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The Brothers Karamazov
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Past Group Reads > The Brothers Karamazov: Book VI

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Jenn | 413 comments Mod
Please discuss Book 6: The Russian Monk.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 722 comments I feel like I'm being a total wet blanket, but at this point I'm having a very hard time with this book. Tolstoy was wordy and lengthy in his passages about farming, but as much as I enjoy the topic of faith and different ways it is viewed and exercised, the way it has been done in the last couple of sections has been so mind-numbing. I did like the part where Zosima was analyzing (view spoiler). This was a very realistic circumstance that is not out of the question in today's society and the questions of faith and forgiveness are those we continue to ponder. The rest of the section was very monotonous, though.


Phil (Lanark) Okay - 360 pages into this book, I have a sneaking suspicion that the prologue is finally ended and that book VI is the watershed. The narrator has told us that Alyosha is the (future) hero of the book - which, let's face it, is much more than we've been told so far.

My rating of this book is unlikely to recover from such a drawn out, tediously self-indulgent introduction, but I'm hoping that from now on things will improve and we'll actually start to get some action and some plot.

Thoughts on book VI: the murderer who confessed to Zossima reminded me of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (in that his own psychological self-torture from guilt and lies are more torturous than being tried and imprisoned). Zossima is put up as a kind of reverse of the Cardinal in Ivan's poem from book V. Finally, we're now halfway through the number of books (if nowhere near halfway through the number of pages *sigh*) and to spend so long on Zossima at this point, *must* be significant. Although as Russians seem so fond of drawing their tales out unnecessarily, that might not actually be the case.


message 4: by Kiss-koczka (new)

Kiss-koczka (kisskoczka) Finally I am enjoying this book again, I think the story of Zossima is important because like Phil said his theory about the world and religion is the opposite of Ivan`s and he got his point of view from his brother who died, and he also said that he loves Alexei because he feels his brother come back to him, so I think Zossima`s theory more or less show us who Alexei is.


message 5: by Dolores, co-moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dolores (Dizzydee39) | 342 comments Mod
Kiss-koczka wrote: "Finally I am enjoying this book again, I think the story of Zossima is important because like Phil said his theory about the world and religion is the opposite of Ivan`s and he got his point of vi..."

I agree that Zossima's story is important for the insight it gives us into what he believes and how he feels about Alexei, who reminds him of his brother. Just as Ivan's belief's in the last book were also important as an insight as both these people play important roles in shaping Alexei's thoughts and feelings.


message 6: by Chahrazad (new) - added it

Chahrazad | 49 comments It hit me how we are still facing some of the issues in today's world. The section about freedom is something I found interesting.
Zossima's speech was much more interesting than Ivan's; I have to admit that I skipped a page or two :S


Sheila | 16 comments Chahrazad wrote: "It hit me how we are still facing some of the issues in today's world. The section about freedom is something I found interesting.
Zossima's speech was much more interesting than Ivan's; I have to ..."


I was thinking the same thing about still facing these issues today, especially durihg the part where Zosima talks about people isolating themselves and forming themselves into units away from the community when being closer to the community and simplifying their lives would bring more happiness. It always amazes me when I read things like this in books written so long ago - that we knew these things then and yet still not much has changed.


message 8: by Chahrazad (new) - added it

Chahrazad | 49 comments Sheila wrote:I was thinking the same thing about still facing these issues today, especially durihg the part where Zosima talks about people isolating themselves and forming themselves into units away from the community when being closer to the community and simplifying their lives would bring more happiness. It always amazes me when I read things like this in books written so long ago - that we knew these things then and yet still not much has changed. "

That's exactly the part that drew my attention. That knda means that the human race is not changing in nature or character; we're only able to change material things around us!


Sheila | 16 comments Chahrazad wrote: "Sheila wrote:I was thinking the same thing about still facing these issues today, especially durihg the part where Zosima talks about people isolating themselves and forming themselves into units a..."

Sad but true - we might think we're progressing because we have computers and cell phones and cars, but all of that actually ends up isolating us even further (from ourselves and from nature).


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