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Collective Responsibilty for Guiltthe collective responsibility of guilt is a major...
Topic: The Brothers KaramazovCollective Responsibilty for Guilt
the collective responsibility of guilt is a major theme in the novel. I think Dostoevsky proposes the notion that Fyodor Karamazov's murder was an act that so many characters were to be blamed for and not just Smerdyakov.
How do you think this theme is really conveyed and preached in the novel?
2 Answers | add yours
High School Teacher
I think that you are right, to a certain extent. Clearly, although there was only one murderer in the story, the other characters, especially the second son, is forced to realises his own part in the death of his father. This novel paints a complex moral scenario where guilt is something that is shared and not owned by one person alone.
Posted by accessteacher on September 13, 2011 at 8:26 PM (Answer #2)
High School Teacher
This novel presents some amount of suggestion that circumstances control us and not the other way around.
We can describe this notion in the broadest terms as a Nurture over Nature novelistic scenario.
Though there is quite a bit of exploration into personality differences (as the novel looks at the ways Ivan and Alyosha differ from one another and from Dmitri despite the fact that they each share the same basic background story), we also see a large degree of weight placed upon the notion that people cannot escape themselves.
They are who they are. And they become who they are as a result of the circumstances of their birth.
This idea seems to play into the notion that Smerdyakov cannot be held solely responsible for his crime because he cannot be held responsible for the circumstances of his birth, his life, and his character.
The world has made him.
Posted by e-martin on February 9, 2012 at 7:58 AM (Answer #3)
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