The Brothers Karamazov

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Book Four: Father Ferapont’s Cell

Father Ferapont’s cell is a small hut set apart from the busy life of the monastery.  From the outside, the hut is unremarkable, secluded, devoid of any ornamentation.  But inside is quite a different story: every bit of wall is covered with icons, and in front of every icon a candle burns.

 

In the middle of the circle of icons sits Father Ferapont.  Though 75 years old and keeping to a severe fast, Father Ferapont is a vigorous man – strongly built, with thick hair and beard, and large, luminous eyes.  As you enter, these eyes look right through you without seeing you. Father Ferapont is deep in prayer.

 

Around him, the candles flicker over the sacred faces of the icons, bringing them to life, so that the effect is that of a talkative crowd.