Resolution of the conflict Essay
Resolution of the conflict
“Raskolnikov lowered himself onto the chair, without, however, taking his eyes off the face of the disagreeably astonished Ilya Petrovich. For a moment they both looked at each other, waiting. Water was brought. ‘I’m the person…’ Raskolnikov began. ‘Take a drink of water.’ Raskolnikov brushed the water aside and quietly, in measured tones, but distinctly, said: ‘I’m the person who murdered the old civil servant’s widow and her sister Lizaveta that day, I did it with an axe, and I robbed them.’ Ilya Petrovich opened his mouth. People came running from every quarter. Raskolnikov repeated his deposition.” (6.8.632-633)
This passage brings Raskolnikov’s inner conflicts to an end by having him confess to the murders. By confessing Raskolnikov is freed from the nagging of his guilty conscience but his actions here do not bring him back to humanity.
The readers can infer that Raskolnikov has not gained his humanity back, because it is only when he sees Sonya after talking to Ilya Petrovich for a first attempt at confessing that he goes back into the police station to confess. Sonya acts as a guiding light for Raskolnikov by having him confess so that he can begin his journey to redemption. Through these actions he is beginning to open himself to human interaction by allowing what Sonya thinks of him to matter. Therefore, concluding the central conflict of the novel and beginning of Raskolnikov’s reintroduction into society as an equal.
“He rushed at her with the axe; her lips grew contorted in the pitiful manner common to very young children when they begin to be afraid of something, stare fixedly at the thing that is frightening them and prepare to cry out loud.
Moreover, this unhappy Lizaveta was so simple, downtrodden and utterly intimidated that she raised her hands to protect herself, even though this would have been a most natural, lifesaving gesture for her to make at that moment, as the axe was raised right above her face. She merely raised her unengaged left arm the tiniest distance, a long way from her face, and slowly extended it toward the axe, as though in an attempt to ward it off. The blow landed right on her skull, blade-first, and instantly spilt open the whole upper part of her forehead, almost to the crown of her head. She fairly crashed to the floor.” (1.7.97-98)
This passage shows situational irony by how Raskolnikov’s murder plan turned out. Raskolnikov did not expect Lizaveta to return home so early and to see her sister’s murdered corpse on the ground. So, in order to protect himself, Raskolnikov murders Lizaveta too. The irony is that Raskolnikov justified his killing Alyona by saying he was doing Lizaveta a favor by removing a source of pain from her life. By murdering Lizaveta too, Raskolnikov has made his reasoning for killing Alyona futile.
“Without saying anything, Sonya produced two crucifixes from a drawer, a cypress one and a copper one, crossed herself, crossed him, and hung the cypress crucifix around his neck.” (6.8.623)
This passage shows the symbolism of the crucifix by how Sonya gives Raskolnikov “redemption”. In this context she is behaving like Jesus by giving him unconditional love, herself, and concern. She does this so that she can bring him back to humanity and renew his soul. At this point in time Raskolnikov does not believe in redemption and has no feeling that he sinned. The crucifixes are used to symbolize the start of Raskolnikov’s journey to the recognition of the transgressions he has committed.
“‘Leave me, leave me alone, all of you!’ Raskolnikov shouted in a frenzy. ‘Will you leave me alone now, you torturers! I’m not afraid of you! I’m not afraid of anyone, anyone now! Go away! I want to be alone, alone, alone!'”
This passage shows Raskolnikov’s aversion to being around people, even those whom he is familiar with, particularly by his outburst at his friends after spending the majority of his time with them. It is not only his friends that Raskolnikov does not want to be around; it is his alienation to society that makes him uncomfortable around people. Raskolnikov’s pride is what alienates him from other people in the beginning because he believes himself to be superior to others.
His ideology of nihilism also contributes to allowing him to use people for his own advances. In the significant section it is his intense guilt and half-delirium from the murders that causes his fondness of isolation to grow. With his state of mind, Raskolnikov continuously pushes those who are trying to help him away. In the end, it is through his total alienation that he realizes that he needs to rejoin society because complete isolation is intolerable.
Subject: Ilya Petrovich,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 2 August 2017
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