Lieutenant Dmitri “Mitya” Fyodorovich Karamazov Quotes in The Brothers Karamazov
“‘To insects—sensuality!’ I am that very insect, brother, and those words are precisely about me. And all of us Karamazovs are like that, and in you, angel, the same insect lives and stirs up storms in your blood. Storms, because sensuality is a storm, more than a storm! […] Too many riddles oppress man on earth. Solve them if you can without getting your feet wet.”
“‘The thing is that I am precisely in my right mind...my vile mind, the same as you, and all these m-mugs!’ he suddenly turned to the public. ‘A murdered father, and they pretend to be frightened,’ he growled with fierce contempt. ‘They pull faces to each other. Liars! Everyone wants his father dead. Viper devours viper…If there were no parricide, they’d all get angry and go home in a foul temper…Circuses! ‘Bread and circuses!’ […] Calm yourselves, I’m not mad, I’m simply a murderer! […] I have no witnesses. That dog Smerdyakov won’t send you evidence from the other world…in an envelope. You keep asking for envelopes, as if one wasn’t enough. I have no witnesses…except one, perhaps [….] He’s got a tail, Your Honor, you’d find him inadmissible! Le diable n’existe point!”
“Gentlemen of the jury,” the prosecutor began, “the present case has resounded throughout Russia. But what, one might think, is so surprising, what is so especially horrifying about it? For us, for us especially? We’re so used to all that! And here is the real horror, that such dark affairs have almost ceased to horrify us! It is this, and not the isolated crime of one individual or another, that should horrify us: that we are so used to it. Where lie the reasons for our indifference, our lukewarm attitude towards such affairs, such signs of the times, which prophesy for us an unenviable future? In our cynicism, in an early exhaustion of mind and imagination in our society, so young and yet so prematurely decrepit? In our moral principles, shattered to their foundations, or, finally, in the fact that we, perhaps, are not even possessed of such moral principles at all?”
“For now we are either horrified or pretend that we are horrified, while, on the contrary, relishing the spectacle, like lovers of strong, eccentric sensations that stir our cynical and lazy idleness, or, finally, like little children waving the frightening ghosts away, and hiding our heads under the pillow until the frightening vision is gone, so as to forget it immediately afterwards in games and merriment. But should not we, too, some day begin to live soberly and thoughtfully; should not we, too, take a look at ourselves as a society; should not we, too, understand at least something of our social duty, or at least begin to understand? A great writer of the previous epoch, in the finale of the greatest of his works, personifying all of Russia as a bold Russian troika galloping towards an unknown goal, exclaims: ‘Ah, troika, bird-troika, who invented you!—and in proud rapture adds that all nations respectfully stand aside for this troika galloping by at breakneck speed.”
“I visited Smerdyakov [….] His health was weak […] but his character, his heart—oh, no, he was not at all such a weak man as the prosecution has made him out to be. I especially did not find any timidity in him [….] As for guilelessness, there was nothing of the sort […] I found a terrible mistrustfulness in him, behind a mask of naivety, and a mind capable of contemplating quite a lot.”
“This is what I’ve thought up and decided: if I do run away [...] and even to America, I still take heart from the thought that I will not be running to any joy or happiness, but truly to another penal servitude, maybe no better than this one! […] This America, devil take it, I hate it already! So Grusha will be with me, but look at her: is she an American woman? She’s Russian, every little bone of her is Russian, she’ll pine for her native land, and I’ll see all the time that she’s pining away for my sake […] And I, will I be able to stand the local rabble […] I hate this America even now! And maybe every last one of them is some sort of boundless machinist or whatever—but, devil take them, they’re not my people, not of my soul! I love Russia, Alexei, I love the Russian God, though I myself am a scoundrel!”
“Love is gone, Mitya!” Katya began again, “but what is gone is painfully dear to me. Know that, for all eternity. But now, for one minute, let it be as it might have been,” she prattled with a twisted smile, again looking joyfully into his eyes. “You now love another, I love another, but still I shall love you eternally, and you me, did you know that? Love me, do you hear, love me all your life!” she exclaimed with some sort of almost threatening tremor in her voice.
Thus they prattled to each other, and their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying. “Katya,” Mitya suddenly exclaimed, “do you believe I killed him? I know you don’t believe it now, but then…when you were testifying…Did you, did you really believe it!” “I did not believe it then either! I never believed it! I hated you, and suddenly persuaded myself, for that moment…While I was testifying…I persuaded myself and believed it…and as soon as I finished testifying, I stopped believing it again. You must know all that. I forgot that I came here to punish myself!” she said with some suddenly quite new expression, quite like her prattling of love just a moment before.
“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.”