In Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, two men commit separate crimes. The first crime is committed by the main character, Raskolnikov, who kills the pawnbroker. The second crime is committed by Svidrigailov, who kills his wife. These two men commit similar crimes with some of the same motives, but what sets them apart is how they react after the crime. Both men commit crimes for the good of themselves, and have similar motives for doing so.
Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov both commit murder for selfish reasons. Svidrigailov kills his wife so that he can sleep around with anyone he wants. Raskolnikov kills the pawnbroker to see if he is a “superman” or just a louse. Raskolnikov also mentions that he needed the money, and that she was of no good to the society. While Raskolnikov has hallucinations and becomes physically ill after committing his crime, Svidrigailov is visited by the ghost of his wife, Marfa Petrovich. They are both signs of guilt, but in Svidrigailov’s case, he shows no remorse for his actions. Svidrigailov fits the “superman” theory, but on the other hand, Raskolnikov showed remorse and felt guilty for murdering Lizaveta and therefore is disqualified from the theory.
Raskolnikov gives several reasons for committing his crime, the first of which is fulfilling his “superman” theory. “[...] An extraordinary man has the right... that is not an official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience to overstep... certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit to the whole of humanity)” (Dostoevsky, 260). When Raskolnikov meets Svidrigailov, Raskolnikov notices that Svidrigailov fits the “superman” theory much better than he does. Svidrigailov kills his wife for his own good without showing any remorse for his actions, but after Raskolnikov killed Lizaveta he felt the guilt and even dreamed about it. Raskolnikov dreamed of hitting Lizaveta...
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