The Deconstruction of Raskolnikov as Übermensch Essay examples

1427 WordsOct 4, 20086 Pages
THE DECONSTRUCTION OF RASKOLNIKOV AS ÜBERMENSCH ‘Murderer!’ he said suddenly, in a low but clear and distinct voice (pg. 231). In just one word (Part 3, Chapter VI of Crime and Punishment), the stranger’s direct label is a stabbing remark in opposition of Raskolnikov’s assumed identity. It is the debasement of a man-god, to be more apt a superman, who is ever so close to falling off the perch and into the abyss. “It was impossible to be sure, but it seemed to Raskolnikov that his face again wore its coldly hostile and triumphant smile” (231). Raskolnikov as the extraordinary man seeks not greatness but justice to serve his pursuits. The elevation is left to the ordinary people who are willing subordinates as puppets along the string.…show more content…
Crime is “prestuplenie” in Russian meaning transgressing whilst stepping over a boundary. Raskol is a word meaning schism and it is fitting when applied to the boundary Raskolnikov straddles. Staying on one side or crossing over to the other is a key binary opposition in this chapter. Crossing over is akin to realizing the incomprehensible and that is heroic. Good and evil are abstract terms with superfluous meanings to the superman that are replaced with the all important word “justice”. The superman goes beyond good and evil by being morally skeptical of the adoptive constraints placed on the ordinary people. Albeit, this comes with a caveat as Raskolnikov tirelessly tries in vain to subjugate his conscience and love as well as contempt for people threatens his identity. In this vein, I am inclined to agree with Sergei V. Belov when he states “whatever I might be, whatever I might do, whether I should be a benefactor of humanity or whether I would suck out its vital juices like a spider, --- that does not matter to me. I know that I want to rule, and that is enough” (490). Here lies the conflict between the will to power and the will to serve that challenges the theory. In catering to the love of the ordinary people, the superman inadvertently reaches for the respect which brings them to his eye level and in effect grants them the

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