Dostoevsky Criticism Of Western Individualism

Decent Essays
In this paper, I plan to explain Dostoevsky’s criticism of Western Individualism. Dostoevsky’s first criticism resides in the idea to “love life more than the meaning of it, “which is presented by the character Alyosha (Dostoevsky 3). Allowing this character to discuss this topic, along with the commentary of Ivan, demonstrates their mindset to solely focus on their own lives, opposed to caring for others. This leads to them living for the now, and not focusing on how their decisions will affect their future or others. Dostoevsky disapproves of this notion because living by this mentality encourages the guidance of logic, which is dangerous because it could tell you to kill yourself. From Dostoevsky’s Eastern Orthodox background, he believes that the only way from living from this situation is to deny it. By denying this way of living, the focus toward life will not be directed toward yourself, but toward the way you can impact the environment around you. Ivan clearly does not believe in these values, due to his intentions to commit suicide at the age of thirty. As said before, living by the idea to “love life more than the meaning of it” leads to death, and Ivan indulges in this to the fullest (Dostoevsky 3). In addition, Ivan’s basic assumptions, regarding freedom and happiness, brings up ideals of western individualism. On page 24 of The Grand Inquisitor, Dostoevsky says, “But let me tell Thee that now, today, people are more persuaded than ever that they have perfect
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