The Motif of Poverty Throughout Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky

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Poverty is an essential motif in Crime and Punishment that enables characters to expose their isolation from society. Raskolnikov demonstrates the true effect that poverty can have on an unemployed man in the 1860s. Razumikhin is seen as Raskolnikov’s foil character that reacts to his form of poverty in the opposite way of Raskolnikov towards society. The weight of being desperately pour effects Marmeledov to extensive lengths that ultimately ends in his death.
Crime and Punishment revolves around Raskolnikov and his amplifying guilt after he murders the pawnbroker, Alyona. From the beginning of the novel his poverty is displayed in his living condition, which is further described by the “yellowish dusty wall-paper peeling off the walls” (Part 1. 3) and the sofa that Raskolnikov designates as his bed is “taking up almost the whole of one wall and half the width of the room, and with a print cover now old and worn into holes” (Part 1.3). Raskolnikov is disgusted by the way he lives and even more appalled by the depressing city of St. Petersburg that is full of unemployed drunken men and molesters. The repugnance of the city is further explained to have an “insufferable stench from the pothouses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and the drunken men” (Part 1. 1). Raskolnikov’s opinion of the city is shown by having “an expression of the profoundest disgust” (Part 1. 1). The cities overall pessimistic charm sets a tone that Raskolnikov is…