Crime? What crime? Essay
Crime? What crime?
1) Is killing anyone ever justifiable? What if it is out of self defense? Does Raskolnikov really care that he murdered Alyona or is he just afraid of the punishment? 2) Are there people who are above the law? Should there be? 3) What are some themes in the novel? How do they relate to a character? Some themes in the novel are alienation from society, nihilism, and the idea of the superhuman. All three themes are related through Raskolnikov’s ideology that some human are better than others.
His alienation from society stems from his pride and his inferior view of others. Nihilism is the philosophical view that Raskolnikov adopts; its beliefs are that moral decisions should be made based on what grants the largest amount of people the most happiness. He also uses his belief of nihilism to justify killing Alyona because her death would allow Lizaveta freedom and happiness. The idea of the superhuman is that some people are extraordinary and most are ordinary; where the extraordinary are above all laws and the ordinary are not.
In the novel, all three of the themes beliefs are used by Raskolnikov to justify his plans of murder and the actual murder itself. This mindset is what enables Raskolnikov to lose his humanity and consider taking a life for the “greater” good. “‘Crime? What crime? … My killing a loathsome, harmful louse, a filthy old moneylender woman… and you call that a crime? ‘” From the context of these lines the reader can infer that Raskolnikov believes he is above the law and did society a service by getting rid of a malicious old lady.
These beliefs eventually cause inner turmoil with in Raskolnikov and lead him into a half-delirium state of mind. 4) What is the primary purpose of the novel? Is the purpose important or meaningful? The primary purpose of the novel is to reinforce the ideas to the readers that regardless of philosophy true guilt is inescapable and truly great people will lift humanity up, not leave it behind. An example of inescapable guilt can be seen in Raskolnikov’s reaction to Nastasya’s telling him that the beatings he thought he heard was blood “‘Blood?
What blood?… ‘ he murmured, turning pale and backing away against the wall. ” His reaction to this suggests that he is no longer thinking he is superior to anyone and that he fears everyone suspects him for the murders already. Sonya is a good example of a great person because even though Raskolnikov has committed such a heinous crime she is willing to look past it and be the one who saves him. In life, people are taught their right from their wrongs and are punished to discourage bad behavior.
Generally, when people are punished for anything they will not do it a second time for fear of the punishment that awaits their misdeed. Parents are models for their children to grow up well. They are the ones who will lift humanity up by teaching their kids to live in harmony with others. The purpose of the novel is an important one it is non-discriminatory and it is true that people who believe in humanity and try to see past its flaws will make humans a better race. 5) What is the role of family and community in this novel? 6) What is important about the title?
Is there a reference in the novel that explains the title? Is there a reason we sometimes use that phrase to describe the criminal-justice system? 7) What are the conflicts in Crime and Punishment? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) did you notice in the novel? 8) How does Fyodor Dostoevsky reveal character in Crime and Punishment? 9) Is Raskolnikov consistent in his actions? Is he a fully developed character? 10) Compare the major female characters: Sonya, Dunya, and Katerina Ivanovna. Do you think they are well-rounded characters or stereotypes?
How does each figure in Raskolnikov’s actions? Part Three: 1) the basis for and the impact of individual choices 2) human isolation and its effect on the individual < 3) how a new perspective influences an individual’s interpretation of the world 4) the ways in which individuals pursue or compromise their happiness 5) the interplay between fear and foresight when individuals make life altering choices Thesis: In Crime and Punishment, isolation is used as a means to evade the inferiority of society, cause insanity, and pursue one’s full potential.
Argument 1: Raskolnikov’s alienation from society allows him to become overly prideful. Example: “So absorbed in himself had he grown, so isolated from everyone else, that he was actually afraid of meeting anyone at all” Explanation: By depriving himself of human interaction, Raskolnikov makes rejoining society a hard task to accomplish. Since his thoughts were the only ones he heard he became prideful and believed himself to be a genius. Argument 2: By choosing to be isolated from society Raskolnikov opens himself up to having abstract and inhuman thoughts.
Example: “‘I plan to attempt a thing like this, yet I allow that kind of rubbish to scare me. ‘” Explanation: Raskolnikov’s thoughts begin to become muddled as a direct result of his alienation from society. When nihilism is introduced to him, he instantly agrees because it is in support of his isolated lifestyle, which leads him to believe his thoughts are going to be what lifts up the human race. Argument 3: In his efforts to distance himself from society, Raskolnikov is destroying his chance at happiness and quality of life.
Example: “His vital interests no longer concerned him; he did not even wish to think about them. ” Explanation: Through using isolation to create happiness for himself, Raskolnikov, deteriorates the quality of his life and destroys his chance at happiness by constantly fighting his conscience; which causes his mind to enter a half-delirious. Conclusion: Keith Henson once said “People can undergo a sudden change of thinking and loyalties under threat of death or intense social pressure and isolation from friends and family. “
Our customer support team is available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm EST. If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less.