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E. S. Romanova,

MCU, Moscow,



The article presents an analysis of the psychological techniques used by F. M. Dostoevsky in his characters’ describing. The author examines the nature and actions of the characters, analyzing the features of their monologues and dialogues, the connection of their external manifestations with internal experiences. The author draws special attention to portrait descriptions, emphasizing their role in revealing the inner world of the characters. According to the author’s opinion, the change of the character’s appearance can also characterize him, thus such descriptions are noted and considered as methods of character’s representation and emotions.

The author also pays special attention to the characters’ speech: to what they say and how define themselves and others. Dostoevsky’s estimates as well as characters’ estimates, used in their speech, both can build the picture of the world of the relationships in the minds of the readers, created by the writer. Presenting the characters, Dostoevsky can directly characterize them, and that gives the readers to see his attitude to them. Dostoevsky invisibly instills in the readers their sympathy and antipathy towards certain people and phenomena with all his skill of the great artist-and-psychologist. A writer can directly define the characters through the speech of the other characters or their own speech, and that is why some of the epithets, nevertheless, accurately convey the writer’s attitude and his vision in accordance with the context.

According to the author’s opinion, the best definitions of the characters are descriptive names, comparisons and dreams, in spite of the fact of their frequent ambiguity. The name becomes not just a conscious literary device, but an integral part of the image. Due to the fact, that any person always corresponds to his name, Dostoevsky calls characters so that everyone can guess his nature or behavior towards other people. This also applies to the continuous repetitive descriptions of the characters, including metaphors and comparisons, that stresses the most bright feature of the person. The author also draws attention to the description of the space, where Dostoevsky’s characters live.

The aim of the article is to study the psychological techniques that reveal the inner world of Dostoevsky’s characters.

Thus, the psychological approach to the analysis of Dostoevsky’s works allows a deeper understanding of the motives of his characters ‘ actions, contributes to ambiguous assessment of their personality, that leads the reader to a new understanding of the author’s works.


Keywords: psychological analysis; psychological techniques; creativity; inner world; psychological profile; describing a character.

For citation: Romanova E. S. Psychological techniques for describing the characters in F. M. Dostoevsky’s works // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2019. № 3 (31). P. 55–67. DOI: 10.25688/2223-6872.2019.31.3.06


Romanova Evgeniya Sergeevna, doctor of psychological sciences, professor, acting director of the Institute of psychology, sociology and social relations at the Moscow City University, Head of the Department of general and practical psychology at the Institute of psychology, sociology and social relations of the Moscow City University, Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: RomanovaES@mgpu.ru





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