Essay on Salvation Through Human Suffering in Crime and Punishment

1200 Words5 Pages
Salvation Through Human Suffering in Crime and Punishment “All men must suffer, and salvation can not be obtained unless this suffering is present” (Boland, p.4). All of the characters in the novel experience some sort of internal or external suffering. The main character, Raskolnikov, must grow and realize this in order to overcome his conflicts and reach the salvation of peace within. Dostoevsky’s concentration and focus is on why suffering must exist and how this suffering can be conquered. This is found to be true because in the six sections of the novel, only one is focused on the crime, and the remaining five are concentrated on Raskolnikov’s journey to overcome his suffering. This is the beginning of the punishment. By…show more content…
Rodya believed that if he were extraordinary, he could commit any crime and walk away from it indifferent. One might find that Rodya’s ideas are somehow correlated to the beliefs of Soren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard believed that truth is both power and suffering. “The existential man ‘believes’ that life has no meaning, no substance, and no path for happiness. He is the man who knows and accepts that all things good and evil exist, including suffering. This is why the existential man is indifferent toward the benefits and consequences of life (Hong, p. 67). What Rodya didn’t realize was that, “no matter what – man suffers” (Kierkegaard, p. 190). Rodya thought, because he was an extraordinary man, that he could avoid the truth which would also mean avoiding suffering. It is not until he confesses and is in Siberia serving his sentence that he finds some redemption from his suffering. There can be comparisons to the suffering of Svidrigailov and the suffering of life is suicide. Raskolnikov did not avoid suffering, he was able to conquer it. Before his crime he asked the question, “Will this crime serve a noble purpose”, (p. 75) he also asks “do I dare commit this murder and therefore prove myself to be a man by proving that my will is strong?” (p. 76) It is after this that he commits the crime that the suffering begins. Unlike Svidrigailov, Rodya overcomes his pain through salvation with the help of Sonia. Rodya suffers because he is not
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