure/socialization. Nietzsche might view Ivan as the “bridge to the ubermensch” since Ivan is capable of questioning values, but ultimately is not strong enough to live by those values or see them through to the end.

Ben Brishcar:
Used the infamous Nietzsche line about the corrupting influence of “fighting monsters” and “gazing into the abyss” set against Ivan and Alyosha’s discussion of Dmitri (referred to in the passage as a monster). Ivan hits rock bottom, but he might ultimately find redemption – has his curiosity corrupted him? Harding asked this question: are the Karamazovs a family of aberrations, or are we the Karamazovs? As a society, have we looked too deeply into the abyss?

Plot Summary: Brothers Karamazov (601-671)

Date: 4/22/2009
Submitted by: Group 5 (Sarah Lawless and Kyle Stanley)
Subject: Plot Summary
Reading assignment: Brothers Karamazov, 601-671

Book Eleven
Chapter IX
We learn straight off that Ivan Fyodorovich is suffering from brain fever; he isn’t heeding the doctor’s advice to remain in bed and is prone to hallucinations. In a state of delirium, Ivan, notices a man of high class who has declined in status since the abolition of serfdom, has appeared suddenly on a couch directly across from him. Ivan seems to know he is delirious and attempts to ward off the stranger with a wet towel on the forehead to no avail. Ivan calls the stranger the devil and so this hallucination must represent Ivan’s inner devil. The devil spends the first part of their conversation convincing Ivan he is real but Ivan fights back against insanity deeming the stranger an illusion. The stranger tells Ivan an anecdote about an atheist who had to walk a quadrillion miles to get to heaven after he died, and Ivan realizes that was his anecdote from high school; the stranger says once Ivan completely disbelieves in him Ivan will believe he is not a dream but reality. Ivan is driven to throwing a cup of tea at the stranger after his incessant philosophical recounting of Ivan’s old ideas. Ivan suddenly awakens from the dream to Alyosha pounding on the window to tell him of Smerdyakov’s devastating suicide.
Chapter X
Alyosha tells the story of how he found out about Smerdyakov hanging himself and notices Ivan looks very ill. It appears, from Ivan’s discourse, that the brain fever has finally driven him mad. Ivan goes into a mad rant confessing to Alyosha that the devil was just present in his room and recounts their conversation together. Ivan finally exhausts himself so Alyosha puts him to bed and he himself lies down on the sofa to sleep; he prays for his brothers and knows that Ivan will confess next day at the trial though nobody will believe him with Smerdyakov’s death destroying all the evidence.
Book Twelve
Chapter I
It’s time for the trial. The narrator begins the chapter by apologizing ahead of time for his strictly personal recounting of the trial and whatever details he may leave out which interested me in the way it makes his retelling so unreliable. The narrator mentions his surprise in how renowned the case has become across Russia with the arrival of many lawyers, ladies, and distinguished people from other towns to the trial. There was much gossip about town of the Dmitri love triangle and it is mentioned that Mitya’s reputation as “conqueror of female hearts” has led to many of the ladies in town believing in his innocence causing fights with their husbands who mostly believed in Mitya’s guilt. We are posed with a class controversy later in the chapter when we are told the jurors are of low class and the higher class questions as to whether such peasants can “understand such an affair.” The indictment is read and Dimitri pleads not guilty in his irrelevant exclamatory manner and the trial begins.
Chapter II
As each witness is called Fetyukovich, the defense lawyer, is able stain each of the strongest witnesses’ character. Grigory(who is supposed to provide the most devastating evidence against Dimitri) is called as a witness and Fetyukovich, the defense lawyer, is able to plant a seed of doubt in the jury with his “gates of heaven” speech declaring Grigory unable incoherent the night of the murder due to his vodka mix. Next Rakitin has his character stained with the mentioning of his being rewarded 25 rubles for bringing Alyosha to Grushenka. Captain Snegiryov was falling down drunk crying over his dying son and therefore usless to the prosecutor. Trifon Borisovich was discredited because of suspicion that he failed to return a hundred rubles to Dmitri. The poles left the stand with ruined reputations after confessing to cheating at cards. All in all Fetyukovich is an incredible lawyer and worth every penny Dmitri is paying him.

Chapter 3

Three medical examiners are brought into testify on Mitya’s sanity. The three are Dr. Herzenstube, a Moscow doctor, and Dr. Varvinsky. Each men give different accounts of Mitya’s sanity and base them all (at least in part) on where he looks when he enters the courtroom.
Although only one of the three doctors, Varvinsky, declares Mitya sane, the court seems prepared to side with him. Dr. Herzenstube then tells an anecdote of Mitya’s childhood, when the doctor had bought him a pound of nuts, and how Mitya remembered to thank him for it 23 years later.

Chapter 4

Alyosha speaks as a witness and remembers a scene that suggests that Mitya did in fact have the purse of money about his neck. He accuses Smerdyakov, but has no evidence.
Katerina Ivanovna speaks next. She relates the story of when she borrowed money from Mitya to pay her father’s debts. Initially this gives a good impression to the crowd, but they gossip about it later and decide that it is very unlikely that he just gave her the 5 thousand rubles for nothing. Mitya calls out at her “Katya, why have you ruined me?” and “Now I am condemned!”
Grushenka comes out, and the narrator defends her against the crowd’s later impression of her. She gives very mixed up information and says nasty things about Katerina Ivanovna. She also accuses Smerdyakov, and mentions that Ratikin is her cousin, ruining for a time the impression that his testimony gave against Mitya.

Chapter 5

Ivan gives evidence, delirious and unhappy. He throws down a roll of money, claiming it is that which Fyodor had before his death. He says that Smerdyakov killed Fyodor on his (Ivan’s) behalf. General uproar ensues and Alyosha reacts rather strongly. Katerina Ivanovna panics at the thought that Ivan might be blamed for Fyodor’s murder and reveals a letter that Mitya had written to her two days before the murder in which he explains his plans to murder his father. She is more or less in hysterics the whole time and is probably doing irreparable damage to her character by speaking against the man that she had defended before, but she seems to realize that she prefers Ivan to Mitya. Through her claims and the narrator’s input, we decide that she has long thought that Mitya despises her for daring to come to his room that night. Having said everything useful she could, Katerina falls into true hysterics and is carried out of the room.
The information from Ivan and Katerina is added into the deposition.

Chapter 6

The prosecutor, Ippolit Kirillovich, gives his speech, deploring the depravity of the times. He then gives character sketches of Fyodor and his three sons. He says that Mitya is closest to Russia in style, the extremes of character existing side by side in the same person/collective consciousness. He then critiques Mitya’s assertion that he held half of the three thousand, saying first that he would not have the willpower to set it aside like that, then that he would not have been able to resist taking money out of it.

Chapter 7

Ippolit Kirillovich continues his speech, now outlining his idea of the events leading up to Fyodor’s death. He attributes much of Mitya’s troubles to ‘the Karamazov temperament,’ saying that is what led him into such circumstances. His description of events seems very reasonable and insightful.

Cross Reference: The Brothers Karamazov p. 601-671

Date: 4/21/09
Submitted by: Group #1 ( Caitlin Christlieb)
Subject: God vs. Devil : If you believe in one must you believe in the other.

“ The devil! He’s taken to visiting me. He’s been here twice, almost three times. He taunted me with being angry at his being a simple devil and not Satan, with scorched wings, in thunder and lighting. But he is not Satan: that’s a lie. He is an impostor. He is simply a devil–paltry, trivial devil. He goes to the baths. If you undressed him, you’d be sure to find he had a tail, long and smooth like a Great Dane’s a yard long, dun color…Alyosha, you are cold.” (Dostoevsky 619)

“ But what happened? Instead of taking men’s freedom from them, Thou didst make it greater than ever! Didst Thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil? Nothing is a greater cause for suffering. And behold, instead of giving a firm foundation for setting the conscience of men at rest forever, Thou didst choose what was utterly beyond the strength of men, acting as though Thou didst come to give Thy life for them! Instead of taking possession of men’s freedom, Thou didst increase it, and burdened the spiritual kingdom of mankind with its sufferings forever.” (Dostoevsky 235)

The evolution of the Brother’s philosophies is an interesting path to follow throughout the novel but it is perhaps more interesting to see that philosophy which has been worked on so arduously fall apart as it does at the end of book twelve for Ivan. Ever since Ivan’s poem, The Grand Inquisitor, it has become clear to the reader that he is the brother who does not believe in God. In fact, Ivan does not believe in God or a/the code of morality which comes hand in hand with this belief. After Ivan’s dreamlike encounters with the devil it becomes clear to him that me must atleast face the possibility of a reality based on morals. It seems through his breakdown that the suffering that plagued man within his poem has now become the very thing that plagues him and his life causing it to fall apart. Most manifestations which occur within our dreams are in fact representations of ourselves. If Ivan is seeing the devil in his sleep it could be argued that he does in fact believe in part on the existence of a God because both he and the devil cannot exist without the other. A belief in one  means a belief in the other and so I think that Ivan is extremely conflicted. This is for him as he spins into darkness and breaks down a crisis of faith for he has been burdened with the intense suffering of free will which has allowed him to manipulate those around him (like smerdyakov) and the consequences of his actions now weighs on his mind causing him to question everything he believes in . It is also interesting that once again Ivan’s philosophy is paired with that of Alyosha’s undying devotion and faith. While it makes sense because they are opposites of the same argument it seems that Alyosha is the brother who thus far has remained truest to himself and his philosophy as he has demonstrated complete faith like the christ figure within the grand inquisitor poem.