Razumihin: the Effective Conventional Character (Revised)
From subjects depicting race, religion and plot, the world’s majority does not see stereotypes and conventionalism as positive entities; yet certain literary works take a negative aspect and turn it into a positive through characterizations, particularly with merited literary works. Such serves the case with Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which depicts the psychological conflicts Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov faces after murdering an old pawnbroker and her sister. Dmitri Prokofych Razumihin, Raskolnikov’s friend, serves as the conventional character with his friendly, sociable and humble personality. Through his stereotypical characterization, the author succeeds with his purpose to create an effective foil for the protagonist and delivering the lasting lessons by enhancing attention to the consequences seclusion from human the public brings, highlighting their few but key similarities to answer the root Raskolnikov’s problem contains, and hinting at the he should become.
As a foil, Razumihin serves as a parallel to the persona Raskolnikov embodies and, in effect, accents his characteristics. Razumihin’s approachable and sympathetic personality allows him to interact positively with most men and women, including respected men such as Zametov and Porfiry. He throws parties located at his home and immediately gets along with both Dounia and Pulcheria. While such a characteristic gives a positive light to the character, it also calls to the reader’s attention to matters pertaining to Raskolnikov’s own social life. Due to the crime committed, he must remain socially isolated. Further interaction with other human beings could end to him drowning in guilt. Razumihin emphasizes, other than himself, Dounia, Pulcheria and, to an extent, Sonia, Raskolnikov remains alone. While Razumihin treats his friends with kindness, his friend remains almost cruel to his loved ones, unable to show his...
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