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Crime And Punishment Questions In Regards To Theme High School/ Ap English Literature And Composition Assignment

2758 words - 12 pages

Part 1:
1: Why does Raskolnikov murder the old woman (3 or 4 reasons)?
In the rising action to the murder of the old pawnbroker, we are lead to believe that the motive behind the crime is desperation. Raskolnikov is desperate for a chance to be financially capable of living like a normal individual in society. However, Raskolnikov contradicts this belief when he does not properly “rob” the house, neglecting most of the pawnbrokers valuables and money. This leads us to ponder the true motives of the murder. One possible reason for the murder comes from Raskolnikov’s theory of the “Extraordinary Man.” According to Raskolnikov’s theory, the ordinary man lives in submission and can not transgress the law, while the extraordinary man has the right to commit any crime and can transgress the law. Those who are considered to be an “Extraordinary Man” are believed to be able to transgress any law without any guilt or reaction to it. Raskolnikov committed the murder to test himself, determining if he could identify himself as an extraordinary man. Another reason for the murder is this concept of existentialism. Raskolnikov was slowly losing himself, he no longer went to school, had many financial struggles, and only caused suffering to those around him. He had no meaning in life. Murdering the pawnbroker not gave him meaning in life, but it gave him an identity. He is now known as,” the man who murdered the old pawnbroker.” Individuals will remember his deed and his existence now has a meaning, unlike it did before. Continuously, another possible reason for murdering the pawnbroker could correlate to this idea of giving back to society. He believed by murdering the pawnbroker, he was performing a ‘good deed’. He had gained the idea to murder the old pawnbroker when he overheard a discussion between a student and an officer in a bar. They described the old woman as a parasite and stated that it would be better off if she were dead. Raskolnikov could believe that murdering her would make him a hero, someone who is only searching for the betterment of society. This idea of having meaning in life as a hero (Existentialism) could have drove him mad enough to commit the murder of the old woman. Although there are multiple reasons behind the reason for the murder, we can conclude that they all correlate to Raskolnikov’s struggle with his inner self.
2: Who is the antagonist in the novel?
In this novel, the antagonist is not an individual character, but something more abstract.We can conclude that the antagonist of the novel is Raskolnikov himself. His own conscience led to the murder, led to the struggles with his family, and caused the overall suffering experienced throughout the novel amongst himself and those around him. The novel even introduces and ends with him arguing with his own conscious. The Author intentionally makes Raskolnikov the protagonist of the novel. The true definition of an antagonist is a person who is opposed to or his hostile to someone....

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