Crime And Punishment

.. r her family. Raskolnikov despised Peter Pervich for who he was and forbid such a marriage. He loathed the fact of his sister marrying to help him and his mother. “This marriage shall never take place while I live, and Mr. Luzhin may go to the devil.” (Dosteovsky 37) Adding to his hatred was the allegation and set up of Sonya. Raskolnikov realized that Petrovich’s reasoning behind his scheme was to indeed infuriate his mother and sister.

Peter knew that Dunya and her mother would be furious with Raskolnikov if they believed that the money they sent him went not to Marmeladov’s funeral, but to Sonya herself. This sneaky, deliberate motive enraged his hatred to unspeakable terms. The three occurrences of evil seem to the naked eye as a muted or lower form of evil. Yet indeed these instances portray large means of evil. Society has set them on a smaller scale viewing them as persay “not that bad.” On the contrary, a more wicked type has been made to seem more punishable.

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The form is radical evil. Radical evil explains a physically vicious, violent side to evil. “It applies to immoral behavior so persuasive in a person or a society that scruples and constraints have been utterly abandoned.” (Shattuck 76) Murder, torture, and genocide all relate to Raskolnikov in it’s most prevalent sense. “The ultimate motive as unrestrained power based on force, not on law.” (Shattuck 76) The common man sees this as the ugliest and unforsaken category of evil. The radical evil in Crime and Punishment shows forth strongest in Raskolnikov. One of these occurrences entails Raskolnikov committing a crime and the other happens subconsciously.

Although it’s a dream, Raskolnikov’s dreams go beyond the common mans’. They all involve extreme violence, bringing it almost to reality. “The character lives a furtive nightmare existence, whereas their dreams are so sharply accurate as to be mistaken for real experiences.” (Mortimer 654) Raskolnikov felt a powerful urge as he left the pawnbrokers flat one day. That feeling was curiosity placed on a dark side. He began to plot the murder of the old woman.

first obtaining an ax, and then setting a time and place. Once decided, he proceeded to brutally beat the old woman to death with the ax. “Then he struck her again and yet again, with all his strength, always with the blunt side of the axe, and always on the crown of the head. Blood poured out as if from an overturned glass and the body toppled over on it’s back. (Dosteovsky 74) A short time after the old woman died, her younger sister walked in, in which Raskolnikov reacted to split her head for the sake of no witnesses. Two murders were fiercely committed for the sake of simple curiosity.

Preceding these murders Raskolnikov dreamt a horrible detailed nightmare. The scene included a young boy watching an old mare being savagely beaten by a group of peasants. The main character of the dream, Mikolka, basically represented Raskolnikov subconsciously. Mikolka was upset that the mare wouldn’t gallop; for the horse was old, decrepit and could barely walk. Knowingly, Mikolka and his crew whipped the horse mercilessly, becoming wilder and angrier as the beating persisted. “Mikolka lost his temper and began raving blows on the little mare in a passion of anger, as if he really expected her to gallop.” (Dosteovsky 54) The horse showered in it’s own blood, finally died The murder of the two women and the beating of the horse show wicked, bone chattering, pure evil. The taking of life unfortunately is and has always been the way in which radical evil has commonly occurred. What makes evil essentially radical is not the motive involved, but the post-motive actions of the culprit.

A being’s personal characteristics hold strong responsibility for the evil actions committed. Their attitude feeds toward the reason for the malignancy when it is expressed. A wicked attitude one might pervay before and/or after the sin is committed, sometimes is more baneful and frightening than the action itself. This attitude is categorized as metaphysical evil. In other terms metaphysical evil is the designated attitude of assent and approval toward moral and radical evil.

(Shattuck 76) This “face” behind the evil is usually motivated by a feeling of superior human will and power. Crime and Punishment portrays metaphysical evil at its darkest points. Raskolnikov reveals this evil in his conscience and subconscience mind as in the radical form. The murder of the two woman also convey’s Raskolnikov’s metaphysically evil side. When the beating of the old woman was finished and he was rummaging through her room this form faced forth. “He was even laughing at himself into his mind, the idea that perhaps the old woman was still alive and might yet recover consciousness.” (Dosteovsky 74) The basic point of Raskolnikov laughing for any reason at such a time displays his metaphysical evil. The obvious fear and disgruntlement evoked in the readers mind ultimately supports that fact.

Raskolnikov also expresses this misery in his dream that entailed the ghastly beating of the horse. “Suddenly there was a great explosion of laughter that drowned everything else.. Even the old man could not help laughing.” Dosteovsky 54) These men were not only torturing the helpless animal, but were enjoying it too. The laughter created during the peasants’ gruesome antics was brought by the metaphysical turpitude lurking in Raskolnikov’s head. Moral, radical, and metaphysical categories of evil breakdown one’s reasoning to better support the argument of nature versus nurture.

Crime and Punishment has shown that evil in man is inherent and is brought in no other way. Yes indeed society can initially bring the evil, but impart can not “plant the seed.” Curiosity and desire lie within every creature, and are also two of the simplest forms of evil. What some today don’t realize are the particular universal actions and ideas, of people are themselves purely evil. The customary human desire for sexual actions displays this. Sex is an action induced by lust.

Lust is a primary moral evil. Every creature contains this feeling, and whether they decide to express it is influenced by their environment. Raskolnikov was curious to find what is like to commit murder. His personality and attitude coerced him into action. The personality he attributed was swayed by his environment, but yet something must have been there to be vacillated. What, that is influenced in a man can be compared to a seed.

The larger the seed of evil in a creature, the more chance it has to grow to sinister levels. In a sense, one might only reveal it with lust, while another is murdering numerous individuals. That statement exhibits the point at which one’s environment takes over. Therefore proving that an inevitably “good” creature is labeled that way because that creature is winning the battle against his own evils. and attitude coerced him into action.

The personality he attributed was swayed by his environment, but yet something.

Crime And Punishment

Crime And Punishment Many great literary works emerge from a writer’s experiences. Through The Crucible, Arthur Miller unleashes his fears and disdain towards the wrongful accusations of McCarthyism. Not only does Ernest Hemmingway present the horrors he witnessed in World War I in his novel, A Fair Well to Arms, he also addresses his disillusionment of war and that of the expatriates. Another writer who brings his experiences into the pages of a book is Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Faced with adversity and chronic financial problems, he lived as a struggling writer in St.

Petersburg, a city stricken with poverty. Dostoyevsky’s novel, Crime and Punishment, ingeniously illustrates the blatant destitution that plagued the city of St. Petersburg in nineteenth century. Throughout Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky reveals how this destitution victimizes two main female characters, Sofia Semionovna Marmeladov and Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikov. In a poverty stricken St. Petersburg, many drunkards scourge the local taverns to satiate their desolation.

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One such out-of-work government clerk, Zakharych Semyon Marmeladov, lingers in the taverns relinquishing every penny to alcohol. Marmeladov’s inability to maintain a job causes his family to live as indigents. The lack of money essentially leaves Sofia Semionovna, the daughter of Marmeladov, in a vulnerable position. Although Sonia is an “honorable girl . . .[she] has no special talents” (Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky [New York: Penguin Group, 1968] 27).

With no steady income flowing into the family’s pockets, Sonia’s three younger stepsiblings cry of hunger. In response to the cries, Katherine Ivanovna, Sonia’s stepmother, introduces the idea of harlotry to Sonia. Consequently, Sonia “puts on her cape and kerchief and leaves the apartment” (28). As she re-enters later, she “walk[s] straight up to Katherine Ivanovna, and quietly put[s] thirty rubles on the table” (28). In order to quiet “the weeping of [the] hungry children,” Sonia turns to a life of prostitution as a means of supporting her family (28). After tainting her body, “she [does] not utter a word[;] she [does] not even look” (28). “She [hides] her head and face in [a wool shawl] and [lies] down on the bed with her face to the wall” (28).

Poverty leads her to corrupt her innocence and victimizes her by stripping her of her “treasure” (28). Not only does poverty rob Sonia of her purity, it also robs her of her family when she has to “register as a prostitute and carry the yellow ticket” (28). Since she carries the yellow ticket, the Marmeladovs’ landlady no longer permits her to live in the building, and Sonia, ultimately, resides in an apartment which she shares with “the poorest kind of people” (29). Her marker restricts her from visiting her family at any given time, and “it’s mostly after dark . .

. Sonia comes to [them]” (29). Even though Mr. Lebeziatnikov, a tenant in the Marmeladovs’ apartment building, attempts to “get at Sonia himself,” he later reproaches himself and asks, “How can a man as enlightened as myself live in the same rooms with the likes of that?” (29). In the same likeness, Peter Petrovich Luzhin, a corporate lawyer, indulges Sonia with lectures of hand kisses and the French workers’ associations and proclaims that he “like[s] the girl a lot .

. . [and] no one [treats] her more politely and considerably than [he does], or [has] greater respect for her dignity” (360), yet, he accuses her later at her father’s funeral feast of stealing “a government-accredited band note of the value of one hundred rubles” (381). He even boldly states “that a man of [his] experience would not have taken the risk of accusing [Sonia] so directly if [he] were not quite convinced” of her guilt (381). Although Luzhin declares that “it was poverty that drove Sofia Semionovna to this,” Katherine Ivanovna laments on Sonia’s behalf and begins explaining how “she [only] took a yellow ticket because the children were wasting away from hunger-she sold herself for us” (385).

Only when Andrey Semionovich Lebeziatnikov, Luzhin’s roommate, defends Sonia do her cries hold any credence over that of the experienced man. Though Sonia becomes a prostitute to support her family, the stigma attached to the profession still clings to her, and she is shunned despite her noble intentions. Similarly, Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikov, Rodion Romanovna Raskolnikov’s sister, also faces victimization on account of her penury. Dunia, another woman in Crime and Punishment who is trying to provide for her family, accepts a job in the Svidrigailov household. With one hundred rubles as an advance on her salary, Dunia intends on sending sixty to her brother Rodion.

In time, Mr. Svidrigailov advances on Dunia with a façade perpetrating “a number of jokes and discourtesies at her expense,” all the while, concealing a “motive for his deplorable behavior” and a deep passion for Dunia (41). When Martha Petrovna, Mr. Svidrigailov’s wife, heard him “proposition Dunia directly, shamelessly, promising her all sorts of things” (41), she, “misinterpreting . . .

blamed Dunia for everything” (42). Insulted by both husband and wife, Dunia becomes the scandal of the town as Martha Petrovna blackens her name, spreading the story even throughout the whole district. Even though both husband and wife acknowledge their injustices towards Dunia, their endeavors to rectify their offenses only serve to cause Dunia more grief. Along with Martha Petrovna’s venture to vindicate Dunia’s name comes the marriage proposal to Martha Petrovna’s distance relative Peter Petrovich Luzhin, a court councilor. Even though Luzhin appears to be “an extremely worthy man” during the first few meetings between him and Dunia (44), he desires a woman “who would consider him all her life as her savior, would admire, submit to, and venerate him” (302).

With vainglorious intentions, Luzhin looks at Dunia as a woman who “would be slavishly grateful to him all her life because he was heroic, and she would belittle herself reverently before him, while he enjoyed complete and unlimited power over her” (302). Rodion’s determined apprehension towards Luzhin finally convinces Dunia that “he was such a despicable man,” and she “turn[s] pale and frown[s] as she remember[s]” the marriage that might have taken place (303). Dunia avoids the enormous calamity of going through with the marriage plans with Luzhin; nevertheless, she stills find herself entwined in another trap of an aggressor when she encounters Svidrigailov once again in St. Petersburg. Svidrigailov believes that Dunia may be bought with money; he even approaches Rodion, her brother, and offers him ten thousand rubles. Although Raskolnikov refuses for Svidrigailov to simply approach her, Dunia allows herself to be talked into going to his apartment by Svidrigailov. “He led Avdotia Romanovna back to his own living room and asked her to sit down,” and “the isolated location of Svidrigailov’s apartment [strikes] her at last” (471). Svidrigailov divulges Dunia’s brother’s secret about murdering the pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanova, and her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna, then he traps Dunia in his apartment.

Advancing at her with taunts of submissive rape and controlling the fate of loved ones in her life, he leaves Dunia with only one choice, “suddenly, she [draws] a revolver from her pocket, cock[s] it” (477). Although “the bullet [only] graze[s] his hair” and misses Svidrigailov, Dunia finally resolves not to be a victim anymore and puts her fate into her own hands by attempting to shoot Svidrigailov. Dostoyevsky portrays Sonia and Dunia as two women limited in resources, setting them in a position that makes them vulnerable. Providing for their families dominates above all other goals each might have set for herself. Even though their poverty allows them to become victims, it also gives them courage to escape from victimization. Although they face adversity and obstacles, Sonia and Dunia, both, overcome these tribulations with love as a savior. Ironically, Sonia, who only feels the touch of lust as a prostitute, finds Rodion whose heart is also tainted.

Dunia who only knows of the obsession of Svidrigailov finds Razumihin, Rodion’s friend.


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