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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Ivan Karamazov Timeline and Summary

  • After Ivan's mother dies, he is sent to live first with a general's widow, then her heir. He studies in Moscow and writes a controversial editorial about ecclesiastical courts.
  • Ivan returns to Skotoprigonyevsk at Dmitri's request to mediate Dmitri's dispute over his inheritance with Fyodor.
  • Ivan shows up at the meeting in the elder Zosima's cell. After explaining his argument about the ecclesiastical courts, he ends up at the dinner at the Father Superior's, only to follow Fyodor back to their home after Fyodor causes a scene there.
  • Back at Fyodor's, Ivan has dinner with his father. He witnesses Dmitri's attack on him.
  • The next day Ivan meets Katerina at Madame Khokhlakov's, where they have an argument. Ivan then announces that he's leaving for Moscow.
  • Later Ivan meets Alyosha at the tavern, where they have a long conversation. Ivan shares his poem, "The Grand Inquisitor," with his brother.
  • After their meal Ivan returns to Fyodor's. Outside, he sees Smerdyakov, who insinuates that Fyodor will be murdered if Ivan leaves town. That night Ivan feels compelled to check up on his father.
  • Early the next morning, Ivan leaves for Moscow, but then agrees, on Fyodor's request, to take care of some business for him in Chermashnya. But on the way to the train station, Ivan changes his mind and continues on to Moscow.
  • Four days after his father's murder, Ivan receives the news. He returns to Skotoprigonyevsk, meets with Dmitri, then meets with Smerdyakov at the hospital.
  • After a frank conversation about their father's death with Alyosha, Ivan speaks with Smerdyakov, who is now being cared for by his girlfriend. Convinced by Smerdyakov that he is guilty of his father's murder, Ivan heads to Katerina, who produces a letter from Dmitri in which he basically states his intention to kill Fyodor.
  • Ten days before the trial, Ivan offers Dmitri 30,000 roubles to help him escape from prison.
  • The day before the trial, Ivan decides to visit Smerdyakov for the third and final time. Shocked by Smerdyakov's confession to their father's murder, Ivan decides to postpone his visit to the police station until the next day.
  • Ivan returns to his lodgings, where he hallucinates an encounter with the devil.
  • Later that night Ivan's hallucination is interrupted by Alyosha, who announces that Smerdyakov has committed suicide. Ivan becomes deliriously ill.
  • At Dmitri's trial Ivan reveals Smerdyakov's confession, but no one believes him because he is obviously ill.
  • Five days after the trial, Ivan is still ill, but he is cared for by Katerina.