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Word Count: 775
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow on Nov 11 1825 As his father was a former military surgeon Dostoyevsky grew up in the noble class He entered the military engineering school at St Petersburg at age 16 Shortly after graduating he resigned his commission and devoted all his time to writing However he soon became caught up in the movement for political and social reform during the reign of Tsar Nicholas I He began to participate in weekly discussions about the ideas of French utopian Socialists This Petrashevsky Circle was arrested in April 1849 After a long investigation Dostoyevsky along with 20 other members of the Circle were condemned to be shot Literally moments before his execution was to occur his sentence was commuted to four years hard labor in Omsk Siberia He accepted his punishment and began to regard many of the simple convicts as extraordinary people During his sentence he became devoted to Orthodox Christianity The House of the Dead was initially published in Russia 1860 Upon initial examination of the work it appears to be a stream of consciousness account of Dostoyevskys four years in a Siberian prison camp But upon further review it seems to be more an account of Dostoyevskys personality and attitudes through these years In his first year in prison Dostoyevsky found myself hating these fellow-sufferers of mine 305 His first day in prison several convicts approached him a member of the noble class and no doubt very wealthy in the convicts eyes and asked him for money four times each and each refusal seemed to bring more convicts He quickly grew to spite these people for they thought him to be an idiot unable to remember that the very same convict had approached him for money not fifteen minutes earlier 67-8 But Dostoyevsky makes a startling realization at the end of this first year a discovery which allows him to drastically alter
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