Summary Guide of Crime and Punishment

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Lesson 1:
1. Raskolnikov lives under the roof directly above his landlady in a small, tight garret surrounded by dusty yellow wallpaper and with nothing but a “clumsy” couch, an unlevel table with three unpainted chairs, and a few books covered in dust from abandonment. The area where he resides in could be described as the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. The inhabitants include drunkards, prostitutes, and tradesman. 2. Environmental factors such as these breed a despondent outlook on life and a reticent behavior that only sink one’s mind. 3. Raskolnikov possesses two opposing sides of his personality; the compassionate and the selfish. His compassionate side led him to leave money for Marmeladov’s family and lead him to care about the young drunk woman that he tried to save from a rapist. However, his more selfish side caused him to reprimand himself for “wasting” money on the Marmeladovs and on the drunken stranger. Both aspects of himself create an inner struggle that will most likely continue throughout the story. 4. Marmeladov can be described as in his early fifties, average height, solid build and sparsely balding. His wife Katherine Ivanovna possesses a delicate, proportionate, slim, tall body at the age of thirty, she still retains brown color in her hair, and her cheeks have red stains from the disease she has. From her previous marriage she gave birth to three children a little boy and two girls. Her oldest child has the age of nine and appears tall and thin. The little boy, the middle child, has just the description of a year older than the youngest child who is six. Marmeladov‘s only child Sonia has the description of in her teenage years. 5. I believe others should take pity on Marmeladov instead of despising him because he has shown regret and condemns himself. His character proved weak when he could not keep himself from his drinking problem. He feels remorse from taking his family’s only money to spend it on himself for a selfish reason but his action in returning home to face reproach from his wife gives a feeling of pity. 6. Although I understand Katerina Ivanovna’s anxiety I do not sympathize with her. I do not think I would react the way she has. My reaction would focus on finding a job or another means of income. Her actions benefit no one and for that I cannot sympathize. 7. Yes, Katerina’s background makes her present situation much more tragic because she had never experienced such hardships before. If she had grown in a humble environment she would have felt a lesser loss and she would have accepted her life a lot more easily. 8. In Dostoyevsky’s novel the pawnbroker falls under unsympathetic terms. 9. Raskolnikov appears as physically attractive with his dark eyes, blond hair, above average height and well built body though with the exception of his garb. 10. Raskolnikov and the pawnbroker have ironic descriptions because the two contradict each other; the pawnbroker has richness while Raskolnikov needs money. Even their descriptions oppose each other one being young and attractive and the other aged though both dress similarly. 11. The character’s actions determine whether they become likeable or not. 12. From her actions Sonia can be described as likeable because she sacrificed her virginity for persons she was not related to by blood. Moreover, she continues to give them money aside from leaving her home to keep them safe. Her altruism shows only her benevolent character. 13. Mr. Luzhin appears to be likeable from his visits to Dounia. And based on the mother’s letter he seems a sensible man by the way he has handled the situation. His accepting of the possibility in giving Raskolnikov a job and helping Duonia and her mother with their luggage shipping. But nevertheless not enough events have occurred to categorize Mr. Luzhin definitely. 14. Raskolnikov opposes Dounia’s proposed marriage because he believes his sister will marry to save...
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