Crime And Punishment, By Fyodor Dostoevsky

1946 words - 8 pages

In Fyodor Dostoevsky book Crime and Punishment, women at this time in Russia were not the equals of men in terms of education and power. In Crime and Punishment the women in the story were self-sacrificing in their actions, which in return paid off for the women. Majority of women, in Crime and Punishment, such as Sonya were selfless in their actions. The women in this story play a motherly role towards the men. Women in this story may have lived in a male dominated society, but it seemed that the words the women spoke in this story were very strong in influencing the men. Sonya plays a major role in Raskolnikov's life, being the person Raskolnikov relies on while he was in and out of prison. Raskolnikov felt a heavy connection with Sonya because she was a prostitute and he was a murderer, which let him feel like they've both committed sins. Because of Sonya's self-sacrificing actions it led to Raskolnikov to depend on Sonya and soon end up loving her. Sonya's behavior was beneficial for both her and Raskolnikov. Sonya gave Raskolnikov purpose in continuing to live by using the power of Christ and religion. In return Sonya self-sacrificing behavior towards Raskolnikov, gave her a new start in life in Siberia. Dunya also plays a role in Raskolnikov's life as she was willing to sacrifice herself to give him a better future, by giving her hand in marriage to Pyotr Petrovich.
Sonya is a support system to Raskolnikov as she allows him to see the wrongness in the crimes he has done. Sonya heavily uses God as her support system and urges Raskolnikov to do the same, as she wishes him to redeem himself for his murderous acts. Sonya tells Raskolnikov “Go, now this minute stand in the crossroads, bow down, and first kiss the earth you've defiled, then bow, to the whole world, on all four sides, and say aloud to everyone: 'I have killed!' Then God will send you life again” (Part 5 p.420). Sonya wants Raskolnikov to accept God and redeem so his suffering/guilt will disappear. Sonya is willing to follow Raskolnikov wherever he goes, showing her self-sacrificing behavior even though many times Raskolnikov has frighten Sonya and done things that he knows bothers her. Sonya represents the voice of God, even though God is a man, showing women can redeem the man. Before this event Sonya read the story of Lazarus to Raskolnikov, which represents Raskolnikov's life. Raskolnikov's life went down hill after he murdered Alyona and Lizaveta. Lazurus was also plagued by disease just like Raskolnikov, when he felt his guilt, which led him to suffering. Although Raskolnikov murdered Alyona, and Lizaveta, Sonya still accepted Raskolnikov. She represents Christ as she pulled him from his miserable period in life and wanted him to start anew.
After this reading of Lazurus, Raskolnikov expresses his need for Sonya as he states “ None of them will understand anything, if you start talking with them...but I understand. I need you, and so I've come to you” (Part 4. p.329)....

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