The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Alexei Fyodorovich’s supposed friend who soon exhibits his envy of Alexei’s Christian faith. The two eventually discontinue their friendship after he plots with Grushenka to corrupt Alexei in exchange for her bribe of twenty-five roubles. Rakitin is a seminarian at the monastery and a socialist writer whose political ideas and cynicism influence Kolya Krasotkin. He dislikes the Karamazovs and characterizes the brothers as “sensualists, money-grubbers, and holy fools.” He is offended by Ivan Fyodorovich’s simultaneous avowal of atheism and his belief that the immortality of the soul is necessary for virtue. Though he is a man of “considerable abilities,” his conceit compels him to exaggerate them, and he has “a restless and covetous heart.” Rakitin is egotistical, envious, and, though very sensitive to his own feelings, his “youthful inexperience” and egotism disconnect him from others’ feelings. During her testimony at Dmitri Fyodorovich’s trial, Grushenka reveals that she is Rakitin’s cousin—out of shame, he had always begged her not to tell anyone. The revelation diminishes the public’s faith in Rakitin’s earlier testimony, which pleases Dmitri’s defense attorney, Fetyukovich.
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Mikhail Osipovich “Misha” Rakitin Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Mikhail Osipovich “Misha” Rakitin appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Book 2, Chapter 7: A Seminarist-Careerist
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...He hurries through the woods that separate the hermitage from the monastery and there notices Rakitin. Rakitin asserts that the elder smells a crime that stinks in Alexei’s family. Rakitin gets... (full context)
Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
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Rakitin thinks that, eventually, the Karamazovs will bring each other to ruin. He says that Dmitri... (full context)
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Rakitin surmises that Alexei, a virgin, is both a sensualist like his father and a “holy... (full context)
Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
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Alexei finds it hard to believe that Rakitin would have been at Katerina’s while Ivan was talking about him. Rakitin confirms that he... (full context)
Part 1: Book 2, Chapter 8: Scandal
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Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
Rakitin, deemed too “insignificant,” isn’t invited to dinner, but Father Iosif and Father Paissy are. They... (full context)
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 1: Father Ferapont
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Alexei leaves the cell after a fellow monk tells him that Rakitin is looking for him. He has come from town with a letter from Madame Khokhlakov.... (full context)
Part 3: Book 7, Chapter 1: The Odor of Corruption
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Mikhail Rakitin is present, after having been sent “on a special errand from Madame Khokhlakov.” After learning... (full context)
Part 3: Book 7, Chapter 2: An Opportune Moment
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It’s already quite dark when Rakitin passes through a pine grove and notices Alexei “lying face down on the ground under... (full context)
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Alexei gives Rakitin a long look, but it’s not a look of anger. He then says that he’s... (full context)
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Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
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Rakitin asks Alexei if he knows that Ivan has left for Moscow, and Alexei says he... (full context)
Part 3: Book 7, Chapter 3: An Onion
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...woman who serves as her maid (Fenya). She lives frugally in her three-room cottage. When Rakitin and Alexei arrive, it’s dusk. The maid answers the door and tells her mistress, “It’s... (full context)
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...weren’t around. She says that, when it comes, she’ll “jump up and fly away” and Rakitin won’t see her ever again. She then goes “friskily” over to Alexei and sits next... (full context)
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Grushenka asks why Alexei looks so sad. Rakitin tells her that “his elder got smelly.” Grushenka finds Rakitin’s talk foolish and tells him... (full context)
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Grushenka tells Rakitin that her officer is in Mokroye but will be coming soon. Rakitin asks if Dmitri... (full context)
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Fenya comes in with a bottle of champagne and three already filled glasses. Rakitin takes one glass, drinks it, and pours himself another. He then offers Alexei a glass.... (full context)
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...“a long, surprised look” and a light seems to come into his face. He scolds Rakitin for taunting him for his rebellion against God and says that, because he doesn’t want... (full context)
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...a little onion, which means that she isn’t much good. She confesses that she told Rakitin that she’d give him twenty-five roubles in exchange for bringing Alexei, whom she planned to... (full context)
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Alexei tells Rakitin that Grushenka is “higher in love” than they. Rakitin asks, mockingly, if Alexei has fallen... (full context)
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Rakitin announces that they have to go back to the monastery. Grushenka doesn’t want Alexei to... (full context)
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Rakitin explains that the officer is from Poland and has served in Siberia. Rumor has it... (full context)
Part 3: Book 8, Chapter 5: A Sudden Decision
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...just assaulted and frightened her. Fenya gives him all the details of that day, including Rakitin and Alexei’s visit. She then remarks on Dmitri’s bloody hands. He gives her a rambling,... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 6: Precocity
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...asks Kolya what “fool” he’s been talking to. Kolya says that he often talks to Rakitin, though they often disagree. Kolya then asks if Alexei despises him. Alexei is confused by... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 2: An Ailing Foot
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...Siberia. She’s certain that the article is about her and that it was written by Rakitin who, she says, has fallen in love with her. (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 4: A Hymn and a Secret
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...but he knows he’ll be allowed to see Dmitri. Just as he enters, he sees Rakitin with Dmitri. Lately, Rakitin doesn’t like seeing Alexei and even greets him with difficulty. Seeing... (full context)
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Dmitri sits on a bench, and Alexei sits beside him. Dmitri says that Rakitin wants to write an article about him. The article is going to say that it... (full context)
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...if he’s “locked up in a tower.” However, he’s tormented by God and wonders if Rakitin is right—what if God is “an artificial idea of mankind?” Rakitin says that it’s possible... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 2: Dangerous Witnesses
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Rakitin is next to take the stand. He describes Dmitri’s deeds at the Metropolis tavern and... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 4: Fortune Smiles on Mitya
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Fetyukovich asks why Grushenka offered Rakitin twenty-five roubles for Alexei. Grushenka says it’s because Rakitin is her cousin, though he doesn’t... (full context)