The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Nikolai “Kolya” Ivanov Krasotkin Character Analysis

The thirteen-year-old son of Anna Fyodorovna Krasotkin and the provincial secretary Krasotkin, who died "almost fourteen years before"—that is, before Kolya was born. Kolya is a prankster who enjoys causing trouble everywhere he goes. He becomes notorious for lying down under the rails while a train rides over him. When he meets Alexei Fyodorovich, he is two weeks away from his fourteenth birthday. He is a school boy who declares himself a socialist and who probably gets some of his political ideas from Rakitin, whom he talks to often. He is rude, arrogant, and inclined to view others as less intelligent than he. He enjoys humiliating other people and drawing attention to himself. The only person whose opinion he respects is Alexei Fyodorovich, who treats Kolya like the mature equal the boy wants to believe he is. Kolya is short and regards his face as “disgusting,” though the narrator explains that he is actually quite handsome with fair, freckled skin and “small but lively gray eyes.” His cheekbones are broad, and his lips are small and very red. His nose, too, is small and upturned. He is friends with Smurov, though Kolya is two years ahead of him. He also befriended Ilyusha Snegiryov, who later turns on Kolya and stabs him in the leg with a penknife. Ilyusha and Kolya reunite when the former contracts tuberculosis and Kolya visits him at his bedside. He brings Zhuchka, Ilyusha’s former dog. Ilyusha’s death, as well as Alexei’s encouragement of kindness, softens Kolya’s attitude by the end of the novel.

Nikolai “Kolya” Ivanov Krasotkin Quotes in The Brothers Karamazov

The The Brothers Karamazov quotes below are all either spoken by Nikolai “Kolya” Ivanov Krasotkin or refer to Nikolai “Kolya” Ivanov Krasotkin. 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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Nikolai “Kolya” Ivanov Krasotkin Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Nikolai “Kolya” Ivanov Krasotkin appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 3: He Gets Involved with Schoolboys
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...stones. The boys explain that they’re attacking the boy because he’s “a scoundrel” who “stabbed Kolya Krasotkin in class with a penknife.” Krasotkin didn’t want to tell on the boy, but... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 1: Kolya Krasotkin
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...just borne a son. She has since devoted herself to the upbringing of her boy, Kolya. When the boy started school, his mother studied all of his subjects with him. She... (full context)
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Kolya Krasotkin looks down on everyone and accepts respect as his due, but he still behaves... (full context)
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Kolya loves reading and playing pranks. One night, he offers to lie down on the rails... (full context)
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After the railway incident, Kolya’s relationship with his mother changes. When Anna Fyodorovna heard about her son’s deed, she nearly... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 2: Kids
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On a cold Sunday morning in November, Kolya Krasotkin is sitting at home. There’s only one other apartment in the house—two rooms across... (full context)
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Kolya is waiting for Agafya to return because he has to leave, but the maid is... (full context)
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Agafya has just returned from the market. Kolya asks why she’s late, referring to her as “female sex.” She calls him a “pipsqueak.”... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 3: A Schoolboy
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Kolya walks out of the gate and heads down the street. He pulls out a whistle... (full context)
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...class go to visit Ilyusha every day. He thinks Ilyusha will be glad to see Kolya. The boys started going to the captain’s house, first with Alexei Karamazov. Kolya says that... (full context)
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The boys then walk through the market. Kolya greets a woman whom he calls by the wrong name. He’s then approached by a... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 4: Zhuchka
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Alexei emerges and hurries up to Kolya. His face is joyful, making Kolya think, with pleasure, that Alexei is happy to see... (full context)
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Kolya says that he and Smurov have been trying to assure Ilyusha that Zhuchka is alive.... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 5: At Ilyusha’s Bedside
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...is crowded with visitors. Ilyusha even sees his former enemies in the room, but not Kolya, which saddens him. He regrets stabbing the boy who was his only friend and protector... (full context)
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...he likes the dog, he misses Zhuchka. Suddenly, one of the boys cries out that Kolya has arrived. Kolya goes to stand by Ilyusha’s bed. Ilyusha rises and looks at Kolya,... (full context)
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Ilyusha takes one look at the dog and proclaims that it is Zhuchka. Kolya then exclaims “in a ringing, happy voice” that it is, indeed, Zhuchka. He points to... (full context)
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The group launches into stories about Kolya’s “desperado” exploits. He tells another story in which he tricked a fool into rolling the... (full context)
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Nina Nikolaevna announces the arrival of the doctor. Kolya calls Perezvon down from the bed but says that he’s not leaving. He’ll just wait... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 6: Precocity
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Kolya asks Alexei what he thinks the doctor will say to Ilyusha. He then says that... (full context)
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Kolya claims that he’s a socialist. Alexei laughs, remarking that Kolya is just thirteen. Kolya corrects... (full context)
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Kolya says that he’s “profoundly unhappy” and imagines that the whole world is laughing at him.... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 7: Ilyusha
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...doctor suggests that he take Ilyusha to Syracuse, due to the more favorable climate there. Kolya remarks that that’s in Sicily, and the captain gestures around his home, as though to... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 3: A Little Demon
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...mentions a boy who lay down under the rails while a train went over him (Kolya) and calls him “lucky.” She also mentions that people actually love that Dmitri killed his... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 3: Ilyushechka’s Funeral. The Speech at the Stone
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...was sentenced. The pallbearers carry the coffin to the church without Alexei. When he arrives, Kolya Krasotkin greets him with a handshake. He then asks Alexei if Dmitri is innocent or... (full context)
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...woman demands to know where the captain took Ilyusha, which prompts Nina Nikolaevna to sob. Kolya runs from the room. Alexei goes out after him. (full context)
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Kolya admits that he’s very sad and would give anything to resurrect Ilyusha. They and the... (full context)