The Brother's Karamazov Fyodorhov Analysis

1261 Words6 Pages
The Devil as a Personified Doubt in The Brothers Karamazov
In The Brother’s Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky ambiguously presents the existence of God and the existence of the Devil. Through Ivan Fyodorovich, a rationalist and an adamant skeptic of religion, Dostoevsky wrestles with the idea of an all-loving God, and draws upon the idea that the Grand Inquisitor supports the intentions of the Devil. In this paper, I will discuss the existence of the Devil as a “personal” entity rather than a “real” figure by drawing conclusions from Ivan’s philosophy articulated in “The Grand Inquisitor” and Ivan’s encounter with the Devil incarnated in “The Devil. Ivan Fyodorovich’s Nightmare.” This personal, psychological Devil attacks one’s beliefs and extracts
…show more content…
Ivan Fyodorovich 's Nightmare" as the Devil incarnated confronts and ridicules Ivan for being the primary perpetrator in his father 's murder. As Ivan incessantly rejects Satan 's existence and threatens to kick him, Satan tauntingly responds, " 'If it comes to kicks, that means you must believe in my realism, because one doesn 't kick a ghost '" (Dostoevsky 638). At an unconscious level, the Devil is real. At a conscious level, the Devil is imaginary. Ivan 's lapses from the unconscious to the conscious rises questions to whether the Devil is real or imaginary. If the Devil operates in the subconscious, he is a threat on the psychological level rather than on the spiritual level. There is a psychological confusion, which poses as an initiator of the Devil 's string of mental torments. Although I believe the Devil is doubt personified, I do admit that the Devil is simultaneously a symbol for wickedness and torture. Infiltrating the unconscious plants seeds of doubt that will grow and germinate to the point of mental deterioration, exemplified by Ivan 's "brain fever." This ambiguity in existence creates a sense of confusion in one 's perspectives. Confusion forces the individual to reflect on the flaws of the perspective and ultimately leaves the individual torn between belief and disbelief. Vagueness of existence sets the Devil up to dig deeper into Ivan 's mind to mentally

More about The Brother's Karamazov Fyodorhov Analysis

Open Document