The Brothers Karamazov

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Book Six: Alyosha’s Room

Long after the fateful event has happened – after Fyodor Karamazov has been killed and one of his sons accused of the murder – you make a visit to Alyosha.  Your soul is in turmoil, and you want to talk.  You are hoping that Alyosha will provide you some answers.  At the very least, you think that he can comfort your anxiety over the parricide.


You enter the humble house where he has taken a room.  He is not at home, but his landlady invites you in to wait.  You climb the dark stairs to his room, enter, sit on the end of his bed, and take in his surroundings.


There is not much to look at.  The room is completely bare:  one bed, one chair, one small, cluttered desk, one icon on the wall.  Because there’s so little to look at, you get up and walk over to the desk to see what papers are sitting there.  You discover two very odd notebooks written in Alyosha’s hand – one entitled Father Zosima’s Answer to Ivan’s Rebellion; the other entitled Father Zosima’s Answer to the Grand Inquisitor.  You also discover two books on the table:  a Bible, and The Lives of the Saints.  Both are book-marked carefully.


You know that you shouldn’t read Alyosha’s private notebooks.  But your wait is so very dull that you can’t help yourself.  You choose a book and open it carefully…