Nietzsche And Dostoyevsky On Suffering

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Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky on Suffering The Brothers Karamozov It should first be stated that both Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche agree that suffering can play a positive role in the life of an individual. But for Dostoyevsky, suffering plays an indispensable role in a person's life. It is the essential element for purifying the passions. (more later) For Nietzsche, however, suffering is pretty inconsequential to the individual. Unlike Dostoyevsky who posits suffering as a means to a particular end, Nietzsche would say that there is nothing essential about it. The best that suffering can be for him is just as another creative tool to increase strength in order to constantly grow and overcome. I will proceed first by describing Dostoyevsky's existential versions of suffering as it demonstrated in Dmitri and Ivan, I will then expand on what would be the best possible scenarios of suffering in a Nietzschian way of life; and then consider how Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky would respond to each other's existential views.

Dostoyevsky believes that built into every individual is a dark side of impure and selfish passions. He posits this dark side of our "selves" as a natural component that God has dealt to each human being. The way that we choose to contend with these dark and selfish desires determines whether suffering will take a positive or destructive role in our lives. Dostoyevskyexistentializes suffering through the story of crucifixion grafted onto Dmitri and Ivan. It important to note here that the brothers are both carrying a cross which is like an existential prop of a potential either towards transformation (Dmitri) or deterioration (Ivan). I will trace the distinctions between Dostoyevsky's two notions of existentialized suffering by describing how Dmitri does it right (and so experiences joy and rebirth/resurrection), contrasting him to Ivan who suffers a...