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Crime and Punishment

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Jake Chechowitz

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Crime and Punishment

By Jake Chechowitz and Colton Bushey Crime And Punishment Life Experiences/historical background Character Analysis Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov - Raskonnikov is the protagonist of this novel. The story is told from his point of view almost exclusively. His name is derived for the Russian word raskolnik which means divided. He believes himself to be above the rest of humanity and has the ability to surpass accepted moral code. His guilt proves him wrong and he must come to terms with the fact he is no better than the rest of society. Author Background Plot Summary Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky is a Pre-Bolshevik revolution Russian writer. He was born November 11, 1821 in Moscow, Russia. His mother died of tuberculosis in his early teens. His father later died when he was eighteen either from a stroke or from his serf's murdering him (results vary). The death of his parents caused a great deal of stress to Dostoyevsky who became a depressed epileptic. Dostoyevsky finished his first book in 1845 called Poor Folk. This is how he was first introduced to literary circles in Russia. But even with the books he was writing, he was still very poor. This caused him to join the Petrashevsky Circle which was a Christian Socialist group in Russia. He and other members of the group were arrested in 1849 for reading illegal Socialist works.The members of the group were sent to be executed, but at the last second the execution was called off and Dostoyevsky was sent for 10 years hard labor in Siberia. His time in Siberia changed Dostoyevsky and he now found comfort in the Tsarist government and looked upon them as a sort of parent figure. He wrote Crime and Punishment in 1866. Similar to the character in the book, Dostoevsky is sentenced to hard labor in Siberia where both the author and the character have life changing revivals.

The entire book itself is explaining how corrupt 19th century Russia has become and Raskolnikov represents Mother Russia and how it needs to be reformed and reborn. Raskolnikov kills an old mean pawnbroker named Alyona Ivanova. He did this to prove to himself that he can murder if he needs too. He keeps comparing himself to Napoleon and to Newton saying that Napoleon needed to kill someone he wouldn't hesitate and if Newton needed to make his theories public, would he be able to kill an innocent in order for the overall good of the world. This was all in a paper he had published.He doesn't seem to show any remorse for the old woman he kills, but as he is leaving, her younger sister Lizaveta walks into the room and must kill her as well. This did not go according to Raskolnikov's plan and now he felt terrible because killing Alyona Ivanova is one thing since she is an evil old pawnbroker who gives people very bad prices and is hurting society but Lizaveta is a dumb young woman. Killing her is almost like killing a child. Raskolnikov must continue with everyday life while attempting to conceal his guilt. Character Analysis Cont. Sonya - Sonya is a quiet, timid girl who is forced to sell herself into prostitution in order to support her family. Her family is incredibly poor and is struggling to stay alive. Her step mother, Katerina, is both physically and mentally ill and bullies Sonya into prostitution. Her devotion to her family is exemplified through the fact that she wouldn't have to sell if her father could control his alcoholic tendencies. Sonya is very understanding and although initially scared of Raskolnikov she begins to develop feelings for him. Dmitri Vrazumikhin - Vrazumikhin is Raskolnikov's friend. While Raskolnikov is a delusional megalomaniac, Vrazumikhin is a kind, hard working, and incredibly understanding man. Avdotya Raskolnikov a.k.a. Dunya - Dunya is Raskolnikov's sister and shares many traits with him. While sharing these traits she is in many ways his opposite as well. While he is self-centered and cruel, she is self-sacrificing and compassionate. Thematic Analysis Important Quotes Arkady Svidrigailov - Svidrigailov is in no doubt the villian in this novel. His crimes however are mostly behind him. He is seen giving money to the family of his fiancée, to Katerina Ivanovna and her children, and to Dunya. He is Raskolnikov's foil in many ways. Primarily in the respect that he knows he cannot force reality to conform to his desires. "'Where is it?' thought Raskolnikov. 'Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live!'" Love - Sonya and Raskolnikov, Dunya and Vrazumikhin, Sonya and Marmeladov (her father)

Suffering - Raskolnikov's inner guilt, Katerina and Marmeladov's struggle to stay afloat

Versions of Reality - Raskolnikov's delusional view of reality vs actual reality Symbols/Allusions "I maintain that if the discoveries of Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by sacrificing the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men, Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty bound... to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of making his discoveries known to the whole of humanity. But it does not follow that Newton had a right to murder people right and left and to steal every day in the market." (Part 3 Chapter 5) The Cross - The cross is a symbol of redemption for Raskolnikov

The City - This is a symbol for the chaos that envelops Raskolnikov

The Water - It represents purification Porfiry Petrovitch - Pertovitch it the attorney investigating the murders of Alyona and Lizaveta. He is somehow related to Razumihin. He appears to like Raskolnikov and is interested in seeing him rehabilitated. He believes that true justice can only be served if Raskolnikov confesses. This would provide redemption for Raskolnikov and thus enable him to function in society. Important Quotes "How it happened he himself did not know, but suddenly it was as if something lifted him and flung him down at her feet. He wept and embraced her knees. For the first moment she was terribly frightened, and her whole face went numb. She jumped up and looked at him, trembling. But all at once, in that same moment, she understood everything. Infinite happiness lit up in her eyes; she understood, and for her there was no longer any doubt that he loved her, loved her infinitely, and that at last the moment had come...." (Epilogue) Important Quotes
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