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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Guilt and Blame Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation.

Quote #4

What this beating on the chest, on that spot, meant, and what he intended to signify by it – so far was a secret that no one else in the world knew, which he had not revealed then even to Alyosha, but for him that secret concealed more than shame, it concealed ruin and suicide, for so he had determined if he were unable to obtain the 3,000 to pay back Katerina Ivanovna and thereby lift from his chest, "from that place on his chest," the shame he carried there, which weighed so heavily on his conscience. (8.3.67)

Dmitri's shame at stealing Katerina's money to entertain another woman is spontaneous and sincere. It suggests that he's not all bad, despite his violent tendencies.

Quote #5

"It's me, me, the cursed one, I am guilty!" she cried in a heartrending howl. (9.3.4)

Grushenka is driven by her love for Dmitri to feel shame for the way she prodded and goaded him into a jealous rage. It's only when she feels love that she is capable of feeling remorse.

Quote #6

And he also feels a tenderness such as he has never known before urging up in his heart, he wants to weep, he wants to do something for them all, so that the wee one will no longer cry. [...] And his whole heart blazed up and turned toward some sort of light, and he wanted to live and live. (9.8.45)

After being arrested for a crime he didn't commit, Dmitri has a vision that opens him up to love for all mankind, even these fictional peasants in his dream. This vision of love emerges from the seeds of shame we saw in Quote #4 above.

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