Study Guide

The Brothers Karamazov Book 12, Chapter 13

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

Book 12, Chapter 13

An Adulterer of Thought

  • Now Fetyukovich entertains the idea that Dmitri might have killed Fyodor. Even if he had, according to Fetyukovich, it wouldn't even count as parricide because of what a miserable father Fyodor was. Not only did Fyodor's awful parenting result in the mess that Dmitri is today, but Fyodor so completely abandoned his obligations as a father that he doesn't deserve to be called a father at all.
  • Fetyukovich then digresses into a general discussion of how the future of society depends on good fathers. Citing the Gospel, he asks the jury to have mercy on Dmitri and declare him innocent. By this show of mercy, they will be giving Dmitri a chance at redemption and at living a good life, a chance his father never gave him.
  • Fetyukovich is frequently interrupted by applause. He ends his speech not with a runaway troika, as Kirillovich did, but with the image of a magnificent Russian chariot.

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