The central theme of Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is humans finding salvation through suffering. All of the characters in the work of literature experience some sort of internal or external suffering. The main character Raskolnikov must grow and realize this to overcome his conflicts and reach the salvation of peace within. Dostoevsky’s concentration and focus is on why suffering must exist and how this suffering can be overcome. This can be proven through the six sections of the novel. Only one section is focused on the crime, which is the start of Raskolnikov’s suffering, and the remaining five sections are focused on Raskolnikov’s journey to overcoming his suffering, this suffering is his internal punishment.
By focusing on punishment, both internal and external, various conflicts happen within the work of literature to show Raskolnikov’s own attitude of his journey toward salvation. Raskolnikov’s justifies his actions with his extraordinary man theory; this theory proposes that certain people have a perfect right to commit crimes, and they are not confided by human laws. To prove that he was an extraordinary man, he murdered Ivanovna, and since the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, he believed that he wouldn’t feel regret or guilt.
Raskolnikov killed Alyona because she represented the evil in society, and he believed he was doing the world a favor. Raskolnikov over hears a student talking of how one crime could be wiped out by thousands of good deeds. These comments make the crime seem even more justifiable. Raskolnikov believes that the extraordinary man feels no suffering and no pain. He is the man who can break the laws and make the laws. Raskolnikov believed that if he were extraordinary, he could commit any crime, even the crime of murder, and walk away from it indifferent. I found that Raskolnikov’s ideas are sometimes linked to the beliefs that truth is both power and suffering.
To know the truth about life would...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document