The Brothers Karamazov. Who is the true hero?
I will not make the easy joke saying the true hero is the one who can finish a 1.104 pages book.
I, like I guess some others, started with Dostoyevsky thanks to one of the most beautiful accidents of my life. I found in my house a lost book called Crime and Punishment, it sounded to me from one film (I think from Woody Allen’s film Match Point). I started to read that book and I had one of the most enjoyable and life-changing experiences of my life. Just the day after I finished the book, I decided to spend my money in one of the best honorable ways I know, and I bought, maybe, the most famous book of the Russian master. To be honest, it took me more time than I expected to finish it, but it was been worth it.
For the ones who don’t know it, the book is about a disgraceful family in which they live together: the father ( if he was the right to be called as it), and the three brothers, each one totally different from the others, but all karamazovians. In this family, the father is murdered and one of the brothers is accused.Dostoevsky is not one of the authors who chew the novel in order to make it readable and understandable. Not one of those ones who prefers a close final where everything becomes clear and they show you, step by step, what logically happened. That would be too easy, and perhaps boring for the avid reader.
My first post in english in that blog is dedicated to Alexei Fiódorovich Karamázov, which perhaps is the true hero of the novel, as the author warns us in the preface.
From almost the first word of the book, Dostoevsky says; “although I call him a hero, I know that this is a person without any grandeur.”
Well, analyzing with a little bit more love the sentence, we may think we have been taught in our recent days that a hero is the one who has super powers or do special things. I personally see the heroism in everyday things. Aliosha is caring, honest, sincere and empathetic person. Of these features arise his heroism.
Aliosha despite having no superpowers, has the greatest force of all, the goodness that redice in his big heart. He is a nice, honest and selfless person who helps those who need it. Maybe, but just maybe, he helps them in a pure selfish act, since helping others makes you feel good, and then your welfare rises. Then, oneself has to think if you really wanted to help the other person or you were just willing to help yourself to feel better (just in case that the person who I am thinking right know reads that, maybe it is true that not everybody is good in nature, and that even the most selfless acts can hide our true evil nature, even when reciprocity takes place).
The goodness that Alexei has when he do things, should convince us that he is a remarkable person. Such kindness brings the optimism needed to don’t make the novel as tragic as it may seem. Dostoevsky tries to convince us, especially at the end of the novel, that Aliosha conveys a message of optimism (keep the good memories, so when you remember that once you were kind and happy, from now on, even if in 20 years you are in your worst days, remembering those moments you will think that if you were happy one day, you can be also happy now).
I must also say Ivan seems to me a very interesting character ( the ones who know shared long conversations with me, and have also read the book will understand this in the true sense). I think it is in these people, of the educated and intelligent, of which the world has to be guided. (if we can trust in that people is another matter)
I would like to point out and comment three of his phrases that appear in the novel:
“So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.”
I truly believe that if each one stays longer with this sentence, we will see how right and philosophy carries this sentence within it. in the true sense worship is to give our freedom to someone (we can adore gods as well as other things like sugar), but well, perhaps freedom is overrated for most humans. Jim Morrision, the leader of The Doors, said in an interview that until all chains are not broken, man can not be free, but that despite this, everyone likes to have those chains, and that we spend a lifespan trying to multiply them and make them stronger.
“[…]Man invented God. But that is not strange nor it is marvelous that God really exists, the strange things is, that such an idea has arisen in the brain of a fierce and evil man, since it is such a sacred idea, so touching, so both wise and that deeply honor the man”.
Maybe, the man is the most karamazovian being that exists. The man, a dual being, able to touch extremes in order to connect one with the other, and that must make us think if maybe, from the chaos the order comes.
“I think the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.”
Maybe when Ivan said this quote, he just was confirming that the humans being are the more karamazovian’s beings.
(the same non fiction person who I was referring before should understand know that the Russian author has the same vision of humankind like her)
The chapter the” the “Rebellion” it is one of the most interesting ones. To be honest, I am afraid that my explanation will be too short, and then I wouldn’t be able to explain what I want to say, but I will try to summarize it, which the aim that each one can think about it.
I am assuming that each of one of the adult people, each one of us has eaten already the apple. Each of us is a despreciable human being. We don’t deserve any sympathy. However, let’s think about a little child. That child has not eaten the apple. She is naive and we should protect its naive. Why do we should believe in a God that allows the tears of that naive child? If in order to get a new conscience state (harmony) we should forgive those who has made those ones who haven’t eaten the apple cry, do we really want to live in such place, harmony? (maybe this place is heaven). I say no! I don’t accept that and I don’t want to live there. And of course, if the ones who have make cry the naive are in the hell, tell me please where the harmony is.
To finish my first post in english (and sorry for my grammar mistakes), just remember that people so different as Sigmund Freud or Benedict XVI have acclaimed this novel as one of the most biggest ones ever written, and in my opinion, the biggest one I have ever read…but well, just to finish, that maybe the true hero is the one who read all this post. If so, I promise you a beer while we can discuss thinks like this.