Bazarov was considered as the central figure in the novel of fathers and sons. He inculcates the central idea of "nihilism", which means the rejection of religion, which meant he was an atheist. This novel was based on the two opposing ideas of hope and devastation, for not only religious means, but also for emotional hope in the end of the book. Bazarov was a nihilist of humble background whose life-view involves a rejection of anything that has previously been accepted as valid. He refused to take anyone's word for anything; he had no alliances, and no emotions; he cared no more for one country than for another and accepted only what is scientifically proven. His purpose was to destroy all existing religions and values, along with traditional
Keeping this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Raskolnikov would feel utterly abhorred when Svidrigaïlov refers to them as “birds of a feather”(p.340; Part 4, Chapter 1). While Svidrigaïlov is rather keen of their shared similarities, such as their status as murderers, Raskolnikov willingly fails to realize these associations. Raskolnikov’s better side objects to the hedonistic behavior of Svidrigaïlov, decrying him as a man of the most abject nature. The dramatic irony lies in the fact that Raskolnikov desires to be an “extraordinary” man, the very epitome of Svidrigaïlov, a man he holds in no high regard. Despite their superficial variances and dissidences, Raskolnikov had slowly rendered himself into a facsimile of the man he detested, Svidrigaïlov. Although both men, whether knowingly or unknowingly, desire to transcend above the ordinary masses, it is only a matter of time before self-realization indicates the folly of their ways.
Through Raskolnikov’s exemplification of the impracticality of this principle\, Dostoevsky makes his greatest point in Crime and Punishment. His commentary on the subject seeks to discredit the theory in the circumstance of an individual “superman” by displaying Raskolnikov as a character who is difficult for readers to identify with because of his inanity. Even Raskolnikov’s name is a symbol of nihilistic ideas, the word “raskol” meaning schism in Russian, illustrating the shift from an older school of thought (social utopianism) to a darker philosophy: nihilism and utilitarianism. Raskolnikov seems to fluctuate back and forth between the two philosophies, acting on one and then mentally chastising himself for it, immediately and almost erratically changing his mind. This symbolizes the more human side of him struggling
To him, nihilism meant a radical overturn and repudiation of the societal values and moral principles already in existence. He believed that “Nihilism is not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plough; one destroys (Will to Power). With the growing influence of nihilism, came the influence of a new doctrine known as utilitarianism: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Extremists in Russia believed that violence was the only way to go about political change. These same ideals influenced Raskolnikov throughout the novel. Raskolnikov’s self imposed isolation from humanity represents one of the main principles of nihilism; the idea that relationships are meaningless. This results in his adoption of Nietzsche’s concept of a “superman”. Raskolnikov kills the pawnbroker, Alyona, thinking that it was a justifiable act because she was a corrupt member of society. Because he considers himself a “superman” of society, he kills her, attempting to prove that he is about the above the law and establish his
Life is not easy, which Fyodor Dostoevsky makes very clear in his novel Crime and Punishment. In life, you encounter people that you find admirable. People who persevere, making tough decisions even though they may not be easy, or benefit themselves in any way. Those are the Razumikhins, and Sonyas of our world. Honorable (sometimes to a fault), willing to sacrifice themselves to help those they love. They embody what virtue theory followers believe. Unfortunately, you will also encounter people who are not wonderful. There are awful, disgusting people that take advantage and exert their power over others. Those are the Luzhins and the Svidrigailovs of the world. People like them will not hesitate to use their wealth or power to bend those they wish to take advantage of, forcing others to submit to their will. Ruining people, or making others feel terrible about themselves, or taking what they think they are entitled to because they believe it is their right. These are the type of people that display features of ethical egoism. Raskolnikov finds himself constantly drifting between these two extremes. He may do something good, then when it causes more trouble than he intended, he berates himself instead. Raskolnikov is a very conflicted character, and after murdering Alyona, and her sister Lizaveta with his axe he became even more conflicted. In a way, Raskolnikov kind of represents the everyday person (if you forget about murdering two people with an axe). The everyday
Debauchery, dueling, infidelity, orgies, and even monastery life are all used to help Fyodor Dostoevesky define his characters in The Brothers Karamazov. At the beginning of the novel, the reader becomes filled with contempt for a few members of the Karamazov family, yet filled with admiration for others. The legitimate members of the Karamasov family each represent a separate aspect of human character, which is applicable to society. In some ways the characters resemble separate factions and cliques of society that most often argue, but together can be productive. This is shown not by direct implication, but rather the reader discovers the fact on their own by becoming infuriated
Moral absolutism becomes the issue central to Raskolnikov’s plight, as he becomes subject to different systems that have disparate ideals for morality, which he wishes to achieve, but ultimately realizes he cannot fulfill them all. Furthermore, it becomes to central problem with the justice system as it doesn’t deeply examine the convictions that drive action and incorrectly categorizes individuals rather than seeing them as singular human beings. Raskolnikov attempts to reconcile the two in his mind and suggests humanity cannot be universally defined by a set of laws or a code of conduct, but rather understanding the complex motivations that drive actions. Dostoevsky reinforces the multi-faceted nature of humanity with the many gray areas he introduces among his highly complex characters. This concern for metaethics favors moral relativism over moral absolutism. The only element that is universal about humanity is that every human being is complex in their own way. Rather than looking at an individual for their aesthetic value in society, whether good samaritan or criminal, attention should be diverted to the innermost state of mind. It is only when a human being is understood and valued at the most micro level, as an individual, that humanity can be placed on equitable terms. Thus society must strive for a legal system that serves to
From declaring he wanted to become a Napoleon to wishing for financial independence to murdering for his own sake, he rattles off various motives, showing his obsessive rationalization (394-397). By presenting his conflicting intentions, Dostoevsky exhibits the chaos within Raskolnikov’s mind.
He shows egotistical, cowardly, and humane trait. Raskolnikov’s egocentric behaviors make him only care for himself and relate every situation back to himself. However, his humane side is occasionally seen throughout varied events. Similarly, these characteristics brought out his divided character. Raskolnikov continues to be thought-provoking character who has matured as a character in some
Much of a historian’s job is to read what their colleagues have written on their subject of interest at the moment. Often, they then go on to write their own opinions on the subject, thereby influencing the historians of the future. The famed historian and teacher Richard Hofstadter wrote The Age of Reform in 1955 about the late 19th century and early 20th century movement of Progressivism. In turn, other historians that include Paula Baker, Richard McCormick, and Peter Filene have written their opinion on what the movement we call Progressivism really was, and what its real significance is, or even if it really existed as a movement in its own right.
Furthermore, in Leo Tolstoy‘s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and analysis will demonstrate that the character Ivan Ilyich struggles throughout his life to achieve the ideals of liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness. It is through Ivan’s death and his friend’s narration of Ivan’s life that the reader comes to the realization the the middle-class Ivan has few strength’s besides his hard work to drive him towards his ideals for wealth and property. Ivan lived his whole life with the purpose of enjoying himself. He did this through winning power at work, spending money, buying things to impress his friends, throwing parties, and playing bridge. His pursuit of happiness in material things and pleasures is so great that his deliberately avoids anything unpleasant. This means that when he settled down with a family, which was expected of him, he never grows close to them.
Rubashov’s character vacillates between embracing the individualistic traits of his nature to the pull exerted on him by the indoctrination of the ideology of the greater good, even at the expense of individual liberty and freedom. Rubashov, during his time in prison though shows a propensity to acknowledge the failure of the glorious tenets of the Revolution, for he has seen the horror of the totalitarian system in the purges carried out by the party leaders under the pretext of filtering traitors. In an acknowledgement of the folly of his and the Party’s ways, Rubashov states “…we are doing the work of prophets without their gift. We replaced vision by logical discussion…” and it is this acceptance of their shortcomings that shows the transformation of Rubashov.
As Raskolnikov’s shame takes over him, his mental health gradually deteriorates, despite his previous belief that he held enough intellectual and emotional
In this paper, I plan to explain Dostoevsky’s criticism of Western Individualism. Dostoevsky’s first criticism resides in the idea to “love life more than the meaning of it, “which is presented by the character Alyosha (Dostoevsky 3). Allowing this character to discuss this topic, along with the commentary of Ivan, demonstrates their mindset to solely focus on their own lives, opposed to caring for others. This leads to them living for the now, and not focusing on how their decisions will affect their future or others. Dostoevsky disapproves of this notion because living by this mentality encourages the guidance of logic, which is dangerous because it could tell you to kill yourself. From Dostoevsky’s Eastern Orthodox background, he believes that the only way from living from this situation is to deny it. By denying this way of living, the focus toward life will not be directed toward yourself, but toward the way you can impact the environment around you. Ivan clearly does not believe in these values, due to his intentions to commit suicide at the age of thirty. As said before, living by the idea to “love life more than the meaning of it” leads to death, and Ivan indulges in this to the fullest (Dostoevsky 3).
Dostoevsky’s believes in existentialism, and the idea that individual freedom is essential to the development of the mind (Copleston 165). He speaks through his characters by presenting them as “continually defeated as a result of their choices” ( “Existentialism”). Though Raskolnikov is allowed to make his own decisions he ended up making the wrong ones. He is forced to face his consequences of the murders he committed. Dostoevsky’s blend of philosophy with the novel allows