Crime and Punishment Book Review

 


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The main character of the novel Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov, is in reality two totally contradicting personalities. One part of him is the the intellectual. He is cold, unfeeling and inhumane. He exibits tremendous self-will. It is this side that enables him to commit the most terrible crime imaginable - taking another human life. The other part of his personality is warm and compassionate. This is the side of him that does charitable acts and fights out against the evil in his society.

The confusion in Raskolnikov's soul is best seen when he tries to help a girl in the street who has been raped and left to the whims of anyone who finds her. Raskolnikov tries to protect her from the evil of the street, gut then stops himself when he is revulsed by the wickedness of his society. Why did I take it upon myself to interfere? Was it for me to try to help? Let them eat one another alive - what is it to me? At one time Raskolnikov is both caring and concerned and yet he is able to push aside the whole affair by being totally indifferent. The goal of the novel is to make Raskolnikov into one character. Sonya helps bring Raskolnikov back into his emotional, humane side.

Through her suffering, she shows him that it is important to have a love for all humanity and that no person should ever be able to exist like a parasite off of another person. Porifery, the official investigating the crime, acts as the intellectual who shows Roskolnikov that all intellect must be used for the good of mankind.

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