Raskolnikov's Split Personality

1687 Words Oct 16th, 2006 7 Pages
In 1957, C.H. Thigpen and H.M. Checkley wrote The Three Faces of Eve, loosely based on one of their patients, and popularized the term "Split Personality." This condition, more formally known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, continues to capture the imagination of many people through movies such as "Me, Myself, and Irene," but it was much earlier that the idea of multiple personalities in one body entered popular culture. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the nineteenth century, and in a couple of decades earlier Dostoevsky was writing Crime and Punishment which, while it does not portray a classic case of Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), does …show more content…
Raskolnikov also lacks a "full and clear understanding of his position" and can only long hopelessly for freedom from his impossible predicament. Mikolka assigned the mare her impossible burden, urging his friends into the cart by saying, "Get in, all get in […] she will draw you all. I'll beat her to death" (55). In the same way, Raskolnikov's logical side assigned him the task of murdering the old woman, thinking that he "wanted to become a Napoleon" (383-384). Bearing the guilt and pressure from the law that comes from this crime is too heavy for his emotional side in the same way that bearing the cart full of people and the "stunning blow[s]" (56) is too much for the old horse. Over the course of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov's frequent inconsistency reveals the conflict between his logical persona and his emotional persona. Razumihin attempts to describe the personality of Raskolnikov to Dounia and Pulcheria Alexandrovna and says, "It's as though he were alternating between two characters" (200). This statement is very typical to Razumihin in that he is exactly…