"Crime And Punishment" By Dostoevsky. Essay

1372 words - 5 pages

In the novel Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky portrays the main character, Raskolnikov, in a complex and unique fashion. He could have been portrayed as the good guy, bad guy, or just your average man on the street, but Raskolnikov is displayed with more than one persona. "It would have been much easier for Raskolnikov to explain his weekness, but it was more pleasant for him to consider himself a strong man" (Chizhevsky 164). Raskolnikov's dream reveals that his personality is complex and double sided. His range of actions and emotions are more of a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde type character. On the outside, he appears to be in control of his raging homicidal tendencies, but he is full of turmoil on the inside. Raskolnikov's dream presents these different personas Dostoevsky has given him. His dream also gives the reader a good, inside look into Raskolnikov's interior conflicts (Chizhevky 191). In the beginning of his dream, Raskolnikov is out in the street. He seems to be wandering around aimlessly, with no recollection of what he is supposed to be doing or why he is there. Meanwhile, everyone else in the dream is carrying on like nothing is wrong. Before delving into the significance of this scene, the reader must note how important control is to him. He is an extremely proud man, and needs to be in control of himself and everything around him at all times (Magill 222). In his view, everything in his life should revolve around him. The beginning of the dream represents the loss of this control in his life. It seems that no matter what he says or does, the world will continue to spin, and the people on it continue to go about their everyday business. He can almost be compared to the young teenage girl that he finds wandering in the street due to the fact that any actions that this young girl takes makes no difference on the outside world (Chizhevsky 201). It is as though he has been psychologically raped by the murders he has committed, but at this point he is still unaware that he is no longer in control of his situation. No matter how he wants to feel or act, he cannot help his instinctual habits and desires (Mikhailovski 121). For instance, his health starts to fail him and he has this compulsive desire to reveal himself to the authorities and public by turning himself in. His actions show his lack of control over whether or not he gives himself away. It is hard to tell whether Raskolnikov consciously realizes this or not. Through his own self-absorbed ways he tries to come up with every possible excuse as to why he is feeling the intense emotional conflict going on inside of him (Mikhailovski 135). He blames his irritation on bad company, hunger, the lack of sleep, etc. "Raskolnikov's anxiety has to grow not only by the day, but by the hour. And this basically drives him to insanity" (Hapgood 4798). He does the best he can to fool himself into believing he has not lost control. However, for the reasons mentioned above, it is said that...

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