The Possessed

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The Possessed is a political and social satire, a large scale tragedy, which is considered amongst the four masterworks written by Dostoevsky. This psychological drama is Dostoevsky’s criticism of the political and moral nihilism, which were prevalent in Russia in 1860s. Dostoyevsky’s criticises the spreading atheism and explores a loss by a Russian man of his true national identity. The author sees nihilism as a root of many deepening social problems and in his book portrays the growing suicide rate as an inevitable ultimate self-destructing end. A fictional town somewhere in province becomes a focal point of an attempted revolution and descends into chaos. Stepan Verkhovensky represents an idealistic westernised generation of 1840s, he is a mere helpless accomplice of the ‘demonic’ force possessing the town. His son, Pyotr, is a conspirator orchestrating the revolution, while his counterpart in the moral sphere, Nikolai Stavrogin, the protagonist, dominates the book by influencing the hearts and the minds of everyone around him. Pretty illustrations by Dmitrii Rybalko provide you with new impressions from reading this legendary story.
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