Crime and Punishment: Foils

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  • Topic: Love
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  • Published : January 25, 2006
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A foil is a person that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive

characteristics of another. In Crime and Punishment, the main character Raskolnikov has

many foils. Some accent his characteristic and some are the same as him, but all have

thier own quirks like him.

Razumihin is an old friend from Raskolnikov's college days. Razumihin is good

natured, and he is very self-motivated. At school he was extremely intelligent, respected

by most others, and he looks out for his friends. When Raskolnikov falls ill, Razumihin

tends to Raskolinikov's financial problems, and attempts to keep his landlady off his back

for awhile. After school, Razumihin remained still very popular and doesn't live in

squalor like Raskolinikov does. As Razumihin tends to Raskolnikov he becomes close to

Natasya, Raskolnikov's landlady's servant, he tends to act like her puppy dog whenever

she is around him. Razumihin is also open to the idea of love. He immediately falls for

Dounia and tends to help her in any way he thinks he can. Razumihin in the end falls for

Dounia and ends up caring for Dounia and Pulcheria, Raskolnikov's mother.

Raskolnikov has always pretty much been poor and in college people tended to see

him as simple and he was not well liked, he reamined aloof from everyone, even now. He

doesn't have a job, and he does not like to help others. In the end he is forced to accept

the help of others. He does not seem to believe in love, and even when he attempts to

show a little love, he pushes the people closest to him away. He doesn't want to hurt

anyone or allow anyone to be drawn into his dark circle that he calls life. However, after

he believes he has been punished enough, he finally allows love in, and begins to fall for

Sonia.

Svidrigailov is Dounia's ex-employers widowed husband. Svidrigailov was once in

love with Dounia, which caused his wife Marfa to slander Dounia's good name. Many

believe Svidrigailov was involved in his wifes death and his infatuation with Dounia still

continues. He is mischievous
and a sociable liar. He will stop at nothing to get want he

wants. He is self-absorbed and very conceited, however he tends to outweigh

Raskolnikov in the sneaky and underhanded department. However, he is very complex.

At times he is ambiguous and at others he is charitable. However, most of the time he is

just a pig, who will stop at nothing to get what he believes to be rightfully his. He

attempts to blackmail Raskolnikov but that back fires in his face since he tries to do it

against Dounia, who attempts to shoot him, which once and for all proves to him that she

does not, and will never love, or have any feeling towards him, ever. Svidrigailov is also

different from Raskolnikov in that he is willing to do something just because he wants to,

not necessarily because he has to. Also he is somewhat less of a coward in that he willing

takes his own life in the end.

Raskolnikov is not very coniving and does pretty much everything on a whim, even

though he may have some of the event planned out before he actually goes through with

it. For the most part he leaves everything to chance. He doesn't want love, and he does

not wish to force his love on anyone else either. He believes he is bettering the world, and

won't just admit that most of his ideas and actions are to better his life and his status more

than it is to help anyone else. He pushes everyone away and would never stoop to

blackmailing someone to get what he wants. He is disgusted by Svidrigailov being

engaged to a young girl, and finds it even more repulsive that Svidrigailov doesn't see it

as repulsive himself. He is not smooth and calculating, and any type of crime tends to

make him ill and weak. However he does find love in the end, but he is not willing to do...
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