Guide Crime and Punishment

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If only we'd listened to him My killing a loathsome, harmful louse, a filthy old moneylender woman who brought no good to anyone, to murder whom would pardon forty sins, who sucked the lifeblood of the poor, and you call that a crime? After revisiting Crime and Punishment I am utterly troubled. In my opinion, to write a review of one of Fyodor Dostoyevsky 's great masterpieces is a troublesome undertaking. To write a decent one, even harder. So here are just a few toughts, backed by Dostoyevsky's own words so that I don't blunder it all. Ah, such fascinating despair.

I had a period in my life when I went deep into Dostoevsky. Perhaps because his books made me contemplate about being human. This is a remarkable study in emotions, intense and anguished. This confusion became more and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short, two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought.

When he was in the street he cried out, "Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! No, it's nonsense, it's rubbish! What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above all, disgusting, loathsome, loathsome! The feeling of intense repulsion, which had begun to oppress and torture his heart while he was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such a pitch and had taken such a definite form that he did not know what to do with himself to escape from his wretchedness.

That I resented his mother when he did and I loved her when he did? That I felt Raskolnikov's anxiety, and tried to tell him to turn back when he was climbing the steps to the old woman's apartment? But up he went. And that it anguished me because I new, as any reader would, what was bound to happen?

Yes, his is not the kind of personality that I usually sympathize with. However, I could begin to understand him and his despair. Yes, Dostoyevsky created a very real character and I believed him enough to mentally immerse myself with his creation while submersed in his book. And this kept me turning the pages up to the last one.

Granted, granted that there is no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded this last month is clear as day, true as arithmetic…. Anyway I couldn't bring myself to it! I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Why, why then am I still …? He identified himself with those history figures.

And that gave him the right to commit the crime. How could he explain the murder? I understand he just required a belief to explain it to himself. He was no Napoleon; he was not fighting in a war. And he knew it. What he needed was a moral argument that pushed him up the steps and lifted his arms in the final act. I went into it like a wise man, and that was just my destruction. And you mustn't suppose that I didn't know, for instance, that if I began to question myself whether I had the right to gain power—I certainly hadn't the right—or that if I asked myself whether a human being is a louse it proved that it wasn't so for me, though it might be for a man who would go straight to his goal without asking questions.

I had to endure all the agony of that battle of ideas, Sonia, and I longed to throw it off: I wanted to murder without casuistry, to murder for my own sake, for myself alone! I didn't want to lie about it even to myself. I simply did it; I did the murder for myself, for myself alone, and whether I became a benefactor to others, or spent my life like a spider, catching men in my web and sucking the life out of men, I couldn't have cared at that moment.

It was not so much the money I wanted, but something else. Perhaps I should never have committed a murder again. I wanted to find out something else; it was something else led me on. I wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like everybody else or a man. Yes, the women in the story turn out almost consistently to be the stronger characters, the source of redemption.

What about the patetic Marmeledov; the the self-centered Luzhin; the drunken philanderer Svidrigailov? They are all fascinating in their own right, and important to the story. A much more crucial issue: Where is God, religion? For that I would have to go back to his Russia, to his time and his life.

Nevertheless, all that will have to wait for a possible follow-up-review, today all my effort was on Raskolnikov and how I felt reading Crime and Punishment. An outstanding classic about the human essence, about our darkest and deepest impulses. The unequivocal voice of each character, the sharp study of society, the movements of Raskolnikov, of the extreme reduction of hate to the redemption of love.

Ultimately it reveals that our own inner consciousness can stand a far greater punishment than any legal system can. View all 50 comments. View all 42 comments. Prestupleniye i nakazaniye is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during Later, it was published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoevsky's full-length novels following his return from 5 years of exile in Sibe It is the second of Dostoevsky's full-length novels following his return from 5 years of exile in Siberia.

View all 5 comments. I basically had to stop drinking for a month in order to read it; my friends no longer call. View all 4 comments. Oct 14, Nayra. View all 22 comments. Ah such beautiful pessimism. I find solace in the Russians, they make death seem like a mild disturbance in the beauty of life. Also their difficult is mere codswallop, the only difficult thing about Russian lit is the names. Crime and Punishment is the story of a crime and its eventual punishment. It's really the story of a crime, followed by more crime, with a sprinkling of just a bit more crime, and then finished off with a tad of punishment.

The m Ah such beautiful pessimism. The main character I'm literally too lazy to try to type out his name is a really fascinating character to study. I mean, yeah he's psychologically warped and is a bit "Oh I murdered someone but you should feel sorry for me anyway", however I always seem to find likable traits in even the most monstrous of characters I still to this day stand up for Humbert Humbert.

I just feel that I want to find someone else who's read this and sit down and talk for hours about the main character. To use a Russian motif, he's a matryoshka doll of a character. Like I felt with Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary , Raskolnikov there I actually typed out his name is kind of more interesting than the novel itself.

Don't get me wrong, this novel is great and all but I just loved Raskolnikov. I could harp on about all the themes and plots in this vast novel but I like keeping my Goodreads reviews brief. Basically, I thought this was hella good and I totally need to read more Dostoyevsky. I highly recommend this novel as well, so read it guys! Unless of course you've ever killed a pawnbroker in your life. Then I suggest staying well away from this. My star rating is purely subjective and means only what GR says it means: I didn't like it.

It didn't mean anything to me, sadly, and I didn't even find it to be an interesting story. I'm not saying it's a terrible book; in fact, I'd be very interested to hear what others think reviews are a bit light for this book here I see. First, I have a confession to make: I got two thirds of the way through and skimmed the rest. Well, worse than that: I flipped through and got the gist, but such is the My star rating is purely subjective and means only what GR says it means: I flipped through and got the gist, but such is the way it's written you can't even skim.

I just really had to put the book to rest, and it made me feel miserable thinking about making myself keep reading it. Reading should never make you miserable , so I did something I rarely ever do, and it nags at me but, well, there you have it. The premise sounds interesting, and I had high hopes it would be one that would suck me in and captivate me. It's not that I had particularly high expectations - I didn't really have any expectations, though I thought it might be heavy on the intellectual side of things - but it was apparent from fairly early on that it wasn't going to be my kind of book.

It's Petersburg and a young student, Raskolnikov, is pawning his only valuables to an old crone, Alyona Ivanovna, who lives in a small apartment with her sister Lizaveta. He hasn't been able to afford to go to uni in several months, and his dress and manner makes him seem even lower class than he is. In desperation he hatches a plan to murder Alyona and rob her. He carries this out, killing not just her but her simple-minded sister who returns home unexpectedly, and in his fear and haste flees the scene with only some pawned trinkets and a small pouch.

His guilt manifests itself in fever and delirium, and he behaves very strangely thereafter. His friend and fellow student, Razumikhin, puts up with an awful lot and generously gives his time and efforts to help Raskolnikov; his mother, Pulcheria Alexandrovna and his sister, Dunechka, come to town to prepare for Dunya's marriage to an odious man; and Raskolnikov becomes somewhat obsessed with the family of a poor alcoholic who dies early on, in particular his eldest daughter Sonya, who had to become a prostitute in order to make some money for her family.

There's a lot of twoing and froing, a lot of agonising on Raskolnikov's part, and a lot of exclaiming.

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I wouldn't even have minded but Raskolnikov became such a bore, I didn't even want to slap, I just wanted to ignore him. It comes down mostly to the way it was written, which I didn't care for and which made the book a real slog. I know this is some kind of work of genius, but if that's true, then I just felt stupid. It all seemed pretty obvious to me.

No doubt if I made the effort I could see something special here, but it's like The Red and the Black - other people find the psychological melodrama truly fascinating, but to me, it's just melodrama, which I loathe. There's also no mystery, and not much suspense. There's a somewhat clever police inspector investigating the murder, but the game of cat-and-mouse the blurb enticed me with fell flat pretty quickly, and there was nothing left to hold me.

The blurb describes the book as "a preternaturally acute investigation of the forces that impel a man toward sin, suffering and grace. You can tell I'm really impressed can't you? It reads more like an account of a man going mad and being really self-centred, but after my sorry lack of appreciation for the equally masterful The Red and the Black , is it any surprise that I didn't like this book at all?

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If you're looking for a good story, this isn't it. View all 69 comments. As usual with Dostoyevsky, the characters are shaken by great emotions, nobody stays calm. The account of the murder of the pawnbroker and her sister, as well as the interrogation of the shrewd policeman is among the highlights.

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  6. The story takes surprising turns again and again. The descriptions Dostoevsky everything is simply incomparable. You are in the middle of history and everywhere. Guilt and atonement is a very readable classic that lets you look deeply into the human abysses. This book guilt and atonement is a psychological, philosophical, religious, and at the same time social. I wish some books never had to end.

    This will undoubtedly top my top 5 books of View all 8 comments. Dec 03, Vessey rated it it was amazing Shelves: Truly great men, I think, must feel great sorrow in this world. I dedicate it to my friend Jeffrey. It was a common painful experience that bought us together and let me get to know the fabulous person behind the written words. Thank you for being "Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a broad consciousness and a deep heart.

    Thank you for being what you are, Jeffrey! Perhaps you'll hear my name someday. It is a thing universally spoken of, asked for, preached, aspired to, but do we actually know what it means? Can it be defined? Is forgiveness meant to erase the act? If so, then, indeed, nothing could ever be forgiven, because nothing can ever change the past, bring back the time, make you a different person, change the reality of who you are and what you have done. But if there is such thing as forgiveness, what does it mean? Does it mean to believe that the committer is not guilty, that they have done their best under their circumstances?

    But if there is no crime, then there is no need of forgiveness. Or is this it? To keep an open mind, to understand when and where judgement needs to be bestowed and when and where — withdrawn. Or is it to conceal, to hide your negative feelings toward them and act merely on your positive ones?

    Or maybe this is it. Along with the accusations to be able to show them some goodness, to remember that they are humans too.

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    And what about when we have no positive feelings toward them and all we can see is a monster? Would that be forgiveness? And if the wound is healed? Does our overcoming the hurt automatically bestow forgiveness on the committer? And how would they feel? If the pain is gone, does that release us from responsibility? If the victim ceases to be a victim, does the criminal cease to be a criminal? If those whom we have hurt can make peace with what we have done, can we?

    Which is the harder forgiveness? The one we need to bestow on others or on ourselves? Do we truly believe in forgiveness when we speak of it? Can a wound really be overcome?

    Crime and Punishment

    And I said to him that if we were able to have everything we needed, we would have been able to get over things. If it is true that we never get over things, then it is because there are always new ones piling on top of the old ones. Also, what happens when there is not enough left of us to be healed? In Fugitive Pieces it is said: And even if an act could be forgiven, no one could bear the responsibility of forgiveness on behalf of the dead. Crime and Punishment (): Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Constance Garnett: Books

    No act of violence is ever resolved. When the one who can forgive can no longer speak, there is only silence. They don't conceal their feelings and their belief that what he has done is unacceptable, incomprehensible, cruel act. Yet, they do so without assuming lofty position, without anger, without judgement, without coldness, without contempt. They choose to treat the criminal as an equal, as a victim in need of help, as a loved one.

    But can a criminal be a victim at the same time? Those are the biggest victims. Victims of themselves, of their inability to rise above and believe. But is it so easy to determine the nature of a crime? It is usually seen as a harmful to others deed. I believe in gray areas.

    And this is how Raskolnikov sees himself. It is his personal rebellion against an oppressor. Oppressor who consists of more than an old pawnbroker. To him she is part of a decease that the world is rife with. She is no a single tyrant holding a whole city or nation in her fist, but sometimes the face of evil, the oppression is not just one person, but many. To him she is part of a society that needs to be brought down in order for new, better breed of people, compassionate, altruistic people, to come and rule.

    To come and make the important decisions. And he thinks that if he can't defeat the system, he can at least weaken it by destroying one of its members, the harsh, uncaring old woman, and add the acquired from her to the good society, to those in need. And he also sacrifices an innocent woman in order to protect himself and his plan. And the pawnbroker herself? Or at least not mainly because of that. I think he sees her this way mostly because there is no compassion in her refusal, no understanding.

    There are those who make hard decisions and hurt other people but are hurting while doing so and are sorry for that they need to do it. This woman shows no compassion, no regret. And it is this most of all that drives him over the edge. I believe it is essential to show compassion toward those we hurt.

    Even when we think they deserve it, even when we feel we have no other choice. And kills her sister. He believes that sometimes it is acceptable for an "exceptional" human to sacrifice an "ordinary" one in the name of the greater good. I cannot see him as simply a criminal, or simply a victim. I can neither oppose, nor side with his philosophy. All is quite relevant. I can talk of this situation. Do I see the murder of the two women as justified act? Raskolnikov has a truly exceptional mind that, unfortunately, proves to be a knife with two blades.

    Sofia Simeonovna asks him: His passion, his broad consciousness lead him to both great good and great cruelty. For some reason it just goes both ways. His victims lack the capacity for such a crime, but they also lack the capacity for the good he is capable of. It is marvellous to possess such a wealth of profundity and passion, but only when you have the means to channel them the right way.

    Sometimes the best of us is the worst in someone else. There are those of us who lack the necessary substance to bear their gifts with dignity, integrity, passion, and therefore their depth, their brilliance is a murder. They incite them to believes and actions that are far beyond our and their own comprehension. Only a healthy spirit can bear the weight of a large intelligence. I keep asking myself why our human complexity results into violence, sadism, cruelty, and not in beauty, nobleness, desire. It is our birthright and obligation to be more than what nature has bestowed on us.

    Technically, biologically, we are no more than animals, part of the big chain, but inwardly we are something else. Something exceptional, spectacular, breathtaking. We are strong and beautiful in our intricacy, but cruel and weak in our inability to bear it, to recognize it, to give in to it. The beauty of the human heart and mind is always dual, deadly and life-giving, poisonous and healing, grand and small. And it is there that lays the biggest mystery. For it is pain and suffering that the most beautiful creations are based on.

    It is pain that forces us to grow, to develop, it is pain that reveals to us our most amazing qualities, our deepest beauty, our profoundest selves. It is there that lays the irony, the paradox. Our highest cannot exist without our lowest. I think it is rather notable that after having murdered two women and being incarcerated for it, Raskolnikov is actually more at peace with himself than at the beginning. The pain he goes through changes him.

    He might have commits his crime only once, but in his mind many times before that. Subconsciously, but still, the thoughts, the feelings that lead to it in the end have been part of him always. And after finally getting to it, he changes. He did not understand that this sense might herald a future break in his life, his future resurrection, his future new vision of life.

    Yet, in the end he does find peace. A peace he has never known before. Because it is one thing to imagine and think of something. Only when he truly faces his convictions, by actually acting on them, he realizes their true nature. Some I used to know told me they felt his remorse was self-serving. But does the suffering make the remorse more real, worthier?

    Desperation drives Raskolnikov toward his crime and had he stayed in this abyss of guilt and darkness, maybe he would have gone down the same road eventually. Yet, he manages to realize the error of his ways and make peace with what he has done, and this saves him and those around him. I have always believed that, when it comes to personal growth, deep reading and writing are the best alternative to pain and suffering.

    Long live great literature. I would also like to thank my friend Sidharth who really does understand and appreciate the connection between beauty and pain and whose words about it were a part of what inspired me to write this. You are a very wise young man. View all 74 comments.

    Jun 23, Florencia rated it it was amazing Shelves: For the love of Zeus, I have finished! I think we will be living on the moon with robots as our cooks by the time I write a review for this masterpiece, but I just want to let the world or, at least, friends and 79 followers; okay, the one that's reading this know that I have finished it.

    I can rest in peace. I'm somewhat young and have many things to do. View all 36 comments. I have few Dostoevsky fans in my friends list so my opinions here might not go over so well. I have been wanting to read this classic for a while and I had high expectations, but they were not met. I liked it okay but I found it to be a bit slow and drawn out.

    Ultimately not a whole lot happens in the story, but it takes pages to get there. In fact, there are probably as many plot points in the 15 page epilogue as in the rest of the book. However, despite this, I can say that parts of the jou I have few Dostoevsky fans in my friends list so my opinions here might not go over so well. However, despite this, I can say that parts of the journey were pretty good. Every few chapters there would be a high intensity event that would draw me in.

    In fact, if you graphed this book out with the high points followed by long lulls, it would probably look like an EKG. Also, it was interesting to take in the classic Russian writing. Whether or not it was always super exciting, I did enjoy the feel of the narrative from the classic Russian perspective. In summary, I would not recommend this as highly as some other classics, but if you are hardcore into completing your classic reading list, you can't miss this one.

    View all 14 comments. May 17, Samra Yusuf rated it it was amazing Shelves: Stricken by poverty and dogged to change his doom, Raskolnikov regards the idea of robbing an old pawnbroker on his way back to the closet apartment he resides as paying guest. The subject is very simple. A man conceives the idea of committing a crime; he matures it, commits the deed, and so the punishment starts, the flash back of the scene plays in the screen of his mind, he is tortured by his own self, he wants it to end, considers confessing his crime before the authorities, and yet finds no courage to do that, in the long run goes to police, states his crime and is sent to Siberia.

    If it could only be that simple! Raskolnikov is the student of law and a self-acclaimed revolutionary, a nihilist to the boots, intelligent, unprincipled, unscrupulous, reduced to extreme poverty, decides to take matters in his hands for once, for him world is crowded with two kinds of people, the one who act and are named in history, like Napoleon, for whom the smaller crime done to accomplish bigger aims is defensible and even requisite, Raskolnikov strive to be the one. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth. Other plot threads weave the whole picture of Russia of the time, when one with three times a bite of bread was considered lucky, the time when women were either domestic hags or harlots, the time when everyone talked too much, spanned over hundreds of pages the talk of no consequence, the time when Russia had witty officers in police, who used to hunt down criminals like a tiger and yet waited for his surrender, and the time when people killed just to see if their theories were in alignment with reality.

    Dostoevsky had witnessed death with his bare eyes, as he faced the firing squad in St. Petersburg and was spared at the last moment, and the way he rips off the layers of human mind, lays us naked before us and the whole world to view, is of no surprise!! Crime and Punishment is one of the most heartfelt stories that I have read. Eventually she throws the gun aside, but Svidrigailov, crushed by her hatred for him, tells her to leave. Later that evening he goes to Sonya to discuss the arrangements for Katerina Ivanovna's children.

    He gives her rubles, telling her she will need it if she wishes to follow Raskolnikov to Siberia. He spends the night in a miserable hotel and the following morning commits suicide in a public place. Raskolnikov says a painful goodbye to his mother, without telling her the truth. Dunya is waiting for him at his room, and he tells her that he will be going to the police to confess to the murders.

    He stops at Sonya's place on the way and she gives him a crucifix. At the bureau he learns of Svidrigailov's suicide, and almost changes his mind, even leaving the building. But he sees Sonya, who has followed him, looking at him in despair, and he returns to make a full and frank confession that he is the murderer. Due to the fullness of his confession at a time when another man had already confessed Raskolnikov is sentenced to only eight years of penal servitude. Dunya and Razumikhin marry and plan to move to Siberia, but Raskolnikov's mother falls ill and dies.

    Sonya follows Raskolnikov to Siberia, but he is initially hostile towards her as he is still struggling to acknowledge any moral culpability for his crime, feeling himself to be guilty only of weakness and stupidity. It is only after some time in prison that his redemption and moral regeneration begin under Sonya's loving influence. In Crime and Punishment , Dostoevsky fuses the personality of his main character, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov , with his new anti-radical ideological themes.

    The main plot involves a murder as the result of "ideological intoxication," and depicts all the disastrous moral and psychical consequences that result from the murder. Raskolnikov's psychology is placed at the center, and carefully interwoven with the ideas behind his transgression; every other feature of the novel illuminates the agonizing dilemma in which Raskolnikov is caught.

    Raskolnikov Rodion is the protagonist , and the novel focuses primarily on his perspective. A year-old man and former student, now destitute, Raskolnikov is described in the novel as "exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim, well built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair. On the one hand, he is cold, apathetic, and antisocial; on the other, he can be surprisingly warm and compassionate. He commits murder as well as acts of impulsive charity. His chaotic interaction with the external world and his nihilistic worldview might be seen as causes of his social alienation or consequences of it.

    Despite its title, the novel does not so much deal with the crime and its formal punishment, as with Raskolnikov's internal struggle the book shows that his punishment results more from his conscience than from the law. It is only in the epilogue that he realizes his formal punishment, having decided to confess and end his alienation from society. Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladova , variously called Sonya and Sonechka, is the daughter of a drunkard named Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, whom Raskolnikov meets in a tavern at the beginning of the novel.

    She is often characterized as self-sacrificial, shy, and innocent, despite being forced into prostitution to help her family. Raskolnikov discerns in her the same feelings of shame and alienation that he experiences, and she becomes the first person to whom he confesses his crime. Sensing his deep unhappiness, she supports him, even though she was friends with one of the victims Lizaveta. Throughout the novel, Sonya is an important source of moral strength and rehabilitation for Raskolnikov. She initially plans to marry the wealthy, yet smug and self-possessed, Luzhin, to free the family from financial destitution.

    She rejects both men in favour of Raskolnikov's loyal friend, Razumikhin. Following Raskolnikov's sentence, she falls ill mentally and physically and eventually dies. She hints in her dying stages that she is slightly more aware of her son's fate, which was hidden from her by Dunya and Razumikhin. Razumikhin Dmitry Prokofyich is Raskolnikov's loyal friend and also a former law student. The character is intended to represent something of a reconciliation of the pervasive thematic conflict between faith and reason. Unlike Sonya, however, Porfiry does this through psychological games.

    Despite the lack of evidence, he becomes certain Raskolnikov is the murderer following several conversations with him, but gives him the chance to confess voluntarily. He attempts to confuse and provoke the unstable Raskolnikov in an attempt to coerce him to confess. He overhears Raskolnikov's confessions to Sonya and uses this knowledge to torment both Dunya and Raskolnikov, but does not inform the police.

    When Dunya tells him she could never love him after attempting to shoot him he lets her go. He tells Sonya that he has made financial arrangements for the Marmeladov children to enter an orphanage after both their parents die , and gives her three thousand rubles, enabling her to follow Raskolnikov to Siberia. The novel is divided into six parts, with an epilogue. The notion of "intrinsic duality" in Crime and Punishment has been commented upon, with the suggestion that there is a degree of symmetry to the book.

    The first half of the novel shows the progressive death of the first ruling principle of his character; the last half, the progressive birth of the new ruling principle. The point of change comes in the very middle of the novel. This compositional balance is achieved by means of the symmetrical distribution of certain key episodes throughout the novel's six parts. The recurrence of these episodes in the two halves of the novel, as David Bethea has argued, is organized according to a mirror-like principle, whereby the "left" half of the novel reflects the "right" half.

    The seventh part of the novel, the Epilogue, has attracted much attention and controversy. Some of Dostoevsky's critics have criticized the novel's final pages as superfluous, anti-climactic, unworthy of the rest of the work, [23] while others have defended it, offering various schemes that they claim prove its inevitability and necessity. Steven Cassedy argues that Crime and Punishment "is formally two distinct but closely related, things, namely a particular type of tragedy in the classical Greek mold and a Christian resurrection tale".

    At the same time, this tragedy contains a Christian component, and the logical demands of this element are met only by the resurrection promised in the Epilogue". Crime and Punishment is written from a third-person omniscient perspective. This narrative technique, which fuses the narrator very closely with the consciousness and point of view of the central characters, was original for its period.

    Frank notes that Dostoevsky's use of time shifts of memory and manipulation of temporal sequence begins to approach the later experiments of Henry James , Joseph Conrad , Virginia Woolf , and James Joyce.

    A late nineteenth-century reader was, however, accustomed to more orderly and linear types of expository narration. Dostoevsky uses different speech mannerisms and sentences of different length for different characters. Those who use artificial language—Luzhin, for example—are identified as unattractive people.

    Marmeladov's disintegrating mind is reflected in her language. In the original Russian text, the names of the major characters have something of a double meaning , but in translation the subtlety of the Russian language is predominantly lost due to differences in language structure and culture. The physical image of crime as crossing over a barrier or a boundary is lost in translation, as is the religious implication of transgression. Raskolnikov's dreams have a symbolic meaning, which suggests a psychological view.

    The dream of the mare being whipped has been suggested as the fullest single expression of the whole novel, [28] symbolizing gratification and punishment, contemptible motives and contemptible society, depicting the nihilistic destruction of an unfit mare, the gratification therein, and Rodion's disgust and horror, as an example of his conflicted character.

    Raskolnikov's disgust and horror is central to the theme of his conflicted character, his guilty conscience, his contempt for society, his rationality of himself as an extraordinary man above greater society, holding authority to kill, and his concept of justified murder. His reaction is pivotal, provoking his first taking of life toward the rationalization of himself as above greater society. The dream is later mentioned when Raskolnikov talks to Marmeladov. Marmeladov's daughter, morally chaste and devout Sonya, must earn a living as a prostitute for their impoverished family, the result of his alcoholism.

    The dream is also a warning, foreshadowing an impending murder and holds several comparisons to his murder of the pawnbroker. The dream occurs after Rodion crosses a bridge leading out of the oppressive heat and dust of Petersburg and into the fresh greenness of the islands. This symbolizes a corresponding mental crossing, suggesting that Raskolnikov is returning to a state of clarity when he has the dream. In it, he returns to the innocence of his childhood and watches as a group of peasants beat an old mare to death.

    Therefore, in order for Raskolnikov to find redemption, he must ultimately renounce his theory. In the final pages, Raskolnikov, who at this point is in the prison infirmary, has a feverish dream about a plague of nihilism , that enters Russia and Europe from the east and which spreads senseless dissent Raskolnikov's name alludes to "raskol", dissent and fanatic dedication to "new ideas": Though we don't learn anything about the content of these ideas they clearly disrupt society forever and are seen as exclusively critical assaults on ordinary thinking: Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done?

    Janko Lavrin , who took part in the revolutions of the World War I era, knew Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky and many others, and later would spend years writing about Dostoevsky's novels and other Russian classics, called this final dream "prophetic in its symbolism". Sonya gives Rodya a cross when he goes to turn himself in, which symbolizes the burden Raskolnikov must bear. Sonya and Lizaveta had exchanged crosses, so originally the cross was Lizaveta's—whom Rodya didn't intend to kill, making it an important symbol of redemption.

    On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. The above opening sentence of the novel has a symbolic function: Russian critic Vadim K. Kozhinov argues that the reference to the "exceptionally hot evening" establishes not only the suffocating atmosphere of Saint Petersburg in midsummer but also "the infernal ambience of the crime itself". Evnin regards Crime and Punishment as the first great Russian novel "in which the climactic moments of the action are played out in dirty taverns, on the street, in the sordid back rooms of the poor".

    Dostoevsky's Petersburg is the city of unrelieved poverty; "magnificence has no place in it, because magnificence is external, formal abstract, cold". Dostoevsky connects the city's problems to Raskolnikov's thoughts and subsequent actions. Donald Fanger asserts that "the real city It is crowded, stifling, and parched. For example, the great storm in Shakespeare's King Lear reflects the state of the titular character's mind, much like the chaos, disorder and noise of St. Petersburg reflects the state of Raskolnikov's mind.

    Dostoevsky's letter to Katkov reveals his immediate inspiration, to which he remained faithful even after his original plan evolved into a much more ambitious creation: He thus attacked a peculiar Russian blend of French utopian socialism and Benthamite utilitarianism, which had led to what revolutionaries, such as Nikolai Chernyshevsky , called " rational egoism ". The radicals refused to recognize themselves in the novel's pages, since Dostoevsky pursued nihilistic ideas to their most extreme consequences.

    Dimitri Pisarev ridiculed the notion that Raskolnikov's ideas could be identified with those of the radicals of the time. The radicals' aims were altruistic and humanitarian, but they were to be achieved by relying on reason and suppressing the spontaneous outflow of Christian compassion. Chernyshevsky's utilitarian ethic proposed that thought and will in Man were subject to the laws of physical science. Raskolnikov exemplifies the potentially disastrous hazards contained in such an ideal. Frank notes that "the moral-psychological traits of his character incorporate this antinomy between instinctive kindness, sympathy, and pity on the one hand and, on the other, a proud and idealistic egoism that has become perverted into a contemptuous disdain for the submissive herd".

    Dostoevsky wants to show that this utilitarian style of reasoning had become widespread and commonplace; it was by no means the solitary invention of Raskolnikov's tormented and disordered mind. He even becomes fascinated with the majestic image of a Napoleonic personality who, in the interests of a higher social good, believes that he possesses a moral right to kill.

    Indeed, his "Napoleon-like" plan impels him toward a well-calculated murder, the ultimate conclusion of his self-deception with utilitarianism. In his depiction of Petersburg, Dostoevsky accentuates the squalor and human wretchedness that pass before Raskolnikov's eyes. He uses Raskolnikov's encounter with Marmeladov to contrast the heartlessness of Raskolnikov's convictions with a Christian approach to poverty and wretchedness.

    In seeking to affirm this "freedom" in himself, Raskolnikov is in perpetual revolt against society, himself, and God. Although the remaining parts of the novel had still to be written, an anonymous reviewer wrote that "the novel promises to be one of the most important works of the author of The House of the Dead ". In his memoirs, the conservative belletrist Nikolay Strakhov recalled that in Russia Crime and Punishment was the literary sensation of It's a gripping detective story, a fantastic piece of storytelling with a fascinatingly complex central character.

    John Simm was always the top choice to play the central role of Rodya Raskolnikov. Producer David Snodin explains. He can combine charm with arrogance and that is essential for Raskolnikov. This has to be the man you want desperately to get away with murder. John had more than just a complex character to deal with whilst filming Crime and Punishment. He had a throat infection and broken ribs, but insists that it only added to his performance. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted - and the constant light can drive you mad.

    But in a twisted kind of way, it all helped me to understand Raskolnikov and why he behaves in the way that he does.