Allusions In Crime And Punishment

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Crime and Punishment, written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is a novel about the actions of a man, his punishment, and his eventual redemption. Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, (Raski), is a man with many flaws. By the end of part one, he had already murdered two women, a pawnbroker, and her friend. This act is very important for it sets the tone for the rest of the plot. The majority of Dostoevsky’s book is about the suffering Raskolnikov endures and how, through his pain, Raski is able to achieve redemption. Among Dostoevsky’s use of many techniques, his use of literary motifs, and Christian allusions help to convey the importance of religion in redemption.
One major motif used by Dostoevsky was water. Historically, this has represented the purification of sins and is a motif that is generally based in a religious way. Crime and Punishment exemplifies the idea of water as a purifying substance, almost a sort of baptism. Water becomes important to note in Part 2, specifically chapter 6. In this chapter, Raskolnikov witnesses a woman’s attempt to take her life by jumping off of a bridge and drowning in the water. She is eventually saved and Raskolnikov starts thinking about suicide in the same way. “It was disgusting to him. ‘No, it’s vile . . . the water . . . better not’” (170). This thought shows Raskolnikov considering plunging himself into the river in response to his crime. He is so caught up in the murder and the investigation that he considers ending his life. Although these

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