Zossima admonishes his listeners to love all of God's creatures and to take on the responsibility of all men's sins. He explains that often God expects many things that we cannot understand with human logic. Man, for example, should not judge his fellow men — even criminals — says Zossima; man must pray for those who are outside the church, for there does not exist a material hell. There is only a spiritual hell, he says. He then collapses to the floor and reaches out as though to embrace the earth. Joyfully he gives up his soul to God. Because of their positive quality, Dostoevsky inserts the final views of Father Zossima next to the questioning disbeliefs of Ivan Karamazov. They act somewhat like a counterbalance to the many ideas presented in Book V. Unlike Ivan, Zossima is didactic — the most didactic character in the novel, perhaps in all of
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.