Grushenka
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Grushenka

The Brothers Karamazov

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About Her

Grew Up… as the object of every man’s affection. Despite this, Grushenka was abandoned by a Polish military man in her youth before being taken in by a wealthy older man, whose tight control makes her long for freedom and independence.

Living… in the middle of an endless father-son struggle. Not only does Dmitri Karamazov end his engagement to Katerina to pursue her, but Dmitri’s father Fyodor also lusts after Grushenka. This places Grushenka in a tough position, forcing her to choose between the young, robust Dmitri or the wealthier, older Fyodor. But Grushenka takes joy in pitting the father and son against each other, and may even be intentionally inciting unrest for her own amusement.  

Profession… stringing men along. Grushenka is well taken care of by her male suitors – Fyodor, for example, offers her 3000 rubles to become his lover. Financially speaking, she has nothing to worry about.

Interests… watching men fight over her, an activity she loves. Grushenka even admits that it’s a way for her to psychologically take revenge for her troubled past, when her life was under the control of the wealthy “former and indisputable one.” By having so much control over others' rivalries and lusts in the lives of others, Grushenka is able to finally feel in control of her own.

Relationship Status… caught between Fyodor and Dmitri Karamazov. She may even decide that she wishes to be with neither of them.

Challenge… putting an end to the feud between father and son. All Grushenka has to do is make a decision, and their endless attempts at one-upping one another would finally end. Unfortunately, the battle for Grushenka is hardly the only battle between the two Karamazovs – they’re also in a fierce feud over Dmitri’s inheritance.

Personality… proud, hectic, and excitable. The kind of woman who uses her beauty as a tool or weapon, touting it in front of people like a dangling carrot, Grushenka is devious and mischievous. However, her sad upbringing also makes Grushenka quite sympathetic, and her friendship with Alyosha Karamazov is surprisingly both genuine and nonsexual.

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