A famous line from the movie The Usual Suspects goes “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”. This is exactly what Dostoevsky does in his most famous novel Crime and Punishment. Throughout the novel references to God and forgiveness abound. There is a much darker side to what Dostoevsky writes though. If you have God working in your life unfortunately you also have the devil working in your life, and this is what happens to the main character of the book, Raskolnikov. He is given many chances to do the right thing and not sin, yet the devil still provides even more temptations, and gets Raskolnikov to fall into the trap of murder. Yet God does ...view middle of the document...
This is a really odd coincidence that he happen to be in the same place that two men “whom he did not know and had never seen” (61). The devil happen to set up the two guys there and got them to talk about murdering the pawnbroker, imagine the coincidence. Not only do they say that it’s ok to kill the pawnbroker they just happen to give a great reason to kill her by simply saying “kill her, take her money, and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity” (63). This is the devil showing the “good side” of murdering someone. Unfortunately the devil planted the idea in Raskolnikov’s head in perhaps the most simple of ways, by two guys talking in a tavern. This shows that the devil can use the most normal circumstances to tempt people to do awful things.
The devil, if it is needed, will provide as much help that is needed to help commit a sin. Soon only a little later in the chapter, and in the following chapter, the book explains how Raskolnikov gets up and does the dirty deed. Yet again though the devil uses his awful ways to tempt Raskolnikov to murder. At first the murder should have been discouraged when he saw “Nastasya was not only at home in the kitchen, but occupied there” (69). This threw off all of his plans, and discouraged him, but yet again the devil does his awful work to keep Raskolnikov on this terrible path. He later finds an axe in the porter’s room “something shining under the bench… (It was an axe)” (69-70). Of all strange things he just manages to find the axe laying somewhere for him to take. Even Rashkolnikov makes an ironic comment recognizing the help
of the devil by saying that “When reason fails, the devil helps” (70). Raskolnikov almost decides to not go through with the plan, but the devil holds on tight the entire time giving him another opportunity at the awful deed.
The devil wants us to get away with the sin so that way men can feel the guilt later on. While committing the murder he even gets the help of the devil at the place of the murders. First off he gets a break when he brings the axe down on both the pawnbroker’s and her sister Lizaveta’s heads “she cried out, but very faintly…opened her mouth but still did not scream” (74,76) shows that sin blocked out their screams and Raskolnikov had another chance to get away. Later Raskolnikov notices that the door to the pawnbroker’s floor was “was standing unfastened and at least six inches open” (78). Even though Raskolnikov messed up the crime somehow the devil gave him another chance by not having anyone come up to the floor. Once again Raskolnikov gets away, but not before he almost gets caught by multiple people. While fleeing the scene of the crime he was almost caught when fortunately for Raskolnikov he found “an empty flat with the door wide open” (82). This was a lucky break for Rashkolnikov given by the devil to give Raskolnikov the chance to flee the scene of the crime.
After the murder the devil works even harder to win over...