Fyodor Dostoevsky’s magnum opus, Crime and Punishment sucks the readers into the consciousness of the protagonist, RodionRomanovichRaskolnikov where a battle, the eternal struggle between the good and evil and reason and sentiment is going on. Considered one of the wonders of European literature, the novel portrays a young man, expelled from the university due to financial deprivation, becoming ensnared in the intricacies of certain abstract theories. To break the impasse, he resolves to murder a lousy, old pawnbroker. After the heinous crime, the protagonist, in order to rejoin the stream of humanity, embraces suffering as an act of expiation.
Key words : Existentialism, Nihilism, Superman Theory, paranoia, schizophrenia, suffering, redemption
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The deed of atrocity makes him lose his mental equilibrium and plunge into a world of frenzied fantasies. “Did I murder the old woman? I murdered myself, not her!” (Crime and Punishment, 353) He, eventually, is filled with an abominable feeling of self - hatred that stems from his Napoleonic theories. His delirious, semi - oblivious wanderings invite the readers to partake in his agony and terrible despair. Typical of a schizophrenic, he is haunted by hallucinations and occasionally overcome with an urge to confess.
However, despite his intense desire to get rid of his poverty and wretchedness, he fails to gratify his desires even as he deprives the old pawnbroker and her stepsister, Lizaveta of their lives and possessions. Delirious, the protagonist sees and hears someone calling him, “murderer” but desperately clings to his conviction, “I didn’t kill a human being but a principle” (Crime and Punishment, 234). Guilt torments him and he dreams of the old woman who does not die at the repeated blowing of the axe but goes on chuckling
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Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment is a psychologically charged novel in which the primary element that plagues the protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, is not a person but rather an idea; his own idea. Raskolnikov has an unhealthy obsession with rendering himself into what he perceives as the ideal, supreme human being, an übermensch. Raskolnikov forms for himself a theory in which he will live purely according to his own will and transcend the social norms and moralities that dominate society. Raskolnikov suggests that acts commonly regarded as immoral are to be reserved for a certain rank of “extraordinary” men. Raskolnikov’s faith
In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky creates a psychological thriller, in which he reimagines his own life through the eyes of Raskolnikov. Whereas the Russian government sentences Dostoevsky to Siberia as punishment for sedition, Siberia serves a means of atonement for Raskolnikov. This type of religious undertone reinforces the novel’s existentialistic messages that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It holds the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. Thus, humans create their own purpose in life and their choices define who they are. Dostoevsky utilizes figurative language, specifically biblical allusions, as a way of conveying and clarifying these themes to the reader. By connecting to Bible, the author universalizes the intention, allowing the reader to apply the text to their own lives, and granting the audience further insight into the novel. Thus, biblical allusions help enrich the themes of Crime and Punishment while also cementing the central message of salvation- anyone, even murderers, have the potential to redeem themselves.
The central theme of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky deals with conformity’s role in society. Dostoyevsky uses conformity to make Raskolnikov mentally ill and eventually turn himself in to face the punishment for his crimes. Religion influences every character in the book, but none more ardently than Raskolnikov. Understanding religion’s role as a force for conformity in Crime and Punishment provides a powerful insight into character motives and, furthermore, philosophical influences.
Consider the design of a puppet. When observing this structure, one will give attention to the source of the puppet’s actions being dictated by the puppeteer. These actions are able to be transmitted from the will of the puppeteer into the puppet through the strings that the puppeteer uses to control specific parts of the puppet. Furthermore, one can infer that the strings of the puppet are the motive behind the puppet’s action. If the puppet’s actions are disoriented or even disjointed, one can infer that the strings or the motives behind the puppet’s actions are conflicting. A notable literary example of this depiction can be found in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserablés. Late in Book V: Valjean, Jean Valjean describes the method of reasoning behind Javert’s suicide when he says, “To owe life to a criminal...to betray society in order to remain true...these absurdities should come about and be heaped on top of him...it was this that defeated him” (Hugo 1181). Javert’s adherence to his internal conflict imploded and eventually influenced his suicide; a reader might see Javert’s decision and confirm that an inner conflict of motives prompted his unanticipated action. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a 19th Century existentialist Russian author, portrays a similar theme in his book Crime and Punishment which tells the story of a man named Raskolnikov, the suspect of a murder case, who appears like a puppet with actions that become increasingly
In the novel “Crime and Punishment”, the author, Fyodor Dostoevsky gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of a tormented criminal, by his guilt of a murder. Dostoevsky’s main focal point of the novel doesn’t lie within the crime nor the punishment but within the self-conflicting battle of a man and his guilty conscience. The author portrays tone by mood manipulation and with the use of descriptive diction to better express his perspective in the story, bringing the reader into the mind of the murderer.
Dostoevsky's 1865 novel Crime and Punishment is the story of an expelled university student's murder of an old pawnbroker and her sister. The idealistic ex-student, Raskolnikov, is ultimately unable to live up to his own nihilistic theory of what makes a "Great Man" and, overcome by fits of morality, betrays himself to the police. Exiled to Siberia, suffering redeems the unfortunate young dreamer. Crime and Punishment is similar in many ways to Balzac's Pere Goriot, especially in respect to questions of morality. In Balzac, the master-criminal Vautrin lives by an amoral code similar to Raskolnikov's theory of Great Men--unrestrained by conscience, Vautrin holds that laws are for the weak, and those clever enough to realize this may
Often times in literature, we are presented with quintessential characters that are all placed into the conventional categories of either good or bad. In these pieces, we are usually able to differentiate the characters and discover their true intentions from reading only a few chapters. However, in some remarkable pieces of work, authors create characters that are so realistic and so complex that we are unable to distinguish them as purely good or evil. In the novel Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky develops the morally ambiguous characters of Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov to provide us with an interesting read and to give us a chance to evaluate each character.
Dostoevsky, the author of Crime and Punishment, was extremely concerned with many of the social issues of his day. It his work, he addresses the rise of nihilism and disregard for moral responsibility that overtook Russia’s youth during the 1860s through Raskolnikov, who murders a pawnbroker.
In Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the character of Raskolnikov is one who may be considered evil or immoral for his actions, however his portrayal by the author is one that instills sympathy in the reader for the character due to his motives and personal, internal consequences he suffers for his crime of murder. There is considerable evidence supporting the view that Raskolnikov wants his theory surrounding the murder to be proven wrong, to get caught, and to be punished. This tells the reader that deep
Crime and Punishment by Fydor Dostoyevsky has been hailed as the greatest literary work in the Western hemisphere. Crime and Punishment was written in pre-Communist Russia under the Tsar. Dostoyevsky's writing shows insight into the human mind that is at once frightening and frighteningly real. His main character, around who all other characters are introduced, is Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov.
Finally, the reader is introduced to the character around whom the story is centered, the accursed murderess, Mrs. Wright. She is depicted to be a person of great life and vitality in her younger years, yet her life as Mrs. Wright is portrayed as one of grim sameness, maintaining a humorless daily grind, devoid of life as one regards it in a normal social sense. Although it is clear to the reader that Mrs. Wright is indeed the culprit, she is portrayed sympathetically because of that very lack of normalcy in her daily routine. Where she was once a girl of fun and laughter, it is clear that over the years she has been forced into a reclusive shell by a marriage to a man who has been singularly oppressive. It is equally clear that she finally was brought to her personal breaking point, dealing with her situation in a manner that was at once final and yet inconclusive, depending on the outcome of the legal investigation. It is notable that regardless of the outcome, Mrs. Wright had finally realized a state of peace within herself, a state which had been denied her for the duration of her relationship with the deceased.
In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, Crime and Punishment, Marmeladov is a minor character whose story is told in only a few short chapters of the first two books, and yet, Marmeladov plays an important role in the novel. Both Marmeladov and Raskolnikov are desperate men trying to function in a bleak world. Both men feel alienated in a world which has no meaning. Despite his miserable existence, Marmeladov hopes to find salvation through his anguish. Marmeladov reflects the themes of guilt and suffering that Raskolnikov later shares. Dostoevsky suggests that suffering is the only path to redemption.
In Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky discusses justice, questioning who or what determines this ideal. Primarily, he focuses on a man named Raskolnikov, who murders two women and then wrestles with his motives. As Raskolnikov’s hopeless outlook drives him to madness, his friend Sonia reveals an alternative view of justice, which allows for redemption. Through analyzing his character’s viewpoints, Dostoevsky never explicitly defines justice; instead, he exposes his audience to different interpretations to form their own conclusions. However, by depicting Raskolnikov spiraling into madness, Dostoevsky guides his reader to reject justice as determined by man in favor of it established by a higher power.
The title of Feodor Dostoevsky’s work, Crime and Punishment, leads the mind to think that the book will focus on a great punishment set by enforcers of the law that a criminal will have to endure, but the book does not really focus on any physical repercussions of the crimes of the main character, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov.
Crime and Punishment, written by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky; is a philosophical crime fiction novel. The story is very powerful in that it goes beyond the book and into the lives of the audience; making the audience feel some type of relation between themselves and the story. Dostoevsky was brilliant in creating a fictional world where the characters seem to be found within the audience, transitioning from a fictional story to a self-help book. He employes many life lessons in the story, which give the audience a new perspective on themselves.