In the complex spirit of the novel and in the leisurely nineteenth-century fashion of giving the intricate background of the main characters, Dostoevsky begins his book, then immediately establishes its tone. He first announces the element of mystery in the novel — the "gloomy and tragic death" of Karamazov — and then begins defining the elements of tragedy — especially the Karamazov tragedy. The older Karamazov is depicted as base, vulgar, ill-natured, and completely degraded, and his "tragic" death will be revealed to be tragic only because his sons are implicated in the death — not because Karamazov himself arouses tragic emotion. In fact, in the trial scene later in the book, it is pointed out that the murder is not a parricide in the truest sense because Fyodor Karamazov never functioned as a proper father. To support this idea, Dostoevsky begins at the very outset of the novel
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