Crime And Punishment Essay, Research Paper
Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” is the story of a poor man in Russia who
mentally destroys himself of his guilt through pain and suffering. It
analyzes the mental and physical conflicts brought upon himself by his crime.
His complications are put together by the conflicting personalities which he
shows. The reader is encouraged to characterize him by his cold, ravenous
side. Yet, without the warm peaceful side of his nature and the people
evolving around him, Raskolnikov never realizes the problems in his beliefs
and actions. Raskolnikov is repeatedly emphasized for the alternating style
of his personality, which both are very important.
Raskolnikov’s cold side leads him to develop his theory that extra
ordinary men have the right to commit crimes, and also to commit murder. This
side of him bases all decisions on reasonability, rather than on feeling. A
person can be absolutely nothing without emotions. The other side of his
character is kind and generous. Without this side of Raskolnikov being told
in the novel, the reader can only see him as an evil murderer, and not an
mislead victim, as Dostoevsky tries to show.
In the novel “Crime and Punishment,” Raskolnikov shows random acts of
kindness whenever he finds a person in need. He gives money to the Marmeladov
family, he attempts to aid Marmeladov when he dies, and he tries to get a
drunken girl home and away from the stranger. All of these things were done
spontaneously. He simply feels that at the time it is the right thing to do.
However, after a short period of time his views can reverse dramatically. He
starts to sensibly analyze what he has done, and then feels that his actions
were dumb and stupid. This spontaneous change shows the return of his cold
side, and it occurs after every kind thing that Raskolnikov does.
These changes and alterations between two different personalities give
Raskolnikov separate visions on his characteristics. The novel is focused on
the differences between the two points of view, and the reader is able to see
how one person can change to another person in a matter of seconds. Both
Raskolnikov’s generous and evil actions are essential to his character
because they allow the reader to identify the two different points of view
and the two characteristics of his personality.