These pleas to Alyosha are Father Zossima's last requests. Now he tells all assembled the reasons why Alyosha is so very special to him. Once, the elder says, he had an older brother who influenced him tremendously. Alyosha bears a particularly strong resemblance to that brother — physically and spiritually. Then Zossima begins to reminisce. He was born to a noble family of only moderate means. His father died when he was only two years old, and he was reared with his mother and the brother he spoke of. The brother, eight years older than Zossima, came under the influence of a freethinker and was soon a source of sorrow to the mother. He ridiculed her religious observances and her devout beliefs. Then, at seventeen, he contracted consumption, and the family was advised that he had but a few months to live. During the months he waited for death, a tremendous spiritual conversion took place in the boy. He
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Father Zossima, Zossima, particularly strong resemblance, tremendous spiritual conversion, men. Zossima mourns, typical young officer