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The Importance Of Raskolnikov’s Dreams In Crime And Punishment

1395 words - 6 pages

In the third dream, Raskolnikov is once again unaware of that fact that he dreaming. The dream opens with him wondering how he has come to be outside, but he does not question the matter any further. The nighttime streets are filled with crowds of people. As Raskolnikov walks he notices a man beckoning to him from across the street, but as Raskolnikov walks closer the man acts as if nothing had happened. The stranger beckons once more, and again acts as if he had done nothing. Raskolnikov follows him and when he comes within ten paces, he realizes the identity of the man. The stranger is the same one who had come to Raskolnikov’s building when Raskolnikov was awake. It is the man who accused him of being a “Murderer!” (276; pt. 3, ch. 6). The man continues to walk and Raskolnikov follows him just as had happened in real life. The man beckons again, but acts as though he did not. In following the man, Raskolnikov is taken to an unknown building and up a flight of stairs. The building and stairs seem familiar and when he reaches window on the first floor, Raskolnikov realizes that he is been led to the pawnbroker’s flat. Raskolnikov climbs the stairs until he reaches the top floor; the floor on which the pawnbroker lived and the murder took place. The door to Alyona’s flat is ajar and he walks into the parlour. The moon seen through the window “makes it so still” and all is eerily silent as Raskolnikov waits (281). A sharp noise breaks the silence that sparks and fades. A fly buzzes past and at that moment he notices a cloak hanging on the wall in the corner. He moves toward the cloak and finds the pawnbroker hiding underneath it “bent double” (281). Alyona’s face is not visible and so Raskolnikov moves down in an attempt to see it. As he does this she moves her face lower. Raskolnikov lowers himself enough and to see the woman’s face. As he peers into Alyona’s face, he then notices that she is laughing and shaking noiselessly. Raskolnikov hears laughter and a whisper coming from the open bedroom door. In a smooth motion he pulls his axe out from it’s holster and begins to strike the woman over the head, but the laugher and whisper grows louder and the pawnbroker’s shaking will not cease. Raskolnikov attempts to flee the flat, but there are people everywhere. They cover the stairway and the landing, and they all silently stare at him waiting expectantly for something to happen. Raskolnikov tries to run, but his legs “were rooted to the spot” and he is rendered immobile (282). He tries to yell and suddenly awakens. Even though he wakes up, Raskolnikov still believes that he is in a dream because room door is flung open by a strange man who silently moves to sit down on the chair near the sofa Raskolnikov is lying on.
The third dream is significant because Raskolnikov is at last the perpetrator of the murder. His conscience has growing stronger and gaining a hold on him. In the previous dreams his unconscious mind was still unwilling to accept that...

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