Monday, August 3, 2020

Crime and punishment

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"Hello me, it's me again!"

Crime and Punishment is a story about two men. The two men live inside one body however, and sometimes share emotions. Rodion is that one man, in one instance is compassionate any caring, and in the next he is the ruthless Nihilist that everyone hates. There are many reasons to have this duality in the story. It serves as a conflict that can be built upon. It is a struggle between both men throughout the story to see which can overwhelm the other. The Nihilist controls most of the actions of Rodion, but glimpses of the compassionate man behind the Nihilist are portrayed in just the right occasions. Evil is constantly fighting against the good inside Rodion's mind throughout his contemplation of the murder, and after the guilt begins to take over. If Rodion was completely Nihilist, he would not regret what he was doing, and there would be no story. However, if he was completely compassionate, he would have had no reason to commit the murders. This duality is vital to complete the story, and have it make sense. The compassionate side serves as the tool to keep hope for Rodion as he travels from murder, to guilt, to his final confession.

"Let my life go, if only my dear ones may be happy!" (6) This is the first compassionate comment made by Rodion in the novel. The overwhelming imagery up until this point is negative, and supremely Nihilistic. There is good inside Rodion, he cares for his family, he truly wants them to be happy. This is a necessity because if he had never said anything positive about his family, it would seem that he has already gone too far, and is totally enveloped into his philosophy.

Throughout the whole situation with Marmeledov being ran over in the street; Rodion shows feelings of needing to help take care of him. It is important to see him, "induce someone to run for a doctor..." (14) It is easier for Rodion to be friendly with his family, but this portrays him as an overall compassionate person; who is capable of loving, and caring for everyone, not just his close family.

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Marmelodov is an old friend of Rodion's and he felt that he owed him for this friendship. When Marmeledov finally dies Rodion says he must "repay my debt to my old friend" (14) Twenty Rubles, all the money Rodion's mother and sister had given him is the debt he repaid to the Marmeledov family. Rodion even tells Katerina that if she ever needs his help in the future, that he will be there for them. This is important for Rodion to do, because he is in poverty much like the Marmeledov family, but he still finds the heart to give them all his money. This foreshadows how Sonia, who is "such a joe to him" (14) could have been part of his motive to help the family out. Sonia suffers much like Katerina, trying to support the family; and it is good that Rodion can relate to it.

The history of Rodion's personality is important also. When Pulcheria, Avdotya and Dmitri are discussing Rodion's demeanor, they bring up the fact of his dual personality. Avdotya, his sister, and Dmitri who is a long time friend and fellow student of his only know one part of Rodion's personality, the Nihilistic side. Avdoyta even asks Dmitri, "You mean he is capable of love?" (171)

Dmitri knows a lot about Rodion, but not as much as Rodion's own mother. She remembers when he was compassionate and loving, and this shows when Pulcheria says, "You may both be wrong about Rodya." (17) This is important that there is a view of both opinions of the personality of Rodion. Rodion can carry on as a compassionate person one moment, and suddenly turn Nihilistic. Dmitri and Avdotya only know the Nihilistic piece of Rodion, while Pulcheria knows the loving piece.

Once Rodion has told Sonia he is the murderer the question of Rodion's love of Sonia is no longer there. Rodion has spent so much time in isolation, that he has to spring out to someone he can trust, and someone he loves. When he is around Sonia he gets, "A feeling long unfamiliar to him."() Sonia had the ability to show him compassion and caring, which allowed her to break through the barrier of Rodion's superman/Nihilistic philosophy. This is a pivotal change in the story, which brings on the resolution and eventually admittance of Rodion's love for Sonia.

Rodion's decision to admit his guilt to the police is a direct result of his conversation with Sonia about redemption. His last visit with his mother foreshadows the relationship that he had, and hopes to still have even after he leaves for prison. He tells her that he has "always loved you"[Mother] (404). Rodion's mother has not seen him in a long time, so she may not have felt his compassionate side from the articles he had wrote. Rodion is sure that he wont see his mother for a long time, maybe ever again, he wants her to know that he still has a compassionate side intact

Rodion's compassion comes full circle by the end of the story. His loves for Sonia takes over fully and he is now reduced to the fact that he must suffer. This realization is eased by the fact that Sonia knows he loves her, and is willing to suffer with him,"she knew he had not doubt that he loved her beyond everything" (4) This love will bring him and Sonia through the suffering and bring him to a new life; without this love, there is nothing but doubt for Rodion.

The first clue to Rodion's philosophy (A twisted version of Hegel and Nietche's ideas) can be found when the narrator speaks of the, "sort of haughty pride and reserve about him." (4)

This explains why Rodion feels alone and isolated; he is according to himself, above and beyond all men around him. This foreshadows to his reasoning for the murders. The victims were merely insects to Rodion, he is in the fact "the man".

Leading up to the actual murder Rodion is thinking of more and more justifications for the murders. When he says that the life of the pawnbroker is, "No more than the life of a louse..." (54) Rodion firmly believes that in killing the pawnbroker is getting rid of someone that is useless to society, and that it is getting rid of someone nobody cares about. This is in coordination with the Hegel and Neitche philosophies, but it also ads in a twist, so that he can justify the murders. This is a clue to why he feels guilt later, if he had thought it through more; he wouldnt have went through with the murders.

Rodions twisted philosophy is drawn from other people's opinions. When him and Luzhin are talking about ideas, and how certain acts are permissible Rodion asks, "But why do you worry about it?...It's in accordance with your theory..." It is obvious to see that Rodion takes the extreme of Luzhin's statements. It is important to see that it is not only Hegel and Neitche that Rodion gets his Nihilistic ideas from. His dual personality, is fueled by his firm belief in these twisted philosophies.

When Rodion continues to build on his "theory" that justifies the murders, he begins to feel more strength. His confidences helps him so much that "he is becoming a new man..."(51)

This foreshadows to statements made by Svridigailov later, when he states that Rodion is becoming more like him; void of any compassion. It is good that the narrator states that if Rodion continues on this Nihilistic path, he will lose all of his compassionate side.

When Rodion and Porfiry talk about the article written about philosophies. Rodion gives away vital information about his reasoning behind the murders. Rodion believes that if an extraordinary people, such as him have the "inner right to...overstep...certain obstacles...for the practible fulfillment of his idea." (06) This idea stems from the philosophy of Hegel and Nietche, but once again is twisted to Rodion's benefit. This is an interesting part in the book because had Rodion not made such an in depth explanation of his Nihilistic views, Porfiry might not have suspected him as quickly. In Porfiry's eyes, someone that believes in such extreme views, is not capable of love, or compassion.

When Rodion comes to the conclusion that his guilt has won; he goes to the one person who has been there for him, and he knows he can trust. When she discovers he is the murderer, his evil personality breaks in when he says, "I've only killed a louse, Sonia, a useless, loathsome, harmful creature." (7) Rodion must realize that, even though the pawnbroker was evil, it is still immoral, and a crime to murder her. It is crucial for him to realize that he has not suffered completely enough to be redeemed. The final step must be taken, he must confess to the police.

Throughout the whole story, negative and positive thoughts swirl around in Rodion's mind. When the compassionate side seems to have its day, the Nihilistic side barges in and takes over. Svridrigailov backs up this assertion when he states. "There was something in common with us, eh?" (7) As Rodion is in the Nihilistic point of view for the majority of the story, Svridigailov would only see this about Rodion. As Rodion trusts in his philosophy more and more, he loses more and more of his compassionate side. This is an important part of the story, because it gives conflict; but it is good that Sonia was there to help him redeem himself. Rodion's love for Sonia brings him to the suffering he must face to finally be healed, and free of punishment.

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