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The Brothers Karamazov
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John Seymour 5. What are Smerdyakov’s traits as a character? What are his apparent philosophical beliefs? Does he really believe the lessons he claims to have learned from Ivan, or does he merely use Ivan’s philosophy to justify his own murderous desires?


Kristel (kristelh) | 4116 comments Mod
I think his characters is conniving. He puts on a facade of blind subservience but along long he is scheming. He lacks any attachments to others. I think he uses Ivan.


Book Wormy | 1993 comments Mod
I agree with Kristel he is not a pleasant character and he is manipulative, I think he likes to be controversial and to show off his learning and the murder was an opportunity for him financially.


John Seymour I agree with Kristel and BW. I think he resents his illegitimate status and the fact that it relegates him to being a servant for his father. I also think he planned the murder early and manipulated the events leading up to it.

If there is no God, everything is permitted.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4116 comments Mod
John wrote: "I agree with Kristel and BW. I think he resents his illegitimate status and the fact that it relegates him to being a servant for his father. I also think he planned the murder early and manipulate..."

If there is no God, everything is permitted. "I agree"


message 6: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1411 comments I did not really understand his motive in the killing. Did he do it to punish Ivan and implicate him because he was jealous of Ivan's status? He seemed to genuinely admire Ivan's intellect and enjoyed feeling he could hold his own in discussions. If his motive was the money he could have taken it without murdering Fyodor, couldn't he? And why commit suicide? I felt this was a convenient plot device so that Dmitri was left in the most compromising position possible. I don't think we were told enough about his motives.


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