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Portrayal of Man in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Portrayal of Man in The Brothers Karamazov

Debauchery, dueling, infidelity, orgies, and even monastery life are all used to help Fyodor Dostoevesky define his characters in The Brothers Karamazov. At the beginning of the novel, the reader becomes filled with contempt for a few members of the Karamazov family, yet filled with admiration for others. The legitimate members of the Karamasov family each represent a separate aspect of human character, which is applicable to society. In some ways the characters resemble separate factions and cliques of society that most often argue, but together can be productive. This is shown not by direct implication, but rather the reader discovers the fact on their own by becoming infuriated at the stupidity of the Karamazov men. This anger leads to the realization that in many ways, they themselves are in some ways similar to them.

Fyodor Pavlovich Karamasov is the patriarch of the family. A shrewd businessman, Fyodor is very self-centered and cares more for himself than anyone else. He is a brilliant man for making deals and increasing his wealth, but manages to be oblivious of manners and societal rules. A tendency to act is an enormous fault in him, and he leaves an impression of having no deeply personal feelings, only overzealous acting to fit his “role” at any given time. When Fyodor’s first wife dies Dostoevesky explains, “What seemed to gratify and flatter him most was to play the ridiculous part of the injured husband and to parade his woes with embellishments”(4). Because he has little, if any personal feelings, this enables him be indifferent towards others’ emotions. Happiness is the only cause worth pursuing to Fyodor, and he will cross anyone to achieve it. Wh…

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…e in their own ways. When searching for separate goals, and conflicting with each other, they can accomplish very little. The more inner-conflict within the family, the more problems they seem to find themselves in. These men, representing different aspects of society and humankind, have problems that they cannot solve on their own. If the Karamazov’s were to work together towards a common goal, much could become accomplished, just as society could solve many conflicts through teamwork and cooperation. The characters in the novel The Brothers Karamazov show the reader that most societal conflicts are unnecessary and could easily be remedied through understanding and patience.


Dostoevesky, Fyodor Mikhailovich. The Brothers Karamazov. The Constance Garnett Translation revised by Ralph E. Matlaw. New York: W. W. Norton

Theme of Success in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Theme of Success in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

One of the important themes in Death of a Salesman is the nature of success. Many people believe that success is about making a lot of money. They say that with money comes happiness. However this may not always be true. In other words success is defined as the accomplishment of something that was desired. Furthermore it is about being happy, proud and secure about yourself. Although true success originates from the heart, achieving it requires hard work and determination. In Death of a Salesman, the characters that are successful are Dave Singleman, Ben and Bernard.

Dave Singleman was a successful individual. He was an eighty-four year old salesman in the Parker House. In order to make a sale all he had to do was “pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, he made his living…” (Death of a Salesman, p81.) This quote describes his success as a salesman. At the age of eighty four he was able to make an adequate amount of sales. Although he did not get rich from the sales that he made, he enjoyed what he was doing. As a result of his success life, he died honorably. “He died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers…” (DOS, p81.) This example shows that he was successful right until the end. After living the life of a successful salesman he died the death of a salesman. When he died he was still wearing his green velvet slippers, which in a way symbolizes that his success is still with him. Another example that shows Dave had a successful life was at his funeral. “When he died, hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his fune The second successful character is Willy’s older brother, Ben. This man became successful by taking a risk. He “walked into the jungle, and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he’s rich.” (DOS, p41.) When Ben went to Africa, he found diamonds in the mines and as a result he became rich. This incident has made Ben’s life successful and ever since, Willy has been regretful. If Willy was to take the risk, he too would be successful. Not only is Willy envious but he also idolizes Ben because of his success. Willy often asks Ben, “what’s the secret?” (DOS, p91.) This quote proves that Willy is aware of Ben’s success.

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