Tyrant and Victim in Dostoevsky

Gary Cox

Often a single concept, or a polarity between opposing concepts, will provide the key to understanding a unique vision of social interaction, organizing many of a writer's perceptions around a central axis. An understanding of this central axis enables readers and critics to see the writer's work in clearer perspective. In the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky the concept of dominance in personal relationships provides such an axis around which human interaction is organized. Cox's book explores this concept on the basis of a variety of Dostoevsky's works. Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. Bonding Hierarchies in Literature before Dostoevsky; 3. The Emotional Solipsist; 4. Identity Crisis and Character Doubling; 5. The Friend as Enemy; 6. The Lover as Tyrant; 7. Guilt, Compassion, and the Power of Weakness; 8. The Criminal as Victim; 9. Primal Murders; 10. The Dominance Hierarchy in Political Behavior; 11. The Structure of Dostoevsky's Images. "A most interesting study, highly recommended." (JRS) "... Cox's subtle treatment and understanding of the psychological dimensions of Dostoevsky's works are impressive and deserve attention." (Choice)