SustainIt Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov
The Brothers Karamazov is almost unquestionably Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece.
Set in 19th century Russia, this book is a philosophical novel that represents the author`s meditation on morality, faith, spirituality and free will.
Developed around the life of the three Karamazov Brothers, this story analyses the never ending conflict between guilt and salvation, a recurrent theme in Dostoyevsky`s bibliography, and explores the complexity of human beings, constantly shifted between their evil and their good sides.
The main characters of the novel are Fyodor Karamazov and his three sons: Dimitri, Ivan and Alexei.
Their complex and tormented relationship is at the heart of Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece, and allows him to point out and stress his beliefs and concepts of innocence and corruption.
Dimitri is the most turbulent and unpredictable of the three brothers, a masher and an alcoholic.
His relationship with his father is the most difficult one, as it includes a fight over the same woman.
Ivan is the rationalist, the smart one of the family. His incisive and controversial vision of God, religion and spirituality, leads him to one of the most interesting dialogues about God and faith ever written in all literature.
Alexei is the youngest of the Karamazov brother, the “pure” and innocent, the hero of the story.
His positive, sensitive and considered attitude toward life and other people places him on a different level from his father and brothers, making him the confident and needed listener of the novel.
His faith in humanity and God is diametrically opposed to Ivan`s atheism, whom he engages the conversation about religiousness and spirituality with.
The author creates and distorts characters and situations with extraordinary ability, describing his heroes going through alcoholism, unpredictable women, illnesses and tragedies, losing themselves and engaging fights against their beloved and against faith, in a desperate and never ending search towards truth and salvation.
Going through this troubled and intricate plot, the reader won`t only enjoy one of the most interesting and magnificent books of our history, he will discover an inexhaustible resource to understand life.