“I want to live for immortality, and I will accept no compromise.”

In this quote, spoken by Alyosha in the novel’s fifth chapter, immortality serves as a stand-in for God. By believing in God, one believes in the possibility of immortality through acceptance into Heaven. This statement establishes two things. First, it establishes Alyosha as the novel’s primary character of faith. The reader understands that Alyosha possesses a strong Christian belief. Second, the quote establishes Alyosha’s primary desire, which is to serve God faithfully in order to be accepted into Heaven after death. It’s important that the novel establishes this primary characteristic of Alyosha early, as all of his trials and dilemmas throughout the novel will center around or engage in some way with his faith. 

“One longs to love with one's inside, with one's stomach.”

This quote of Alyosha’s from Chapter 3 showcases his methods for enacting his faith and serving God. Alyosha sees loving others as the primary way one should practice their Christian faith. Not only does Alyosha want to love others, but he longs to do so with his stomach. In other words, Alyosha is hungry to love others. This quote establishes the way that Alyosha’s faith is ingrained into his body and its everyday function. It suggests that if Alyosha is not able to love others in the way he longs to, he may suffer the same fate one would suffer if they weren’t able to eat. 

“I came here looking for a wicked soul...because I was...wicked myself, but I found a true sister.”

This quote from Chapter 3 in Book 7 takes place after Alyosha has been manipulated by Rakitin to visit Grushenka; Rakitin hopes that Alyosha may be morally corrupted by the promiscuous woman. However, after Alyosha shows gentleness to Grushenka and calls her a sister, she resolves to leave Alyosha innocent. Despite Alyosha’s statement that he is wicked, this quote and the resulting encounter prove that he is not. His visit to Grushenka is one of Alyosha’s primary trials in the novel. Whereas his brothers either outright fail their trials or complete them ambiguously, Dostoevsky makes it clear that Alyosha’s kind heart results in his overcoming the dilemma created for him by the jealous Rakitin.