Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dostoyevsky vs. Chernyshevsky

During Dostoevsky's lifetime, the rational philosophies of naturalism and scientism swept through Europe and Russia.  We experienced that side when we read Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? , which advances a kind of socialist utopianism that Dostoevsky, though at one time he embraced, absolutely despised. Chernyshevsky thinks that man can become perfect when ruled by reason and science, but Dostoyevsky disagrees with that optimistic point of view. He says that man is bad and he isnt ruled by any forces, and as a result he can decide for himself what to do, whether it is good for the society as a whole or not. The differences between Dostoyevsky's novella and Chernyshevsky's novella portrays the differences in russia as a whole.

1 comment:

Austin Falk said...

I agree. These authors definitely portray their views in their literature. Dostoyevsky's rejection to realism and reason is evident in his Notes From Underground as he places emphasis on the underground man and his isolation from the rest of the society. The underground man argues and constantly contradicts himself and continually repeats that reason cannot explain humans free will. It seems that Dostoyevsky yearns to to get away from all of the realism.