The importance of children in Dostoevsky's thought

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Judy Maureen Ivester (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Charles Tisdale

Abstract: Fyodor Dostoevsky gives the role of children special significance in his fictional works and in his moral philosophy. His novels and short stories show the theme of children emerging again and again as Dostoevsky attempts to construct an ideal world harmony; it is most often the child to whom he turns as a model of the virtues he considers most important, it is the child who holds the promise of a future paradise on earth. Dostoevsky uses children in three ways. First, children appear as characters with significant roles in the plots in which they appear. An eager kindness and warmth, touched with a few human faults, are the elements usually included in the character development of children, such as with Kolya Krassotkin in The Brothers Karamazov. Secondly, the image of the child becomes a comparison for a certain type of adult. Stepan Trofimovitch in The Possessed, Madame Epanchin in The idiot, and Makar Ivanovitch in A Raw Youth are three such characters who add elements to Dostoevsky1s conception of goodness when they are seen from the perspective of the child.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1969

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