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The Brothers Karamazov
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Archives > 8. Personality and Philosophy

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John Seymour 8. Compare the basic differences in the personalities and philosophies of Alyosha, Ivan, and Dmitri.

Kristel (kristelh) | 4109 comments Mod
Alyosha believed in God and was a man of faith

Ivan was cynical, a professed atheist, and probably the smartest of the brothers. He doubted, he rejects God and preaches freedom to do anything. Ivan is a man of thoughts.

Dimitri is a man ruled by his emotions and is impulsive but accepts God and immorality. Dimitri is a man of action.

Smerdyakov doesn't believe he is his brother's keeper, he really is out to take care of himself. This is a man who practices deceit. He is angry.

The father is a hedonist, self centered, he was not a father.

Book Wormy | 1989 comments Mod
Again Kristel has nailed it :)

John Seymour I also agree with Kristel, though I wouldn't necessarily agree that Ivan is the smartest. Most educated, yes. What is interesting is that Ivan touts the freedom to do what you will, but is horrified at the thought that his brother has killed their father. Perhaps he hasn't quite worked out all the kinks of his atheism.

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