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Crime and Punishment

Uploaded by Alejandro on Jun 23, 2002


This story was written and takes place in 1866 fifty years before the Russian Revolution and during the American Civil War in the ugly slums of St. Petersburg. Anyway, in my eyes the author already fears a failed revolution. He mentions for instance the rejection of religion and he uncovers the play of the secret police

Major Characters

Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov: The main character of the story. He conceives a theory that he is an extraordinary man and can neglect all laws. He kills a woman to prove this and spends the whole book rationalizing the theory.

Porfiry Petrovitch: The uncle of Razumihin A seasoned and clever police inspector who suspects Raskolnikov and guesses his motive, also the head of the investigation

Sonia (Sofya Semyonovna) Marmeladov: Marmeladov's eldest daughter who is forced into prostitution to support the family. She eventually falls in love with Raskolnikov

Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigailov: Former employer of Raskolnikov's sister, Dounia. He is an evil, evil man.


The story is essentially a human insight and an in depth character study. Despite a cruel environment and exciting investigations Raskolnikovs complex character stands on trial. In addition two major events mark a turning point in Raskolnikovs character - first his murder and secondly at the end the win of his conscience over his superior theory.


The "Crime and Punishment" is both a powerful psychological study, a fascinating detective thriller and a terrifying murder mystery. Here Raskolnikov, a poor dropout student living in the slums of St. Petersburg, murders an old woman and finally falls into a mental prison of persecution, physical madness and terror - his punishment.

How the main characters and perhaps the setting contribute to revealing and establishing the theme

A young Russian student, Raskolnikov, believes himself to be an extraordinary man--one who has the 'right' to commit and crime. In order to prove his stupid theory correct, Raskolnikov 'needs' to murder the old pawnbroker and her innocent sister. Immediately following the crime, the guilt strikes and poor Raskolnikov becomes ill. Upon recovery, he finds an old school acquaintance, Razumihin, who might be the only non-male-jerk of the whole story. Meanwhile, Raskolnikov is visited by Luzhin, who is engaged to Raskolnikov's sister Dounia. Luzhin, being the male chauvanist pig that he is, is merely marrying Dounia to prove his manly nature and ability to dominate the female species.

As soon as Raskolnikov can walk he takes a little stroll to the police station where he practically...

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Uploaded by:   Alejandro

Date:   06/23/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (675 words)

Views:   1939

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