The account of the duel and Zossima's actions show him to be a person of physical courage as well as of moral courage. It is significant that the conversion was brought about by his remembering some of his dead brother's ideas about loving life and respecting all things in this world. From this time onward, these ideas become more and more central to Zossima's final philosophy of life.Concerning suffering, Zossima's explanation of why he bowed down to Dmitri has its roots deep in Dostoevskian philosophy. In Crime and Punishment, for example, the protagonist bows down before a prostitute because he sees in her "the suffering of all humanity." Suffering, Dostoevsky felt, was the genesis of retribution. Only through great suffering can a man be purified of his sins, and it is this process that Zossima sees within Dmitri.
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