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Crime and Punishment

Essay by review  •  November 19, 2010  •  Essay  •  769 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,471 Views

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Crime and Punishment consists of many people who have committed distinct crimes, and all of them have served their punishments in one way or another. Raskolnikov was one of the main characters in the novel. Raskolnikov had committed the crime of a premeditated murder. Svidrigailov, on the other hand, did things because they made him feel good. Svidrigailov's biggest crime was falling in love with Dunya. There are many ways a person can commit crime and there are many ways they can pay the punishment. Raskolnikov's definition of crime was killing someone and defending himself by thinking that he had done nothing wrong. According to Svidrigailov, crime can be committed by doing something as harmless as falling in love. Some people can pay the punishment for the crime they committed by letting their inner conscience bite them, whereas, some people can make their own life miserable by wishing for something that just wasn't meant to be.

The crime of the rapscallion Raskolnikov also reverberated on a much deeper, moral level inside his own head. Only one of his two murders was actually premeditated, the one committed against Alyona Ivanova. Lizaveta, her tortured sister was an inadvertent death. He was forced to kill her when he failed to shut the door and she was able to come in. He ignored the ultimate rule of good and evil, the principles of justice, and felt that if he killed Alyona no one would be injured because Alyona was a waste to society. Raskolnikov commits his initial crime out of arrogance. "The old hag is nothing.... I killed not a human being," he says. (245) He believed that Alyona was less than a human, and that he was a superior being. Raskolnikov thought that he had a right to kill.

Svidrigailov is one of the most enigmatic characters in Crime and Punishment. He employed tacit and devious tactics. Svidrigailov molested, irked, and bothered young women who do not wish to be associated with him. He pandered to their weakness and he self-admittedly used deception to win them for his own. His goal was to pursue Dunya, hence he poisoned his wife, Martha. He wanted to get complete freedom from her. These are the acts of a man who is entirely self-serving. Svidrigailov appeared to believe, almost until the end of the novel, that he could make Dunya love him.

When Raskolnikov surrendered, he accepted his mistakes and rejected his self-centered attitude. "It was I who killed the old pawnbroker widow and her sister Lizaveta; I killed them with an axe and robbed them," Raskolnikov confesses. (506) With his surrender he not only accepted his methodical mistakes in the execution of the crime, but

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