Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Fyodor Dostoevsky (pictured), a writer of all sorts, was, arguably, one of the greatest driving forces behind existentialism. His honest, sometimes gruesome, psychological examinations of human nature hit his readers viscerally, even today.

As we read his words, which often describe the turmoil his characters find themselves in, we wonder what we, too, are capable of as the imperfect creatures we are: what will we do when our life situations are downturned?

We might find that, in learning to fight back, suffering gives us motivation to take greater action: to appropriate the adversity that hold us back and turn it into battles bigger than our own.

'The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for. Without a concrete idea of what he is living for, man would refuse to live, would rather exterminate himself than remain on earth.' — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov