Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is a psychological novel from the 19th century in Russia. This novel gives us a sense of the social, political and economic turmoil which Russia and its people were living through during that time period. During this period of hardship people would take the decisions that they would consider necessary for survival and this novel exposes some of the decisions that people had to make to keep on living. The decisions taken by the individuals of this novel may be a result of despair or just an overdose of power and masculinity. The main character Raskolnikov makes his decisions because he has a high level of masculinity and power.
When referring to masculinity is describing a men with the traditional characteristics that pertain to such, these characteristics include strength, boldness, aggressive, avoidance of femininity, pursuit of achievement and status amongst other characteristics. (Dictionary Reference) During Luzhin's (Dunya's fiancée) first encounter with Raskolnikov (Dunya's brother) as he leaves his soon to be brother in law's apartment, Raskolnikov could not hold back on his anger and disagreement with the arranged marriage. This disagreement that Raskolnikov has is a result of a letter he received from his mother which described the hardship her and his sister had lived and continued to live through. Also she briefly described the unique interest that Luzhin had over Dunya.
Raskolnikov proceeded to express his feelings about the relationship Luzhin held with his sister. “that above all you were glad she was poor...because it's best to take a wife up from destitution, so that you can lord it over her afterwards...and reproach her with having been her benefactor.”(Dostoevsky, pp. 152) Here we see Kalashnikov’s boldness and aggressiveness being exposed by confronting Lurching so bluntly. Kalashnikov is a man that is strongly opinionated as soon as he met with his sister he expressed his opinion about Lurching. “And we all realized as soon as he came in today that he was not a man of our kind. Not because he came with his hair curled by a hairdresser...it shows.” (Dostoevsky, pp.203-204) Here we see the importance of “avoidance of femininity” in order to describe men as masculine; Rasolnikov uses the physical attributes of Luzhin and the use of a hairdresser to reduce his masculinity.
I have introduced an idea of the characteristics of masculinity, but Carrigan, Connell and Lee (1985) describe a political meaning about masculinity. In this meaning they describe it on its terms of power and the relationship between men and women involving domination or oppression from the male sex towards the female sex. Dunya confronts Luzhin about their relationship and expresses her feelings about the situation. That is he in fact has good feelings and intends good with her then, he will make peace with her brother Raskolnikov. Dunya becomes even more angry when Luzhin insults her family and turns into...