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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Book 12, Chapter 7 Summary

A Historical Survey

  • As in Chapter 6, we just have more of the prosecutor's closing statement in this chapter and not much action.
  • The prosecutor rejects the insanity defense. He argues that Dmitri was just deeply resentful of his father, over his inheritance and over their romantic rivalry for Grushenka. (Kirillovich again cites Rakitin to support his depiction of Dmitri's "Karamazovian" passion for Grushenka.)
  • As evidence of premeditation, he brings up the fact that Dmitri had shouted about his plans to kill and rob his father for months.
  • The prosecutor finally turns to the events of the night of the murder, in which he paints a decidedly more sympathetic picture of Madame Khokhlakov's behavior. He points to Dmitri's grabbing the brass pestle as a further indication of premeditation. He then mocks the idea that Dmitri could have peeked in on his father and turned away without robbing and murdering him in the way that he had raved about for months, especially since he knew about those "signals."
  • At this point, the prosecutor turns to the topic of Smerdyakov.

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