Crime And Punishment Thesis

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Imagine a man has murdered someone, but feels he should not have to endure punishment for his crime as the murder was for the benefit of society. The man being described is an ubermensch. Crime and Punishment recounts the psychological struggles of Raskolnikov, a poor student in St. Petersburg, who murders Alyona Ivanovna and Lizaveta to determine if he is an ubermensch. After the murder, Raskolnikov struggles to keep his sanity while trying to reason that the murders needed to be executed. Alyona Ivanovna is an old pawnbroker Raskolnikov dislikes because she takes advantage of the poverty-stricken people pawning their items, and Lizaveta is her submissive sister. Raskolnikov's actions before, during, and after the murder are in line with ubermensch …show more content…
During this same conversation, Raskolnikov feels intellectually superior when he figures out Porfiry is trying to trick him, and quickly lies about the painters on the day of the murder. When Raskolnikov visits Sonia for the second time, he admits his motive was to figure out if he was an ubermensch. Both of these instances support Raskolnikov’s understanding that he is an ubermensch. His feelings after the murder support this as well. Raskolnikov explains to Sonia he imagined if Napoleon had been in his situation, and all he had to do was murder “some ridiculous old hag, a pawnbroker, … (for his career, you understand)” (Dostoyevsky 326). Raskolnikov relates the benefit to Napoleon’s career to his own contribution to improving society, and this mindset is seen throughout the novel until the last chapters of the novel. During this time, he starts to accept he is not an ubermensch, and his actions to both Lizaveta and Alyona were wrong. Before, he thought Lizaveta’s murder was wrong while Alyona’s was justified. With the support of Sonia, he confesses to both of their murders, and while he is in prison, Raskolnikov reflects on the wrongness of his crimes. During a visit with Sonia while in prison, Raskolnikov flung himself to her knees, and Sonia “knew he had no doubt that he loved her beyond anything and that at last the moment had come…” (Dostoyevsky 429). The moment that had come was …show more content…
Dostoevsky expresses that people who commit wicked acts will be subjected to their own punishment. Crime and Punishment demonstrates this belief through Raskolnikov’s confession and subsequent imprisonment. Raskolnikov suffers greatly in prison, both physically and psychologically. During Lent, the prisoners went to a church and attacked Raskolnikov for not believing in God. Raskolnikov “awaited calmly and silently… his face did not flinch” (Dostoyevsky 427) as the attack ensues. The other inmates dislike Raskolnikov, so he has become alienated within the prison. Raskolnikov is receiving his punishment for his corrupt acts. Dostoyevsky thinks people who commit horrible acts should suffer and face punishment, so Raskolnikov is Dostoyevsky’s representation of his beliefs towards

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