The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Sofia Ivanovna Character Analysis

Nicknamed “the shrieker” by Fyodor Pavlovich, Sofia is Fyodor’s second wife and the mother of Ivan and Alexei. She was very young when Fyodor married her and was previously in the charge of General Vorokhov’s widow. Sofia came from another province and was the orphaned daughter of “some obscure deacon.” Sofia later tried to hang herself to escape from the widow. After this failed suicide attempt, she married Fyodor at the age of sixteen. The narrator notes that Fyodor was struck by the girl’s innocent beauty, which was very different from “the coarser kind of feminine beauty” possessed by his orgy partners. She gives birth to Ivan Fyodorovich in the first year of her marriage and has Alexei three years later. She dies from “something like a kind of feminine nervous disorder” when Alexei is four.
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Sofia Ivanovna Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Sofia Ivanovna appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Book 1, Chapter 3: Second Marriage, Second Children
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Fyodor marries for a second time to Sofia Ivanovna. The marriage lasts for about eight years. Sofia is sixteen and from another province.... (full context)
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
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Sofia later comes down with a nervous disorder that causes her to have “terrible hysterical fits.”... (full context)
Part 1: Book 1, Chapter 4: The Third Son, Alyosha
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...visited it after she was buried. He also forgot where it was. Several years after Sofia Ivanovna died, Fyodor ends up in Odessa. At this time, he develops the skill of... (full context)