The Influence Of Suffering In Dostoevsky

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Register to read the introduction… Dostoevsky writes, “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth” (224). He is trying to make a statement that one cannot live life without suffering, and all those that avoid it are weak and ultimately not fit for true living.
Dostoevsky’s perspective on suicide is apparent as he writes about the two similar suicides in the novel, one of a lady who “flung herself into the canal” (144), but was unsuccessful in her attempt, and then Svidrigylov’s suicide, which was successful.
Also depicting how some sufferings are worse than others, Dostoevsky makes it clear that although one may be suffering, there is always a worse alternative, and the longer one withstands the suffering, the better the redemption. The suffering of guilt is less than the suffering of death, the suffering of prostitution is less than the suffering of starvation, and the suffering of confessing is less than the suffering of not
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He is described as “the most shallow and worthless scoundrel on he face of the earth” (398). After realizing that, Dunya, the girl he loves, will never love him no matter what or how hard he tries, there is a shift in his demeanor, “an instant of terrible, silent struggle” (420). It is at this point when Svidrigylov feels the suffering at its worst, and he decides that he cannot even fathom what is to come. As Dostoevsky describes Svidrigylov’s final hours of suffering and torment, there is a noticeable change in the way everything is being described. The diction is different from what was being used early in the novel, and suddenly it seems as though Svidrigylov’s environment and thoughts have become more or less exactly the same as Raskolnikov’s. Sitting in solitude as he comes to the decision to commit suicide, Svidrigylov becomes extremely paranoid in his “cramped and stuffy room” (425); he notices “a mouse [scratching] somewhere in a corner” (427), and a “strange incessant whispering” (426). This change in Svidrigylov’s portrayal is Dostoevsky’s way of clearly depicting just how intense and unbearable a man’s suffering can become, and the decision to bear it all and hope for redemption in the end is one only a great man can

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