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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Isolation Quotes

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

Quote #1

"Here is a willow, there is a handkerchief, a shirt, I can make a rope right now, plus suspenders, and – no longer burden the earth, or dishonor it with my vile presence! And then I heard you coming – Lord, just as if something suddenly flew down on me: ah, so there is a man that I love" (3.11.8)

Dmitri does not commit suicide because at the sight of his brother Alyosha he no longer feels alone.

Quote #2

Why had the elder sent him "into the world"? Here was quiet, here was holiness, and there – confusion, and a darkness in which one immediately got lost and went astray. (3.11.25)

Alyosha doesn't seem to understand Zosima's point about a monk's solitude (see Quote #5 below). Monks, according to Zosima, aren't supposed to use their isolation in a monastery as a way to escape earthly troubles; they're supposed to use it to think about and pray for the suffering of the world at large. In contrast, Alyosha wants to use the monastery as an escape from his zany family.

Quote #3

"[...] if, indeed, I hold out for the sticky little leaves, I shall love them only remembering you." (5.5.26)

Just as Alyosha's brotherly love rescues Dmitri from suicide in Quote #1, it also holds out a glimmer of hope for cynical Ivan.

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