Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Brothers Karamazov: Part 4
I'm done! TBK has been conquered! Yay!! As far as this last part is concerned - why, Dostoevsky, why? How could you build up the speed of the book with such gusto in part 3 and then let the final part just lay flat? I must say I'm disappointed. I was expecting something that would just make that final part POP, but alas, there was no POP, just a poof. Reminds me of that Eliot poem, The Hollow Men, when he wrote, "not with a bang, but with a whimper". That is exactly how TBK ended.
Alright, so we have Ilyusha on his deathbed (his illness has progressed), Koyla (who all the schoolboys look up to and who Ilyusha had a falling out with) and Alyosha (who meets Koyla and influences him to the point that Koyla is beginning to rethink his atheist and socialist beliefs). From here we move on to Ivan and his descent into madness, followed by Dmitri's trial where Katerina's testimony pretty much seals his fate (she introduces a letter that was written by Dmitri and that basically says he would kill his father). The verdict is guilty ( twenty years of hard labor in Siberia). We end with Katerina visiting Dmitri and both of them telling each other they will promise to love each other forever. And we have Alyosha attending Ilyusha's funeral, where he tells the schoolboys in attendance to always keep Ilyusha in their hearts and to love each other - which all the boys promise to do. "Hurrah for Karamazov" the boys chant! The end.
The end indeed. Truthfully, I could not wait to finish this book and was happy to turn the last page. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading about these maddening characters and I thought Doestoevsky's writing was definitely great, but there were just times when I felt he went on and on and on and on. Overall, this was not one of my favorite reads and I'm not sure when I'll be reading more of his work in the future. However, I am really glad that I joined in on Bellezza's read along of this behemoth of a book, because it inspired me to pick up a book by a Russian author that I had been rather intimidated by. Thanks, Bellezza!! And now I'm off to continue reading a frivolous book titled, The Lost Symbol.