What function do saviors play in Crime and Punishment? Select one character that functions as a savior and discuss his/her efficacy and importance.
Religious or not, we all heard the phrase that Jesus died on the cross for our sins to alleviate our sufferings onto Him. Throughout the novel Crime and Punishment, set in the city of St. Petersburg, during the 1800s, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, there’s a resonating image of a savior who carries the burdens of everyone else to provide a sense of salvation from their adversities. To help us understand the functions of saviors and their significance, Dostoevsky uses Sonia to depict a savior, because of her efficacy in helping Raskolnikov reconnect with society. Throughout the novel, Dostoevsky’s use of imagery to allude to Christ helps depict the functions saviors play to elucidate their significance and portray the selfless gestures saviors impose for the greater good of humanity.
The portrayal of saviors throughout the story functions to delineate the characters in a Christ-like manner. Dostoevsky wants to create an image of someone who overbears the burdens of humanity, the way Jesus took it upon himself to die on the cross for the sins of humanity. The saviors illustrated in the novel serve a purpose to alleviate the sufferings of the ones they love. “So then, some time after five, I see Sonechka get up, put on her kerchief, put on her wrap, and go out, and she came back home after eight. She came in, went straight to Katerina Ivanovna, and silently laid 30 roubles on the table in front of her. Not a word with it, not even a glance; [...] and lay down on her bed, face to the wall; only her little shoulders and her whole body kept trembling…,” (18) conveys an act of selflessness Sonia took upon herself when she gave herself up to prostitution to prevent her family from starvation, and help provide her family with an income. Sonia’s Christ-like persona is demonstrated when Raskolnikov says, “I was not bowing to you, I was bowing to all human suffering,” (322) which emphasizes how Raskolnikov believes Sonia carries the weight of the world. The overall function of a savior, portrayed by Sonia, is to bear the burdens of others to alleviate them of their hardships.
The function of saviors are significant in society because they provide temporal salvation to characters who seek liberation and redemption. Sonia’s Christ-like character is further perceived when Marmeladov tells Raskolnikov a story about how Katerina Ivanovna showered Sonia with kisses on her feet. “… And then I saw, young man, after that I saw Katerina Ivanovna go over to Sonechka’s bed, also without saying a word, and for the whole evening she stayed kneeling at her in feet, kissing her feet, and would not get up, and then they both fellow sleep together embracing each other…,” alludes to Christ, whose feet were also kissed and washed by followers who sought salvation. Katerina Ivanovna, feeling indebted for Sonia’s help, kissed Sonia’s...