The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Nicknamed “Ilyushechka” and “Ilyushka,” Ilyusha is the son of Nikolai Ilyich Snegiryov and Arina Petrovna, and brother to Nina and Varvara. Alexei Fyodorovich meets nine-year-old Ilyusha when six schoolboys, including Smurov, corner him, throw rocks at him, and call him a “scoundrel” for stabbing Kolya Krasotkin with a penknife. Ilyusha is a small, weak boy who wears ragged clothes due to his family’s poverty. When Alexei tries to defend him against the stone throwers, Ilyusha throws rocks at Alexei and then bites the monk’s hand. His stoning of Alexei is revenge for Dmitri Fyodorovich dragging his father out of the tavern by his beard. He is also getting revenge for being teased by other children, who have learned of the incident and call his father a coward. Ilyusha promises to challenge Dmitri to a duel when he grows up. Ilyusha later contracts tuberculosis. He is reunited with Kolya, with whom he had once been friends, when the older boy arrives at his bedside and brings him Zhuchka, Ilyusha’s old dog. Ilyusha dies two days after Dmitri is sentenced.

Ilyusha Quotes in The Brothers Karamazov

The The Brothers Karamazov quotes below are all either spoken by Ilyusha or refer to Ilyusha. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Faith vs. Reason Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of The Brothers Karamazov published in 1990.
Epilogue, Chapter 3 Quotes

“He was a nice boy, a kind and brave boy, he felt honor and his father’s bitter offense made him rise up. And so, first of all, let us remember him, gentlemen, all our lives. And even though we may be involved with the most important affairs, achieve distinction or fall into some great misfortune—all the same, let us never forget how good we once felt here, all together, united by such good and kind feelings […] You must know that there is nothing higher, or stronger, or sounder, or more useful afterwards in life, than some good memory, especially a memory from childhood, from the parental home [….] If a man stores up many such memories to take into life, then he is saved for his whole life.”

Page Number: 774
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ilyusha Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Ilyusha appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 6: Strain in the Cottage
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...is pulled aside, Alexei sees the little boy who bit his finger. His name is Ilyusha. The boy confesses to the assault. Alexei confirms that the boy did it, and the... (full context)
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 7: And in the Fresh Air
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Suffering Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...the square by his beard. Just then, the schoolboys were getting out of school and Ilyusha, his outraged son, was with them. Alexei assures the captain that Dmitri will sincerely repent... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
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Alexei expresses his wish to make peace with Ilyusha but announces that he’s come to the house “with an errand.” Alexei tells Captain Snegiryov... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
...to those who sent him that he won’t sell his honor. He could never tell Ilyusha that he accepted money for his disgrace. The captain then runs off, leaving Alexei to... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 3: A Schoolboy
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...hour. Smurov sees that Kolya has brought Perezvon. He suggests that they lie and tell Ilyusha that it’s Zhuchka—Ilyusha’s dog that ran away, but Kolya says he won’t. Kolya asks how... (full context)
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Smurov says that ten boys from the class go to visit Ilyusha every day. He thinks Ilyusha will be glad to see Kolya. The boys started going... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 4: Zhuchka
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
...making Kolya think, with pleasure, that Alexei is happy to see him. Alexei says that Ilyusha is in poor condition and “will certainly die.” Kolya decides to tell Alexei the story... (full context)
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Kolya says that he and Smurov have been trying to assure Ilyusha that Zhuchka is alive. Kolya then tells Alexei that the dog with him is his... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 5: At Ilyusha’s Bedside
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Suffering Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The room in which Captain Snegiryov’s family lives is crowded with visitors. Ilyusha even sees his former enemies in the room, but not Kolya, which saddens him. He... (full context)
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Suffering Theme Icon
Three days earlier, Ilyusha heard that he would be given a mastiff puppy, which now lies at his side.... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
Ilyusha takes one look at the dog and proclaims that it is Zhuchka. Kolya then exclaims... (full context)
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Arina Petrovna, Ilyusha’s mother, reaches out for it. Captain Snegiryov assures her that Ilyusha will let her play... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 6: Precocity
Morality and Modernization Theme Icon
Kolya asks Alexei what he thinks the doctor will say to Ilyusha. He then says that the doctor has “a disgusting mug” and talks about hating medicine.... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 7: Ilyusha
Morality and Modernization Theme Icon
...on something. Captain Snegiryov runs after him, bowing low. The doctor suggests that he take Ilyusha to Syracuse, due to the more favorable climate there. Kolya remarks that that’s in Sicily,... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
Captain Snegiryov goes back to Ilyusha and begins to cry. Ilyusha comforts him, saying how sorry he feels for his father.... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 2: Dangerous Witnesses
Suffering Theme Icon
...“all tattered” and dirty. When he’s asked about Dmitri’s brutality toward him, he says that Ilyusha has asked him not to speak about it. He then bursts into tears and throws... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 2: For a Moment the Lie Became Truth
Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
...would come. She asks him to drop the subject and says she can’t go to Ilyusha’s funeral, though she sent flowers and promises to assist the family financially in the future. (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 3: Ilyushechka’s Funeral. The Speech at the Stone
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Alexei is late for the funeral. Ilyusha died two days after Dmitri was sentenced. The pallbearers carry the coffin to the church... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
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Alexei goes into the room with the blue coffin. He looks at Ilyusha’s face, which is emaciated and serious. Nina Nikolaevna has been picked up in her chair... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
...but the boys remind him that it’s in his pocket. The captain tells Alexei that Ilyusha wanted him to crumble bread on his coffin for the birds to eat. Alexei praises... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
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...the boys are crying. The captain goes home to Arina Petrovna and tells her that Ilyusha has sent her flowers. The mad woman demands to know where the captain took Ilyusha,... (full context)
Faith vs. Reason Theme Icon
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Morality and Modernization Theme Icon
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Kolya admits that he’s very sad and would give anything to resurrect Ilyusha. They and the other boys walk along the path and run into the stone his... (full context)