The Characteristics Of Raskolyevsky's Duality Vs. Dostoevsky

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One of the most peculiar traits about Raskolnikov is that despite him murdering two people, he still has moments during the novel when he helps others. One would not expect generosity to be present in a man with a superiority complex, yet at times he can be found donating the last of his kopecks even when, he himself, desperately needs them. At times, this duality can be confusing to the reader because it seems as if there are two Raskolnikov's. Which one then, is the true Raskolnikov? Despite Raskolnikov’s attempt to set himself above the common man, he cannot deny his true nature, as shown when he saves a young girl from the malicious intentions of an older man. Before his interactions with the young girl, the reader sees Raskolnikov acting in a selfish manner. After reading his mother's letter Raskolnikov stating that Dunya is to marry a wealthy older man he thinks, “how can she not sacrifice even such a daughter for the sake of such first born son! Oh, dear and unjust hearts” (Dostoevsky 44)! Egocentrically, he incorrectly assumes that the decisions his family has made are entirely for his benefit. As a “superior man”, Raskolnikov does not need anyone’s help at this point in his life. He is a man who is willing to kill for the sake of an idea. Further, he thinks he should be the one making decisions. Raskolnikov firmly states that “it won’t happen as long as I live, it won’t, it won’t! I don’t accept it” (Dostoevsky 44). Yet, by trying to control his family, it reveals how desperate he is to have order in his own life. Raskolnikov’s life is falling apart, he has no job, owes money to his landlady, and (suffers from?) crippling anxiety. He uses his superior mindset as a coping mechanism to avoid addressing the problems that are plaguing his life. He does not have to take responsibility for them because he believes that his word is above the law. Therefore, his sister has to reject this marriage from Luzhin in his mind, showing the reader just how bad of a rut he is in life. This man is at his lowest point in life but he will not accept help from those that truly care about him. In his mind, control is the ultimate goal for him… yet, despite his selfish thoughts and controlling nature, he is involuntarily

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