The Brothers Karamazov

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Monastery

The monastery is a simple place: within its walls sit a church, a cemetery, and a few nondescript outbuildings. Through the woods is the hermitage of the Elder Zosima, where he receives pilgrims and other guests. On a usual day, the monks can be found fasting or praying.  But on this day, something unsettling has happened at the monastery: the Karamazovs have come to call on the Elder, Father Zosima, and have created quite a scandal here.

 

Though the Karamazovs are gone, groups of people are clustered around the monastery, talking excitedly about the day’s events. Lingering near Father Zosima’s hermitage, a trio of monks whispers bewilderedly about Dmitri Karamazov.  Around the other side of the hermitage, two novices talk about the women visitors.  In the woods that separate the hermitage from the monastery lingers Rakitin, who is burning to tell someone about his conversation with Alysosha.  In the dining room, Father Iosef, Father Paissy are heatedly debating Ivan’s ideas.  And finally, standing at the gate to the monastery, staring down the dusty road, is the abandoned Maximov, who wishes someone would explain to him the mystery of Fyodor Karamazov’s character.