Crime & Punishment Madness

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In the novel Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky creates the character Raskolnikov who experiences apparent madness after he commits a murder. He experiences this apparent madness because of the universally given human quality guilt. Dostoevsky tries to prove his belief that every person has a moral and ethical obligation and people should be punished for their wrongdoings. Raskolnikov murders an old pawn broker and her sister. This murder causes him to go “mad”. He shows symptoms of anxiety, isolation, and is haunted by his dreams.

If a person commits a terrible murder like Raskolnikov, they are likely to go crazy because they know it is morally wrong. Raskolnikov shows this craziness with his anxiety and constant fear of being caught. A day after the murder, he shows these symptoms already. He is stricken with paranoia over the idea of being caught. He examines every little detail and make sure he is clean. He “began looking himself all over, from head to foot, all his clothes (90).” Even when he removed all the evidence, he has strange thoughts- “perhaps all his clothes were covered with blood, perhaps there were stains all over them, and he simply did not see, did not notice them (91).” He has more strange thoughts when he is summoned to the police station. He overthinks this summoning and he starts having thoughts- they know, should I confess?, should I run away? He is overthinking because the police could not have possibly found out the person that committed the murder only after a day it was committed. These thoughts only occur in his head because of his fear and guilt of killing someone. His anxiety is reoccurring throughout the whole book. This fear and guilt he has is consuming inside him and it’s driving him mad.

Besides his anxiety, Raskolnikov isolates himself. He isolates himself from the beginning of the story. He lives in a small closet like room and avoids contact with any person, but ever since the murder his...
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