The House of the Dead
The Life in a Siberian Prison
“Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate ... the return of the human dignity, repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The House of the Dead
Written after the author himself experienced four years of hard labor in Siberia, The House of the Dead is the story of one Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov – a gentleman from the noble class – who is deported in Siberia for murdering his wife. At first he can’t adapt to the harsh conditions and to the fellow inmates – mostly member of the lower classes. Eventually however, he starts to see the life in Siberia in a different perspective.
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