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Abstract

After spending a whole semester reading and thinking about Dostoevsky, the main thing that has struck me about him is his treatment of the theme of suffering. Despite, and even through, his extremely complicated characters and events, he nevertheless focuses his novels, particularly Crime and Punishment, on presenting a nuanced yet unified picture of suffering. After a brief analysis of several of the relevant characters and plot points, his thoughts on what suffering does to and for the individual will be presented. In contrast to our culture’s almost idolization of suffering as an experience which gives one instant respect, authority, and a platform, Dostoevsky’s perspective is honest, informed, pragmatic, and thoroughly Christian.