The Miracle of Belief in Dostoevsky's Братья Карамазовы
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov grapples with the role miracles play in the progression of personal belief. The proclaimed hero, Alyosha, a novice monk and man, experiences a testing of his faith once outside the monastic walls. Alyosha’s youthful faith, grounded in and conditional upon his very nature, is tested through Ivan’s polemic of the Grand Inquisitor, the death of the elder Zosima coupled with the corruption of his body, as well as the character of Grushenka. Throughout the novel, Alyosha acquires a more strengthened belief system, one not contingent upon personal disposition but resting upon a universal connection to humanity. Miracles which stem from this teeming humanity are shown to be the most affirmative of God’s will, while those resulting from a realist’s necessary faith are both dangerous and misleading. Alyosha’s heroism is thus established by this process of change and growth.
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Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2008