Character Analysis Grushenka


By the end of Dostoevsky's long novel, Grushenka comes to represent the Slavophillic Russian Woman. She is Dmitri's female counterpart, the personification of the ideal Russian, whose typical beauty does not immediately attract attention.

When she is first introduced, she is capricious and willful, but she has suffered a desertion by her former lover and has finally made herself financially independent so that she can be a "free-spirit."

Grushenka's change of character begins with her captivating both father and son in the Karamazov family. As a coquette and a tease, she dangles both men and causes them to become bitterly jealous of each other. When she realizes the consequence of her irresponsible nature, however, she assumes her share in the guilt surrounding Fyodor's murder. Perhaps one of her greatest values lies in her faithfulness. As she had previously been true to her first lover, she vows to remain forever constant and faithful to Dmitri when she finally realizes her love for him. Furthermore, she accepts her involvement with the murder and willingly seeks to share the guilt with Dmitri. All these factors help redeem her in spite of her capricious past.