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Crime and Punishment: Feminist Lens

Crime and Punishment from the Feminist Lens
by

Lauren Hoover

on 16 March 2011

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Transcript of Crime and Punishment: Feminist Lens

Feminist Lens
Academic
Evidence Academic
Evidence Just as Raskolnikov believed his fate was to murder Alyona, society has deemed that the fate of women is to be weaker and therefore the victim. From the article "Why did I say women!?"
Raskolnikov "links females with ideas of cowardice, limitation, and victimization, and masculinity with power, money, courage, and the capacity to create victims." (Straus). Claim Since the role of women is to be the emotional ones,
they are often the ones who have to sacrifice
themselves, and therefore become victims. Horse Dream Murder of Alyona
and Lizaveta The axe is symbolic of victim and master.
The man is the one with the axe, as well as the power.
The women are left defenseless and are forced to suffer from the brutality of the man's actions. The beaters thought they could do whatever they wanted to the horse because it was their property.
During this time period, women were seen more as objects than people and men thought they could treat the women however they wanted. Porfiry Questions Raskolnikov When Raskolnikov is being questioned, he feels attacked and begins to feel like the victim.
This causes confusion for Raskolnikov, because through the murder his intention was to show male superiority.
However, while feeling victimized, his actions have caused him to identify with the feminine role. "Dostoevsky empowers Sonya with a hardly believable compassion and Donya with a virtue, understanding, and strength that can be read as Dostoevsky's alternative to traditional notions of masculine heroism." (Straus). Although Raskolnikov thought he was being a hero by murdering Alyona and Lizaveta, Dostoevsky shows that the true heroism lies in being a victim and sacrificing oneself for others. Raskolnikov's Confession to Sonya Raskolnikov's Confession to the Police Since Raskolnikov cares about Sonya's opinion, he has to give up some of his power and authority.
Typically the male role has to be more heartless because it shows control in a relationship.
The person who cares more in a relationship has less power. Raskolnikov's resistance to confession would mean that he would have to subject to a higher power.
Raskolnikov kisses the ground in submission to the authorities because he has wronged the country.
By the end of the novel, Raskolnikov has shifted from ignorance to acceptance of what he has done wrong.
Typically, ignorance is more of a male role and shows the desire for control; acceptance comes accross as more of a female role because of the lack of authority. Works Cited
Straus, Nina Pelikan, and Harold Bloom. “’Why Did I Say ‘Women!’?’ Raskolnikov Reimagined.” Bloom’s Major Literary Characters: Raskolnikov (2004): 195-212. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Web. 23 Feb. 2011.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky. Crime and Punishment. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993. Print.
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