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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes

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

Quote #4

Lise was greatly moved by his story. Alyosha managed to paint an image of "Ilyushechka" for her with ardent feeling, and when he finished describing in great detail the scene of the wretched man trampling on the money, Lise clasped her hands [...] (5.1.7)

Alyosha doesn't speak much, but when he does he's able to provide an image of goodness that can move his readers (in this case, Lise) and bring out the best in them. His image is so compelling that Lise feels deep concern for a poor boy she doesn't know.

Quote #5

"[...] Well, then, what are [typical Russian boys] going to argue about, seizing this moment in the tavern? About none other than the universal questions: is there a God, is there immortality? And those who do not believe in God, well, they will talk about socialism and anarchism, about transforming the whole of mankind according to a new order, but it's the same damned thing, the questions are all the same, only from the other end [...]" (5.3.56)

The irony of Ivan's complaint here is that later on we'll meet the young Kolya, who parrots Ivan's ideas but ultimately abandons them when he meets Alyosha.

Quote #6

"[...] I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world [...]" (5.3.64)

This is Ivan's way of putting Dmitri's assertion that man is "too broad" (see Quote #1 above). Ivan insists that he is earthbound, and can't – or refuses to –grasp ideas that transcend the earthly realm, such as religion.

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