This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment Essay

772 words - 3 pages


In Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov concocts a theory: All men are divided into ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’. The extraordinary man should have the right to eliminate a few people in order to make his idea known to all humanity; however, the ordinary man has no right to transgress the law. Because he believes this theory is an idea that must be known to all humanity, he considers himself extraordinary; however, there is a legion of events that prove that Raskolnikov is not extraordinary.     

One can be sure that Raskolnikov believes himself to be extraordinary when Porfiry says, “...surely you couldn’t have helped...fancying yourself...an ‘extraordinary’ man, uttering a new word in your sense.... That’s so, isn’t it?'; to which Raskolnikov replies, “Quite possibly'; (247).

Raskolnikov was strongly prompted to murder Alyona when he recalled a conversation that took place between two ordinary men in a bar. One declared:

I could kill that damned old woman and make off with her money without the faintest conscious-prick.... For one life, thousands would be saved from corruption and decay.... Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence? (63)

Raskolnikov reasoned that it would be honorable to kill Alyona since it would supposedly benefit humanity, but the fact that “ordinary'; men had the same idea should have immediately put a stop to any thoughts that he was extraordinary.

During Raskolnikov’s visit to the police station to retrieve his pledges, he and Porfiry become engaged in conversation involving the theory. Porfiry voiced concerns about ordinary people mistaking themselves as extra-ordinary. Raskolnikov responded with, “...[Ordinary people] might have a thrashing sometimes for letting their fancy run away with them and to teach them their place... (244)';. Raskolnikov endured a ‘thrashing’ of sorts (his illness), but he had been going through that since before the murders. “And his drowsiness and stupefaction were followed by an extraordinary, feverish as it were distracted haste. But the preparations to be made were few'; (64).

Porfiry also voiced his concern that “ordinary'; people might mistake themselves as “extraordinary'; and kill innocent people when they have no inner right to do so. Raskolnikov concurs with him when he says, “The vain and foolish are particularly apt to fall into that snare; young people especially';...

Find Another Essay On Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

19th Century Theories in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

2539 words - 10 pages 19th Century Theories in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment   "I teach you the Superman. Man is something that has to be surpassed. What have you done to surpass him?" These words said by Friedrich Nietzsche encompass the theories present in Dostoevsky's nineteenth century novel, Crime and Punishment. Fyodor Dostoevsky, living a life of suffering himself, created the character of Raskolnikov with the preconceptions of his

Crime and Punishment: Dostoevsky's Portrayal of Anti-Nihilism

1778 words - 8 pages . Dostoevsky's ideas toward new radicals practicing Nihilism are paramount in Crime and Punishment, where he advances the idea that Nihilism is "detrimental to society and can lead to suffering and chaos" (Lin). Crime and Punishment takes the reader on a mentally perilous journey through the mind and actions of Raskolnikov, a Russian man who deals with tremendous guilt after committing murder. Dostoevsky uses Nihilist Raskolnikov and his

The Two Personalities of Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

582 words - 2 pages The Two Personalities of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov, the main character of the novel Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky, actually possesses two completely contradicting personalities. One part of him is intellectual: cold, unfeeling, inhumane, and exhibiting tremendous self-will. It is this side of him that enables him to commit the most terrible crime imaginable - taking another human life. The other part of his

The Murderer's Motives in Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment

2450 words - 10 pages The Murderer's Motives in Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment The beauty of Crime and Punishment is that there are no absolutes. It is a 19th century murder mystery, with the identity of the murderer clear, but the murderer's reasons far from being so. Although each chapter was replete with uncertainty, no other facet of the novel caused greater vexation both during the reading and even after its conclusion than what drove Raskol'nikov

Self Discovery in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus' The Outsider

2044 words - 8 pages Self Discovery in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus' The Outsider       In every society, it is important for individuals to adhere to a set of principles in order to maintain order. In Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus' The Outsider , however, both protagonists ignored the values of their society. Raskolnikov and Meursault felt their own beliefs were significant, and through their actions they

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment

2062 words - 8 pages better place. This is exemplified through many of his actions. He murders Alyona so that “thousands of good deeds make up for one tiny little crime” (64) and believes that he saved Sonya’s family from the streets by providing them with money, twice. Rodya is a very egoistic character who defends his good deeds by giving himself egoistic reasons as to why he did that. Sonya on the other hand, is a humble and down to earth girl who will do anything to

Thought As Represented In Dostoevsky's "Crime And

590 words - 2 pages Crime and Punishment is, by nature, a psychological thriller of a book. Considering the urgency and anxiety of the novel's subject matter and plot, Fyodor Dostoevsky creates a brilliantly conversational internal monologue for Raskolnikov through which the reader glimpses the killer's psychology. Dostoevsky wants his audience to feel as if Raskolnikov is engaging them in a tense dialogue: Not more than five minutes later he jumped up again, and

crime and punishment

1479 words - 6 pages In Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, the murder of the pawnbroker bears little significance when compared to the 'punishment' that Raskolnikov endures. The murder is the direct result of Raskolnikov's Ubermensch theory. Though it takes a while for Raskolnikov to realize the profound mistake in his theory and in his logic, his tedious yet prolific journey eventually leads him to redemption. Suffering, guilt and societal alienation prompt

Crime and punishment

961 words - 4 pages punishment possible for the individuals that did the crime. Society tells the victims that the punishment of the offender will bring justice, but often leaves the victim feeling unsatisfied and not sure how to move on after getting what they wanted to happen. Punishment does not handle some of the important needs of the victim. Offenders punishments can’t restore what the victims’ lost, answer any of the victims’ questions that they might have, take

Elizabethan Crime and Punishment

1016 words - 5 pages , from 1558-1603. As Linda Alchin stated, Elizabethan England and Elizabethan Crime and Punishment- not a happy subject. Violent times,” (Alchin). During the Elizabethan Era, criminals were severely and brutally punished for even minor crimes such as theft and even as little as begging. During the time of Queen Elizabeth I rule, crimes and punishments were taken to a whole new level. In the Elizabethan Era, many crimes were similar to today, but

crime and punishment

755 words - 4 pages in season or on private property, Petty theft which is a lesser version of theft, and finally vandalism (Mitchell). Crimes then did not go without a punishment much as they do now, though there was trial that could be considered unfair much as there are trials today that could be said the same. One main punishment that was occurring was hanging which usually occurred after a crime was considered Capital or Indictable. Hanging occurred to all

Similar Essays

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment Essay

1498 words - 6 pages Fyodor Dostoevsky, like most authors, had a distinct way of conveying his message in his novel. In the case of Crime and Punishment Dostoevsky employs irregular plot pacing to develop the character of the protagonist, Raskolnikov, who undergoes quite a journey. Sounds like most books right? A man going through a journey and undergoing a transformation. The unique thing that has captivated many readers is a murder occurring in the early stages of

Imperfect Conscience In Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment

566 words - 2 pages Crime and Punishment:  Imperfect Conscience               A highly educated individual, avoiding the hardships of society while pondering the possibility of great wealth, Raskolnikov, in Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment," frustrated with his immoral actions, suffers from an abrupt physical and mental breakdown after brutally mutilating a wicked pawnbroker. After this soul-scarring incident, the initial feelings of success in

Psychoanalysis In Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment

2761 words - 11 pages 7. demonstrates lack of remorse for the harm his or her behavior causes others With this disorder comes an inflated sense of self worth and superficial charm. The Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment Volume III goes on to list the profile of a mass murderer. Many known sociopaths have gone onto to be mass murderers. Timothy McVeigh is an example of this. There are three underlying causes that can lead to the actions of the antisocial

Dualism And The Double In Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment

5607 words - 22 pages Crime and Punishment was the second of Fyodor Dostoevsky's most important, mature fictional works. It was first published in the conservative journal The Russian Messenger, appearing in twelve monthly installments in 1866. Dostoevsky left three full notebooks of materials pertinent to Crime and Punishment. These have been published under the title The Notebooks for Crime and Punishment, edited and translated by Edward Wasiolek. Dostoevsky began