Both brothers -...

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Both brothers, Ivan and Alyosha, agree that "for real Russians the questions of God's existence and  of immortality . . . come first and foremost and so they should." In its largest context, this is the  subject of the novel. These ideas are central not just to the characters but to an understanding of  Dostoevsky's entire point of view. Ivan surprises Alyosha by announcing, "perhaps I too accept God," reminding his brother of the  saying, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him." For Ivan, the astonishing factor of  Christianity is that man is basically such a "savage, vicious beast" that it is illogical that he could  conceive of an idea so noble and magnificent as "God." Ivan is, of course, leading into his views  about the baseness of most humans and the difficulty of believing man sufficiently noble to conceive  of something so totally transcending his own vicious nature. Most of all, Ivan desires a world in which his human intellect can fully comprehend the logic and 
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1001 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.

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