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jfos's avatar

[SPOILER ALERT!] If you read The Brothers Karamazov, do you think Dmitri killed his father?

Asked by jfos (7380points) March 19th, 2010
10 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

In The Brothers Karamazov, Dmitri pleads not guilty to killing his father or taking his money. If you recall the scene where he was standing outside of his father’s(Fyodor’s) window, there is a gap in action. He is looking in the window, thinking about how much he hates his father, with his brass pestle in hand, wondering if his love (Grushenka) is inside. The next action is him running from the window, as he finally decided not to do it by some “blessing”.

As Dmitri tries to hop over the fence, the servant Grigory, who cared for Dmitri as a child, grabs his leg. Dmitri his Grigory in the head with the pestle rendering him unconscious (Dmitri thought he had killed him).

Later on, the servant and potential illegitimate child of Fyodor, Smerdyakov, admits to Ivan that he killed Fyodor after Dmitri had fled.

Without expanding my question anymore, I’ll stop here.

Do you think Dmitri was innocent, and that Smerdyakov was the actual murderer of Fyodor? OR Do you think that Dmitri blacked out and killed his father, and that Smerdyakov lied about it to Ivan in order to make Ivan feel guilty and partially responsible?

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jfos's avatar

Great book, by the way…

Bluefreedom's avatar

@jfos. I’m really hoping so. I just put this book on my Amazon Kindle along with Crime and Punishment and House of the Dead. I’d heard these were both good books by Dostoievsky also.

bob_'s avatar

Dude. Spoilers.

Snarp's avatar

It never occurred to me. I read it for fun and it’s been a while, so I’m no authority, but no, I don’t think so.

jfos's avatar

@Bluefreedom Are you saying that you’ve read it, or that you plan to?

holden's avatar

I never thought it was in Dmitri’s character to kill out of hatred. Dmitri is reckless, violent and irrational but not a murderer. Smerdyakov, on the other hand, has lots of reasons to kill Fyodor. He is his illegitimate son, forced to work as a servant; he hates and resents his half-brothers; he would never be suspected of being capable of murder (remember he went into an epileptic seizure the night of the murder?) and he derives pleasure from causing others pain. It was definitely Smerdyakov.

Plus towards the end of the book he describes in detail how he did it

jfos's avatar

@holden I agree, but I don’t think it would be beyond his ability to lie about it to Ivan with the sole intention of driving Ivan crazy with guilt.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@jfos. I haven’t read any of them yet but I’m eagerly looking forward to it.

jfos's avatar

@Bluefreedom I suggest The Possessed / Devils / Demons (Depending on the translation, the title is different… all the same book though) by Dostoevsky.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@jfos. I’ll look into those also and thanks for the suggestions. =)

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