Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Notes and Thoughts on The Brothers Karamazov

Dostoevsky and The Brothers Karamazov, Part 1

Russian Author Fyodor Dostoevsky
It's May, the end of school is nearing all too fast, and I have assigned my students a journey into the literary and theological labyrinth of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.  This is a book for high schoolers.  It is not for them in the sense of being easy, being a "page turner," or identifying with high schoolish fads and foibles.  It is a high schooler's book because it is about the battle in the human heart.  As the character Dmitri says, "Here is the devil struggling with God, and the battlefield is the human heart."  The devil and all his recruiting agents are all camped outside the heart and mind of us, constantly seeking to lure us into hellish wiles.  Students may not understand all of Dostoevsky, may not be able to follow all the dialog and discussions, may not grasp every issue, may not perceive the theological subtleties of the book, but they understand something of the battle for the human heart.  That is why this book is so important for them.
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