Dreams of Good and Evil
Dreams are windows into peoples sub conscience and their true emotions and gives important clues to emotional disturbances. Sigmund Freud, the first person to systematically study dreams, said that desires are revealed in the form of dreams. Freud said that dreams gratify those desires which that a person would never express while awake. Psychiatrists today tend to view dreams as attempts to solve problems rather than as the fulfillment of unconscious desires. Whatever dreams are, they gratify a physiological and psychological need of humans. In Crime and Punishment, Raskolinov manifests guilt itself in a dream in which Ilya Petrovich mercilessly beats his landlady. This dream is a vision into Raskolinov’s emotional disturbances and signifies resentment and fear.
Raskolinov’s dreams are continual conflicts between his dark and hateful mind and his conscience. His mind drives him to murder and inflates his ego to make him feel as an “extraordinary man.” On the other hand, his conscience struggles to hinder these violent motives. Raskolinov’s mind is at battle with itself in a conflict of morals and corruption that is manifested into the dream of the mare. Dostoevsky uses the dream as evidence of Raskolinov’s psychic illness. Raskolinov can be identified as all of the characters in his dream: Mikolka, the jeering crowd, the beaten horse, and the innocent child. Raskolinov’s confusion and obvious bewilderment is evident as he dreams of a mare being beaten unmercifully.
The entire dream sequence is saturated with psychological symbols. The dream fills Raskolinov heart with horror and he sees it as a symbol that he will murder the old woman. For Raskolinov, the dream reveals the true nature of the world: the helpless are victimized by the strong. The dream reveals two different sides of Raskolinov. Cruelty and thoughtlessness is shown as the taunting crowd and Milolka while his compassionate and caring side is conspicuous as the horse and innocent child. The brutal attack on the horse is similar to Raskolinov’s attack on Alyona Ivanovna and foreshadows the upcoming murder. The beaten horse symbolizes the theme of victimization and persecution that is evident throughout the novel. The horse could represent anyone from his sister, Sonia, his...