Dream of a Ridiculous [Religious] Man
The concepts of a utopia, the core of human nature, and questions associated with morality drive the reasoning behind Dostoevsky's Dream of a Ridiculous Man, a classic tale of a ‘lost’ man who undergoes a complete change in emotion, appearance, and sensitivity as the story progresses to eventually find his 'true path in life'. Dostoevsky uses his created character to express an idea that a mass utopia through social and governmental reform is impossible but perhaps reachable on an individual level through spiritual and rational reform. This reform is revealed in the story through facing one's transgressions—achieved by love, forgiveness, and acceptance—ultimately of which are all themes that relate back to the Bible. The protagonist of the story knows he is ridiculous and even states “I have always been ridiculous, and I have known it, perhaps, from the day I was born” (276). He goes on to say that his ridiculousness comes from knowledge obtained throughout his life and was reinforced with a spiritual journey to an alternate “earth untarnished by the Fall on [which] lived people who had not sinned” (284). His descriptions are one of a paradise with Eden-like qualities: [T]all, lovely trees… soft caressing rustle… grass glowed with bright and fragrant flowers… darling, fluttering wings… these happy people… lived just in such a paradise as that in which, according to all of the legends of mankind, out first parents lived before they sinned… Their children were the children of all, for they all made up one family;… (285).
This description of this “new” Eden is very similar to the “old” Eden from the Book of Genesis: 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earths… 2:6 There went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground… 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden,...
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