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Crime and Punishment

Essay by review  •  October 16, 2010  •  Essay  •  658 Words (3 Pages)  •  989 Views

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Crime and Punishment

Injustice is defined as an unjust act; or wrongdoing. Poverty, illness, and death are all considered acts of injustice. Crime and Punishment written by Fyodor Dostoevsky examines all these areas of life. Death is the greatest injustice, especially when it comes by murder. In the novel two murders occur and the man that commits these acts of injustice believes that he had every right to do it. Though he is punished for his actions the time that he has to spend in prison is not comparable to the time that he has taken away from the women. Although his social punishment does not fit his crime, the mental punishment that he puts himself through makes up for societies lack of punishment. Raskolnikov who is a poor student commits these murders as a way to obtain money. He convinces himself that it is okay to murder the woman because she is an old lady who doesn't seem to share her wealth. The fact that her sister had to be killed because she walked in at the wrong time shows just how unjust the murder was in the first place. Raskolnikov wrote an article while in school, the article argues that certain men are above the general rules of humanity, thus they have a right to commit murder. These ideas are what he used to justify his killings.

Once Raskolnikov confessed to the murders he was put on trial. At the trial many of his friends and family testified that he really was a good human being. They gave examples of his good deeds towards the community, such as saving young children from a burning fire. Even though he was poor, he gave his money to others in their time of need. The police officer that suspected him all along even lied and said that Raskolnikov confessed on his own and was never suspected. Psychologists testified that he was not physically or mentally healthy at the time of the murder. All of these actions contributed to his sentence being very minimal. He received eight years of hard labor in Siberia. During this time he was allowed to see the girl that he loved everyday. His prison sentence did not meet the severity of punishment that he felt was needed for the women's murders.

The mental punishment that Raskolnikov put himself through was harsher than any social punishment could ever be. This mental punishment caused him to fall into a deep depression. For a long period of time he was in a deep sleep and didn't

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