Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky: Analysis

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Novel Term Paper on Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky

The psychological novel by Dostoyevsky opens by describing an impoverished Raskolnokov’s predicament. He sets out to pawn his items to Alyona Ivanovna whom he plots to murder. The next day he receives a letter from his mother, telling him of their situation and of his sister’s engagement. Raskolnikov sees this as a sacrifice for him and he also remembers the daughter of the man he met in a tavern and it dawns on him how passive he was realizing that he has no work and merely lives in a decent home. Soon afterwards, he falls asleep and dreams of watching a peasant beat an overburdened horse to death. When he awakes from his slumber, he then makes his first plot to murder Alyona Ivanovna. After over hearing that the pawnbroker’s sister will be away, he takes that as his cue to take his plans into actions. However, the murder itself did not turn out the way he planned it for Lizaveta, the sister of the pawnbroker unexpectedly arrives. He ended up killing them both and was almost caught as two customers knock at the door; however, he still managed to escape, undetected.

Torn between confessing his crime and resisting arrest, he then pays two visits to Sonya. During the first visit, he seeks the sympathy of the prostitute. The, he wonders how could she go on living despite her humiliating profession. Then he came to an answer that it might be religion. Thus, he asks her to read the Gospel and the story of Lazarus, the man who was restored from death to life. In his second visit, he professes his crime to Sonya though not through words. In a scene that uncannily recalls the original murder of the pawnbroker and Lizaveta, Raskolnikov looks into Sonya’s eyes, and she reacts with the same terror he had seen on Lizaveta’s face. In an instant, she perceives his guilt. Instead of turning away from him and displaying disgust and horror, she embraces him and shows how much she understands her sufferings. Her...
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