Dostoevsky Wrecked my Soul | Demons Analysis (2023)


My analysis on Dostoevsky's Demons


Dostoevsky's demons brought jesus into my life, that's, a slight exaggeration.

But I've never had a greater spiritual experience than when I read dostogaski's book demons.

And as a quick heads up, there will be spoilers involved in this review.

Now, demons is considered one of dostoevsky's, four great novels, it's, a warning about the effects of political and moral nihilism contextually.

It was inspired as an attack against the russian revolutionaries of dostoevsky's time.

Specifically he was attacking a man called sergey nichayev.

This man was an outright wretched and evil.

Man who essentially was devoting his entire life to bringing about the socialist revolution in russia to get a sense of nichayev's, evil, here's an excerpt from his book, catechism of a revolutionary in which he describes the ideal man or the ideal revolutionary, the revolutionary must be tyrannical towards others, all the gentle and innervating sentiments of kinship, love, friendship, gratitude.

And even honor must be suppressed in him and give place to the cold and single-minded passion for revolution night and day.

He must have.

But one thought one aim merciless destruction.

He must be prepared to destroy himself and to destroy with his own hands.

Everything that stands in the path of the revolution.

Dostoevsky's core argument here is going to be that this this evil that we see is the natural result of a man who abandons god and abandons, meaning in favor of nihilism that life is meaningless and man is essentially free to make his own meaning.

He portrays this fall of man through the main character of the story, whose name is stavrajin.

I might be pronouncing that wrong forgive me.

But for this video, his name is stavrogen stavrogen is initially portrayed as enigmatic he's charismatic intelligent and fearless.

But he is a nihilist, and he directly inspires the debauchery and evil of all of the revolutionaries, uh within the context of demons.

Nonetheless, there's a pensiveness about stavrogen he's in touch with his inner nature.

And one gets a sense that he's aware on some level that he knows nihilism to be wrong.

The self-awareness presents itself in one of the greatest chapters I've ever read in literature, it's a chapter that was so explicit that it was actually censored out of circulation.

Originally by the the editor this chapter is called atticons in this chapter.

A conversation takes place between stavrogen and a side character called bishop tikang.


I don't know if that's how he pronounced his name, but that's, how he's pronounced for this video.

So in this chapter, as one might expect stavrijn has decided to voluntarily go to confession.

And in this confession, he confesses about pedophilia that he raped a young girl and drove her to suicide.

And he took pleasure in listening to her take her own life in the room adjacent to him in this chapter stavridge had went on to confess that he had done many worse things both before.

And after this act, but he said that it was this specific act that continues to torment him to this day alone and it's.

This act that keeps him up at night.

This confession is especially jarring because prior to this chapter stavrojan had appeared entirely amoral.

He showed no emotion nor remorse beyond this sardarnic guardedness yet.

Now we see him confessing, but not only is he confessing that through his confession he's actually, revealing this deep rooted torment.

What we see is just pure human agony, an evil man who had committed his entire life to just evil and debauchery who is on the verge of repentance he's, essentially regretting every aspect of his being, you know, his entire life and he's yearning to be forgiven reading the suffering for me.

It was entirely bone chilling for me.

I somehow began to pity.

This terrible man who had done nothing but evil throughout his life.

I really I saw the good beginning to come out of this this dark twisted wretched man.

And I was rooting like mad for him to repent.

And in hindsight part of why this chapter moved me so much was shockingly enough.

I saw myself in that man.

I saw myself in stavrogen, not in the literal sense.

I've done nothing compared to the crimes that he has done I'm allegedly a fairly civilized person.

But in stavrogen's pain, I had a genuine empathy because I felt this pain.

And I recognized that I could hurt like he hurt.

And the only way that I could hurt like that man hurt is if I had done evil that he had done before in a sense, I had to recognize the evilness or the capacity for evil in my own being.

I recognized that I too am evil to an extent that I had never done before or can be evil rather.

And in a sense, I was forced to see this dark twisted side of my my being that I had never encountered before.

And at the time I was reading this alone in the dark in a parking lot and fittingly enough, it was a thunderstorm rain was pelting on my car.

And I was terrified just absolutely shaken.

I actually closed the book halfway through and bowed my head and repented and prayed to god.

And for me, I had not been particularly religious at this point, but I had prayed to him asking for forgiveness for my sins and promised to uh, promise to him that I would begin attending church regularly that was a year ago when I've kept that promise since I regularly began to attend church, but bringing it back to my my just almost hysterical fear.

What really came out of this was recognition of the evil in myself, the way that I could suffer and also inflict that suffering on others.

What actually came out of this fearfulness that drove me to repent, you could say was a deep sudden universal love for mankind.

And this is what I think the bible means when it says that the fear of god is the beginning of wisdom, the wisdom comes from knowing good and knowing evil, and in truly recognizing and fearing the consequences of embracing an evil life one that is a devoid of god and going and abiding by one's own sense of morality and I'm sharing this story.

This experience with myself and this writing, because I see stavrigan's suffering running rampant in society.

Today, the new religion is that man has become his own god that we're all liberated from religion and free to make our own meaning.

In fact, this this idea that we make our own meanings, uh that there's everything is relative.

This was stavridgen's golden ruling demons as he said before that the guiding rule that directed his life was that I neither know nor feel good and evil, and that I have not only lost any sense of it, but that there is neither good nor evil and that it is nothing.

But a prejudice.

This mindset is not only stupid but wrong, but also stupid.

This mindset drives people crazy and taken to its logical extreme.

It drives people suicidal consider society today, the consequences of abandoning god and listening to what culture tells us.

All you see around you, if you pay attention to the masses is just hyper high levels of anxiety and depression and suicidal ideations and that's, because without god, nothing does matter, and therefore all of your suffering becomes meaningless.

There is no redemption to your woes, grace beauty and goodness.

They become nothing but words.

And this is proven true in demons because this the tragedy is stabberagen fails to repent.

He sticks to his moral relativist ways, and he kills himself and that's dostoevsky just showing us.

This is exactly what a universe without god is just pure, cold-hearted, meaningless suffering and desolation.

Thus we're left today with stavridge's ultimatum.

We can choose to humble ourselves accept and embrace god and pursue redemption in light of the suffering and horror and wretchedness of the world.

We can we can do all this and figuratively bear our cross to try to live a meaningful life and make the world a better place than it would be without our existence.

This is the the true story of mankind struggling that we we seek to take our pain and redeem it such that it's worthwhile.

And we connect with the grace, the beauty and goodness that is inherent in life.

But without god, we don't have any of this, and we deprive ourselves of life.

And instead, we just live like stavrage in a miserable existence with a wretched end.

It was coming to terms and understanding this reality that wrecked my soul and shook me to my core and brought me back to god.

And that is exactly why reading dostoevsky's demons wrecked my soul.

Thanks so much for listening.


What did Dostoevsky think about suffering? ›

One of the greatest philosophers of all times, Fyodor Dostoevsky suffered throughout his life and was studying the subject of suffering closely. Dostoevsky said: “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

What did Nietzsche said about Dostoevsky? ›

Nietzsche said of Dostoevsky, “[He] was the only psychologist I had anything to learn from.”16 In 1888, in one of his letters to Georg Brandes,17 a Danish literary critic and scholar, Nietzsche wrote, “I am grateful to [Dostoevsky] in a remarkable way, however much he goes against my deepest instincts.”18 Nietzsche's ...

What did Dostoevsky believe about life? ›

From his statements and arguments, backed up by his fiction, we can use Scanlon and others' interpretations to show that Dostoevsky opposed determinism, rational egoism, materialism, and nihilism, but also affirmed a phi- losophy of human nature; the existence of matter , spirit and God; the reality of human freedom, ...

What were Dostoevsky's religious beliefs? ›

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a devout Orthodox Christian whose faith was central to his works. When Dostoevsky was sentenced for four years of hard labour in Siberia, all he had to read was a gifted copy of the Russian translation of the New Testament (Kjetsaa).

Is Dostoevsky against nihilism? ›

During this period (1860 and onward), Dostoevsky began to add elements of anti-nihilism in his novels, with introductions to characters that were immoral, violent, or otherwise unlikeable or misguided.

What was Dostoevsky addicted to? ›

The Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and journalist Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) had a serious gambling addiction. Like a good many gamblers, he believed that he had found the secret to winning at the tables.

What is Dostoevsky view of human nature? ›

According to Dostoevsky, man is inherently malevolent because of his capacity for self-will and free choice. This freedom, which is central to human existence, can lead to both good and evil outcomes.

What philosophy did Dostoevsky have? ›

Dostoevsky was intimately familiar with two major philosophies: that of Orthodox Christianity and of Utopian Socialism. Each had its own specific and finely tuned understanding and justification of suffering, and each prescribed its own remedy.

What did Dostoevsky think of communism? ›

Did you know Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a fierce anti-socialist? The Russian author, often considered one of history's greatest writers, warned against the disasters of socialism and communism in his novels Crime and Punishment and The Possessed almost 40 years before they would take place.

Is Dostoevsky a liberal? ›

At the beginning of his career as a writer, Dostoevsky was a Belinsky-type pro-European liberal who later became a follower of French Utopian Socialism. Belinsky's influence on young Dostoevsky was indeed significant.

Was Fyodor Dostoevsky a nihilist? ›

Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Shifting View

As a young man, Dostoyevsky leaned to the left on the political spectrum, believing in the Western philosophies of materialism and nihilism. In 1849, Dostoyevsky was incarcerated for his membership in a radically-leaning group of young men.

Did Nietzsche influence Dostoevsky? ›

For example, several elements of the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche appear in the literary works of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Did Nietzsche influence Dostoevsky? The prospect is unlikely. The bulk of Dostoevsky's works were written before Nietzsche ever published a book.

Did Dostoevsky believe in nihilism ideals? ›

Did Dostoevsky believe in nihilism? Dostoevsky did not believe in nihilism. Crime and Punishment is designed to show the danger of such a philosophy, since Raskolnikov hurts others, including his own family, due to his belief in nihilism.

Was Crime and Punishment influenced by Nietzsche? ›

Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche were instrumental in introducing new ideas into the spectrum of the human psyche and how we view criminals and punishment.

What did Freud think about Dostoevsky? ›

Freud's beef was that Dostoevsky, despite the passionate sentimentalism of his works, worked from a place of staunch moral absolutism, Christian orthodoxy, and Russian patriotism, all forces which Freud regarded as repressive.

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