“As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naïve and simple-hearted than we suppose. As are we ourselves.” Dostoyevski wrote this in The Brothers Karamazov about Fyodor Karamazov, the unrepentantly disgusting father prone to acts of extreme violence against every person who loves him, particularly his sons. When he is murdered every son is a suspect, because every son had a motive to kill him. But this father, when he’s not acting out his misanthropic impulses, feels intensely and morosely sorry for himself, and is terribly sentimental. He doesn’t understand why the world seems so intent on destroying him, and he wants only for those he loves to love him. He’s a drunk, even when he’s not drinking. And if he’s evil then the world, this unforgiving world that’s given him every reason to hate it when all he wanted was to be loved, is the reason.

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AuthorJohn Proctor