Study Help Essay Questions


1. Compare the basic differences in the personalities and philosophies of Alyosha, Ivan, and Dmitri.

2. State briefly Fyodor Karamazov's personality and indicate his relationship with each of his three sons.

3. How does Fyodor's relationship with Smerdyakov differ from his relationship with his legitimate sons?

4. What influence does Ivan have upon Smerdyakov? What is Ivan's relationship to his other brothers?

5. How does Ivan's story of the Grand Inquisitor relate to his general views throughout the novel?

6. How is Ivan's concern for suffering humanity related to his story of freedom and security in the "Grand Inquisitor" section?

7. Compare the philosophical views advanced by Ivan with those maintained by Father Zossima.

8. How is Alyosha an embodiment of Father Zossima's teachings?

9. Write an essay justifying Dmitri as the main character of the novel.

10. How is Dmitri's repentance and desire for suffering and regeneration a reflection of Zossima's teachings?

11. Contrast the roles and personalities of Grushenka and Katerina.

12. How do Alyosha's relations with the young boys function in the total scheme of the novel?