The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The elder who preceded Zosima, the Elder at the monastery. He is rumored to have beaten with a stick the visiting women who hoped for miracles. The little monk who escorts Pyotr Miusov and the Karamazovs into the monastery acknowledges that Varsonofy was a fool, but he dispels rumors that the elder ever beat anyone. After Zosima dies, his enemies use Varsonofy to discount faith in Zosima’s extraordinary holiness, claiming that Varsonofy’s body did not stink but emitted a pleasant scent, indicating that the former elder was holier than Zosima and more miraculous.
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Varsonofy Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Varsonofy appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Book 2, Chapter 1: They Arrive at the Monastery
Faith vs. Reason Theme Icon
Suffering Theme Icon
...“surrounded with flowers.” Fyodor asks if the house looked like this during the time of Varsonofy, the previous elder, who supposedly disliked “such niceties.” Fyodor also says that Varsonofy “used to... (full context)
Part 3: Book 7, Chapter 1: The Odor of Corruption
Faith vs. Reason Theme Icon
Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
...“odor of corruption” begins to emanate from Zosima’s coffin. This is rather strange because Father Varsonofy had died fairly recently and people remembered that no smell emanated from his coffin. The... (full context)