Dostoevsky's characters in The Brothers Karamazov are put through the wringer. They are tormented by romantic disappointment and financial misfortune, by anxiety and jealousy and pride, by physical and psychological pain, by the malice of other characters and even the devil himself. As if that weren't enough, Dostoevsky details the suffering of children, including harrowing tales of child abuse. However, suffering in Dostoevsky's novel is a way for characters to seek moral redemption and strengthen their religious faith. Through their own and others' suffering, characters' faith in a just and omnipotent God is terribly shaken. But it is also through the experience of suffering that characters are able to break free of their own selfish desires. They can finally empathize and commune with others who suffer like themselves. Dostoevsky stresses the quasi-religious aspect of this suffering by using the language of resurrection and rebirth.
In Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, the most acute suffering is caused by pride or selfishness.
Ivan's challenge to Christianity is undercut by his own inability to step outside his own intellectual arrogance and genuinely care for others.