Crime and Punishment

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Everyone gets a little mad these days, especially the Russians! In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 19th century novel, Crime and Punishment, the novel is propelled by the protagonist Raskolnikov’s internal conflict between his delusions of superiority and his subconscious understanding the moral depravity of his murder. Though Raskolnikov suffers inner turmoil of remorse, paranoia, and delirious; Dostoevsky conveys the idea that madness is a necessity to the human experience. Raskolnikov will jounery on a venture meeting new people and discovering a life outside the small residence he dwells in, in order to discover that he is not like everyone else.

At the start of the novel, the reader is aware of the encounter between Raskolnikov and the pawnbroker, (whom he murders later in the story). The element of imagery serves as a good purpose to illustrate Raskolnikov’s dislike in her and her “malignant eyes” and her “sharp, little nose” and her “diminutive, withered up” form, making the reader visualize a witch. But Raskolnikov’s made desire to kill the pawnbroker is by his conclusions that he gathered from all the people in that area if St. Petersburg that she “ripped off”, and kept money to herself.

The author’s descriptions allow the reader to see the pawnbroker as an evil person and Raskolnikov’ s”pure” motives to kill her. This makes this scene absurd, strange, and completely mad. Raskolnikov has no right to take these kinds of matters in his hands. Only the authorities have the power to preserve justice, not the hands of a drop-out student turned murderer. In addition, Raskolnikov has gotten sick, very ill after the murder and develops delirium and paranoia in his sleep. The dreams contains the murder of the pawnbroker and her sister Lizaveta.

It says that “sweat trickled down his forehead” and “his eyes were red and bloodshot, from lack of sleep. ” The element of characterization serves as a good for Raskolnikov’s character as he “trembles in fear” and “sneaks out like a cat” illustrating his movements of a person gone insane. This clearly exemplifies Raskolnikov’s erratic and eccentric behavior as he denies himself release from “his phantoms” by refusing to confess and believing in his theory about “extraordinary men. ” The reader therefore realizes that Raskolnikov’s insanity is worse than the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

This is an example of Raskolnikov refusing to acknowledge that he is like everyone else. These are his reasons to conclude that he is proving himself different and so are his actions for murdering the pawnbroker. Overall Raskolnikov discovers that his madness has turned him into a different person with “a discerning eye”. His belief that he can separate his humane aspect from his intellectual aspect is justification towards his actions committed in the novel. Not only does he prove to be the most insane in the novel, he proves to be the craziest of them all.

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