Crime and Punishment2

This essay has a total of 632 words and 4 pages.


Crime and Punishment2




In the novel Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, suffering is an important part of
every character’s role. However, the message that Dostoevsky wants to present with the
main character, Raskolnikov, is not one of the Christian ideas of deliverance through
suffering. Rather, it appears to me, as if the Dostoevsky never lets his main character
suffer mentally throughout the novel, in relation to the crime that is. His only pain
seems to be physical sickness.

I chose literary criticism from The Times Literary Supplement, The Literary World and
criticism by Lafcadio Hearn, Oscar Wilde and D.I. Pisarev, because they all deal with the
issue of how the main character, Raskolnikov, dealt with the crime that he has committed.

“Raskolnikov does not commit the crime because, by way of varied philosophical
considerations, and necessity. On the contrary, the conditions he must live under drive
him to commit the crime as they have moved him to philosophize about his intentions. In
short, Raskolnikov makes the theory up for his own convenience” (Pisarev, 135). I chose
this quote because it is a good way to express how and why Raskolnikov would commit this
murder.

Raskolnikov commits a thought-out murder in a state of delirium. He ends up committing a
second murder, which he never wanted to be responsible for. He kills Lizaveta, an
exceedingly innocent person. But does Dostoevsky every remind us of the murder at any time
in the novel again? Not in the physical sense of the crime itself. You as the reader
doesn’t ever hear about how heavily the murders are weighing on his heart, or how he is
tormented by visions of the crime. Raskolnikov doesn’t feel the least bit guilty about
having committed the crime; only his pride is being hurt. He doesn’t mention the idea of
the pain that might arise from recurrent visions of the crime. Raskolnikov never again
recalls the massive amount of blood everywhere, the look on Lizaveta’s face when he brings
down the axe on her head. These things clearly show that the crime isn’t what might cause
his suffering or pain, it is something else.

After Raskolnikov is sent off to Siberia, he doesn’t feel regretful. He grows depressed
only when he learns of his mother’s death. He still hasn’t found any reason to feel
remorse for his crime. Even though he was sent to Siberia, he doesn’t view it as suffering
because; he would rather not have to go through seven years in his prison cell.

“He wants to give himself up voluntarily to the police, and he wants also to escape
punishment and remain free. He himself is most definitely not capable of deciding which of
these desires is stronger and which in the next moment will direct his act” (Pisarev,
142). I chose to quote because I wanted to show that Raskolnikov wanted to remain free
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