Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

crime and punishmentWhen Raskolnikov kills an old pawnbroker widow and his sister, then robs all their money, he is totally swallowed by the obsession to cover up his crime. He counters himself repeatedly with the thought that he could perform good deeds, to reverse what he has done; while getting rid of the pawnbroker widow, who he thought as a vermin. He also commits it to test a hypothesis that: ‘some people’ are actually capable of things, and even have the right to do that.

Raskolnikov hides the money after he takes the pawnbroker widow due to his fear of being found out. He becomes obssessed of it, hiding down everything, throwing away his bloodstained clothes and shoes and slowly becomes more and more depressed. At the same time, his sister, Dunia, and mother comes to town, with the plans of his sister going to marry somebody he does not like.

Everybody starts to suspect him, although they never have a real prove. Raskolnikov is anxious. Returning to his apartment after he meets two detectives who suspects him for murder, Raskolnikov falls into a fitful, nightmare-ridden sleep. He must had felt guilty for his crime. Raskolnikov becomes extremely uncomfortable whenever the murders of the pawnbroker and her sister are mentioned. Raskolnikov visits the magistrate in charge of the murder investigation, Porfiry Petrovich, a relative of Razumikhin’s. As they continue to meet, his crime begins to get more and more exposed, but Polfry has not evidence or proof or the suspection. Meanwhile, Raskolnikov manages to keep Dunia with her relationship with Luzhin, but somebody else named Sridrigalov, who is suspected to kill his wife, falls in love with Dunia, to Dunia’s fear.

A crime, in my opinion, is when somebody violated the law for a certain reason, of either psychological madness, or just they want to do it. But whenever somebody does a crime, there always is a reason of revenge. The novel says “Truly great men must, I think, experience great sorrow on the earth.”  After you do a crime, according to Dostoevsky, you won’t have a moment’s peace. Like Raskolnikov, the one who did the crime will feel guilty and try to cover up his footsteps in the sand. Porfiry’s entire investigative technique to trap his victim is interesting. Raskolnikov realizes this and it reminds me to a cat and mouse game.

Every Crime ends up with a punishment. “A right punishment” is the best pair for a crime. For example, for breaking the rule of running in the hallways at school, we do not punish the rule breaker with expulsion, a simple reprimind, is enough. But the action of taking drugs, smoking and bullying could not be punished with a simple lecture. Expulsion could be necessary too.

To confess a crime is the best thing. The crime breaker knows that he has broken a law, and he must be rightly punished. The faster he confesses, the lighter the punishment would be. Confessing a crime will lead to better judgement from people. In this book, Raskolnikov cannot take it anymore. He confesses his crime in the end with the cross of Jesus, from Sonya, his friend, who is a friend of Lizaveta – one of the woman he kills. The cross symbolizes the willingness to forget the crime, to go back pure.

How I see is the plot of the novel presents a double conflict: one external and one internal. For example, the one conflict between the individual and his world; the other is his ethical and consciousness. Since the plot is a double conflict, I suspect Raskolnikov has dual personalities.  One aspect of his character is a cold, inhumane, detached intellectuality; the other aspect is the warm, compassionate side.

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a Russian novelist, born on November 11, 1821 in Moscow, Russia and passed away at the year 1881 on February 9th, at Saint Petersburg, Russia. He is renowned as one of the world’s greatest novelists and literary psychologists. His works always go relate with deep political, social, and religious issues while delving into the tortured psychology of characters whose lives are shaped by these issues. This is his first work that I read. Although I am not really into crime story, Crime And Punishment is very interesting piece.


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