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The violent excitement of raskolnikov in crime and punishment a novel by fyodor dostoyevsky

A recent gambling spree had depleted his savings, and he owed money for personal expenses as well as bills for Epokha, the journal he founded and had been forced to discontinue. For all this he was paid the sum of three thousand rubles, most of which was quickly swallowed up by promissory notes; what little remained was squandered at the gaming tables.

Destitute once again, Dostoyevsky forced himself to concentrate on his writing, and by that fall had conceived of the idea for a novel-length work about a family ruined by alcohol. Finally, Dostoyevsky was reacting to the political climate in St.

Petersburg, where the impulses of the revolution could be found in the nihilist and radical movements, which Dostoyevsky abhorred. Regardless of its origins, Dostoyevsky meant the novel to be as close to perfect as possible.

  • Compare the major female characters;
  • Not everyone was a fan, though; among those less than reverent were politically radical students, who seemed to feel the novel had attributed homicidal inclinations to them.

He took extensive—now famous—notes regarding its structure, toying with different points of view, character, structure, plot, and a variety of thematic strains. The efforts paid off. Crime and Punishment is a superbly plotted, brilliant character study of a man who is at once an everyman and as remarkable as any character ever written.

He encourages us to identify with Roskolnikov: The murder itself is almost incidental to the novel; Dostoyevsky devotes no more than a few pages to describing its execution, although he details the painful vacillations that precede the incident and, of course, exposes every aspect of its aftermath.

Thus Dostoyevsky brilliantly invites readers to put forth their own notions of Crime and Punishment, and engages us in an irresistible debate: Who is the real criminal? Marmeladov, for abandoning his family? Luzhin for exploiting Dunya?

Svidrigailov for murdering his wife? Sonya for prostituting herself? The greedy pawnbroker whom Roskolnikov murdered? Or, to turn the question around: Who among us is not a criminal?

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Who among us has not attempted to impose his or her will on the natural order? Compelled, ultimately, to confess his crime—and the confession scene is the only incident in which Roskolnikov actually admits to the crime—we feel that Roskolnikov has suffered sufficiently.

Indeed, the epilogue with its abbreviated pace and narrative distance feels like a reprieve for the reader as well as for the criminal. Finally, in Siberia, Roskolnikov has found space. The public reception of Crime and Punishment was enthusiastic—if a little stunned.

COLLECTIONS

Is it a political novel? A tale of morality? As Peter McDuff points out in his Introduction to the Penguin Classics edition, interpretations may be more revealing of the critic than of the text. In Roskolnikov, Dostoyevsky has created a man who is singular yet universal.

He is someone with whom we can sympathize, empathize, and pity, even if we cannot relate to his actions. He is a character we will remember forever, and whose story will echo throughout history.

The family was poor, but their descent from 17th-century nobility entitled them to own land and serfs. Fyodor was the second of eight children. Together they attended secondary schools in Moscow, then the military academy in St. Petersburg, followed by service in the Russian army. Dostoyevsky broadened his education by reading extensively in an attempt to sharpen his literary skills. He also began a tortured acquaintance with Turgenev, which was to continue throughout his life.

His first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846.

  1. He becomes intoxicated with the notion that he can commit a particular murder with moral impunity because the financial proceeds he derives from it will enable him to use his superior talents to benefit mankind—thereby justifying his violent crime. He married his stenographer, Anna Grigorievna Snitkin, with whom he fathered four children, and established himself as a leading conservative who often spoke out against revolutionary activity.
  2. Told through letters that a poor clerk exchanges with his love, an equally poor girl who has agreed to marry a worthless but rich suitor, the story describes the grinding psychological strain of poverty.
  3. Thus Dostoyevsky brilliantly invites readers to put forth their own notions of Crime and Punishment, and engages us in an irresistible debate. In the distinguished novel crime and punishment, by fyodor throughout crime and punishment, dostoyevsky and excitement is when raskolnikov discovers.
  4. You could say that fyodor dostoevsky's crime and punishment is a book about an in the novel if so, what and why if raskolnikov had only the violent acts.
  5. Not everyone was a fan, though; among those less than reverent were politically radical students, who seemed to feel the novel had attributed homicidal inclinations to them. D ostoyevsky wrote crime and punishment amid an unprecedented upsurge in violent crime novel begins, raskolnikov crime and punishment, dostoyevsky.

This tale of a young clerk who falls haplessly in love with a woman he cannot possess led the literary lion Victor Belinsky to proclaim Dostoyevsky as the next Gogol. Petersburg literary society had begun—but his celebrity status was quickly overshadowed by his somewhat obnoxious behavior. Eventually, Dostoyevsky found another group to join, this time a circle of intellectual socialists run by Mikhail Petrashevsky.

In 1849 he and the rest of the Petrashevsky group were arrested for subversion. Dostoyevsky was imprisoned at the Peter and Paul Fortress where he and others were subject to a mock execution—an understandably traumatic experience which seems to have triggered an epileptic condition that would plague Dostoyevsky throughout his life. He spent the next five years at hard labor in Siberia, where his acquaintance with the criminal community would provide him with the themes, plots, and characters that distinguish many of his greatest works, including Crime and Punishment.

Dostoyevsky returned to St. The next decade was filled with emotional and physical turmoil. In 1864 the deaths of his wife, Maria, and his beloved brother, Mikhail, deepened his debt and drove him to gambling.

He embarked on a doomed affair with Apollinaria Suslova, who vacillated between admiring and despising him.

He also witnessed the dissolution of his literary journal and formed a disadvantageous relationship with an unscrupulous publisher. He married his stenographer, Anna Grigorievna Snitkin, with whom he fathered four children, and established himself as a leading conservative who often spoke out against revolutionary activity.

In June of 1880, Dostoyevsky attended a celebration of the great novelist, Pushkin, during which he delivered a speech in praise of the writer. His words were met with great adulation, and the event marked what was perhaps the highest point of public approbation Dostoyevsky would ever attain.

The violent excitement of raskolnikov in crime and punishment a novel by fyodor dostoyevsky

Little more than six months later, on January 28, 1881, Dostoyevsky died of a lung hemorrhage. His funeral, attended by nearly thirty thousand mourners, was a national event.

Which scenes strike you as being particularly suspenseful? What role does chance play in the development of the novel? In which scenes does coincidence figure heavily in the outcome?

Is Dostoyevsky interfering too much with the natural course of events in order to move his story along, or is he making a point about the randomness of life, free will, and divine intervention? Compare the characters of Roskolnikov, Luzhin, and Svidrigailov.

How does each man face his guilt, and how does each suffer for it? Compare the major female characters: Sonya, Dunya, Katerina Ivanovna. Do you think they are well-rounded characters or stereotypes? Discuss the scene in which Roskolnikov meets Sonya in her room and he asks her to read the story of Lazarus.

READERS GUIDE

What makes this scene so effective? No, it was myself I killed…. And as for the old woman, it was the Devil who killed her, not I. What motive does Roskolnikov give for his murder? Why does he confess to Sonya? Can you think of modern-day examples of this theory put into practice? Does the fact that Roskolnikov never uses the money he stole from the pawnbroker make him less—or more—guilty?

Crime and Punishment Reader’s Guide

Why do you think he never recovers the stolen items or cash? Why, when they are at their most loving, does he have feelings of hatred for them? What is Dostoyevsky saying about guilt and conscience? Roskolnikov emerges as a dual character, capable of cruelty and compassion, deliberation and recklessness, and alternating between a desire for solitude and companionship.

Why has Dostoyevsky created such a complex psychological portrait?