The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The Brothers Karamazov: Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Ippolit Kirillovich says that the medical experts tried to claim that Dmitri is a madman, while he asserts that he’s in his right mind. He says that he shares Varvinsky’s opinion that Dmitri was “embittered.” The prosecutor declares jealousy as the reason for this. He goes on to describe Dmitri’s “fatal passion for Grushenka.” The prosecutor says that the three thousand roubles wasn’t the point in itself, but that this inheritance seemed to be the key to Dmitri’s happiness. Therefore, the thought of killing Fyodor emerged. Ippolit Kirillovich describes all of Dmitri’s efforts to obtain the money without committing the crime, including the adventures with Samsonov and Lyagavy. He also mentions his going to Madame Khokhlakov. The prosecutor claims that, if Fenya had mentioned that Grushenka was in Mokroye with the panie, nothing may have occurred. Beside himself, Dmitri snatched what the prosecutor thinks is the murder weapon—the pestle.
Kirillovich agrees most with Dr. Varvinksy’s assessment that Dmitri got carried away by emotion. However, the prosecutor strips away Varvinsky’s acknowledgment of strong feelings that affect character to paint the murder as a cold, calculated crime. According to Kirillovich, Fyodor’s murder was merely a means to an end: Dmitri needed money and the old man had it. The three thousand roubles was Dmitri’s obsession and everyone else was damned to suffer for it. However, if any aspect of the evening had turned out differently, Dmitri might not have gone to his father’s house. If Fenya mentioned that Grushenka had reunited with her lover, Dmitri may not have bothered with the trip. The prosecutor thus makes the crime seem relatable and Dmitri even seem sympathetic—but also indisputably guilty.
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