Essay about A Nihilistic Analysis of Crime and Punishment

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A Nihilistic Analysis of Crime and Punishment

This paper provides an exhaustive analysis, from a Nihilistic perspective, of the novel, Crime and Punishment. The paper is divided into many sections, each with a self-explanatory title in capital letters, such as the section that immediately follows this sentence.


Katerina Ivanovna must deal with a man who drinks his life away while his family starves. Marmeladov recounts their suffering by first describing his loss of a job. He claims that, ". . .through no fault of mine but through changes in the office [I lost my place], and then I did touch it [alcohol]!" He attempted to educate his daughter, but what little knowledge
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Marmeladov pathetically admits that he took all the families earnings to waste on alcohol, and even stooped so low as to stop at Sonia's to ask for a "pick-me-up."


Roskolnikov's actual narration of the crime is definitely inconsistent with his preparation for the crime. From the pre-ceding pages of the novel, we continually see Roskolnikov's careful premeditation and disgust at criminals who lose their senses and commit a crime that can easily be traced to themselves. Roskolnikov dwells on the fact that the extraordinary criminals pay attention to the details that can eventually lead to their downfall. He often comments: "For this business one should be as little conspicuous as possible. . . . Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it's just such trifles that always ruin everything. . . ." He spends days counting the number of steps it takes to reach his victims apartment (exactly 730), and meticulously wraps a fake, wooden pledge in cloth, constructs a noose to conceal the ax in his coat, and spends time memorizing where Alyona keeps her keys- all for the sake of performing a perfect crime. Yet, when he does eventually place his plan into action: "He was in a terrible haste, and he kept making mistakes." Roskolnikov runs into many complications when trying to complete his crime
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