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Theme Of Dreams In Crime And Punishment

Decent Essays
World renowned psychologist Sigmund Freud believes that people tend to bury what they are ashamed of “in masked forms such as dreams, slips of the tongue, or neurotic behavior.” (Gillespie 47). The idea that dreams can reveal a person's deepest thoughts is prevalent in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. The main character, Raskolnikov struggles with his mental state after premeditatively murdering an old pawnbroker named Alyona and her sister, Lizaveta. Raskolnikov thinks that he is an extraordinary man that is above the rules of humanity, which is why he believes he had the right to commit murder. Despite these notions, Raskolnikov has four fully formed dreams throughout the book that illuminate his true guilt. Dostoevsky uses Raskolnikov’s unconscious state in the form of dreams to illustrate his psychological state. In his first dream, Raskolnikov attempts to escape his confusing adult life by returning to a time where he felt security, his childhood. Raskolnikov’s dream begins with him as a young boy walking with his father in their home town. As they are walking they notice a peasant named Mikolka and his drunken friends beating a horse to death because he failed to walk while pulling an overloaded cart. After several blows, the peasants finally kill the horse. Extremely upset by the murder, Raskolnikov runs over to the horse and “throws his arms around her dead, bleeding muzzle and kisses it…. Then he suddenly he leaps up and flings himself on Mikolka,
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