Raskolnikov's Vivid Dream

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Raskolnikov's Vivid Dream

In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky portrays the main character, Raskolnikov, in a complex and unique fashion. He could have been portrayed as the good guy, bad guy, or just your average man on the street, but Raskolnikov is displayed with more than just one persona. His range of actions and emotions is more of a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde type character. On the outside, he appears to be in control of his situation, but he is full of turmoil on the inside. Raskolnikov's dream presents these different personas Dostoevsky has given him. This dream also gives the reader a good, inside look into Raskolnikov's interior conflicts.

In the beginning of his dream, Raskolnikov is out in the street. He seems to be wandering around aimlessly, with no recollection of what he is supposed to be doing or why he is there. Meanwhile, everyone else in the dream is carrying on like nothing is wrong. Before I delve into the significance of this scene, I must note how important control is to him. He is an extremely proud man, and a complete control freak. In his view, everything in his life should revolve around him. The beginning of the dream represents the loss of this control in his life. It seems that no matter what he says or does, the world will continue to spin, and the people on it continue to go about their everyday business. He can almost be compared to the young teenage girl that he finds wandering in the street. It is as though he has been psychologically raped by the murders he has committed, but unaware that he is no longer in control of his situation. No matter how he wants to feel or act, he cannot help his instinctual habits and desires. For instance, his health starts to fail him and he has this compulsive desire to reveal himself to anybody and everybody. His actions show his lack of control over whether or not he gives himself away. It is hard to tell whether Raskolnikov consciously realizes this or not. Through his...
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