Ivan Fyodorovich Karamazov A Diabolical Hero Essay

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Ivan Fyodorovich Karamazov A Diabolical Hero Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky is considered by many to be the pinnacle in a great line of Russian authors who wrote in the 19th century. Gogol, Tolstoy, Lermontov, Pushkin, Chekhov: these writers, like many greats the world round, concerned themselves not only with their art, but with its affect on their society; Gogol, for example, is said to have gone insane while working on his masterpiece, Dead Souls, obsessing himself with the idea that he could bring about the resurrection of his country through his tale. Eventually becoming disillusioned with the task he had set himself, Gogol burnt much of the manuscript and renounced all his worldly possessions, going on to lead an ascetic …show more content…
After all, humankind has a long history of trying to excise or annihilate elements that they see as destructive to the whole (in our own recent history think of the Communist witch-hunt or the obsession with rooting out child abusers and racists) and what could be more destructive than Ivan's assertion, here restated by his brother Dmitry, "'Evil-doing must not only be lawful, but even recognized as the most necessary and most intelligent way out of the situation in which every atheist finds himself!'" (76) Well, the reasons for this sympathy are several and complex at that, but first and foremost it is because of the great detail in which his character is presented.
True, there are other characters who act upon the idea that 'all things are lawful' and, doing so, bring guilt and suffering upon themselves: Ratikin, who is embarrassed to receive 25 roubles for 'delivering' Alyosha to Grushenka (406), merdyakov, who kills himself when he realizes that Ivan didn't intend for him to kill their father, and even the elder Karamazov himself, who rationalizes away his shame by playing the fool and then taking a stand of righteous indignance when he is insulted (as is demonstrated in the scene at the monastery, on 78 to 81). However, we do not see the torments of these other characters as clearly presented as Ivan's and, furthermore, none of them seems to conceive of their torment as deeply and fully as Ivan does.

Right from the first Ivan we see Ivan as

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