Table of Contents Plot Overview Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, a former student, lives in a tiny garret on the top floor of a run-down apartment building in St. He is sickly, dressed in rags, short on money, and talks to himself, but he is also handsome, proud, and intelligent.
Structure[ edit ] The novel is divided into six parts, with an epilogue. The notion of "intrinsic duality" in Crime and Punishment has been commented upon, with the suggestion that there is a degree of symmetry to the book. The first half of the novel shows the progressive death of the first ruling principle of his character; the last half, the progressive birth of the new ruling principle.
The point of change comes in the very middle of the novel. The recurrence of these episodes in the two halves of the novel, as David Bethea has argued, is organized according to a mirror-like principle, whereby the "left" half of the novel reflects the "right" half.
Some of Dostoevsky's critics have criticized the novel's final pages as superfluous, anti-climactic, unworthy of the rest of the work,  while others have defended it, offering various schemes that they claim prove its inevitability and necessity.
Steven Cassedy argues that Crime and Punishment "is formally two distinct but closely related, things, namely a particular type of tragedy in the classical Greek mold and a Christian resurrection tale".
At the same time, this tragedy contains a Christian component, and the logical demands of this element are met only by the resurrection promised in the Epilogue".
It is focalized primarily from the point of view of Raskolnikov; however, it does at times switch to the perspective of Svidrigailov, Razumikhin, Peter Petrovich, or Dunya. This narrative technique, which fuses Crime and punishment by dostoyevsky analysis narrator very closely with the consciousness and point of view of the central characters, was original for its period.
Frank notes that Dostoevsky's use of time shifts of memory and manipulation of temporal sequence begins to approach the later experiments of Henry JamesJoseph ConradVirginia Woolfand James Joyce.
A late nineteenth-century reader was, however, accustomed to more orderly and linear types of expository narration. Those who use artificial language—Luzhin, for example—are identified as unattractive people.
Marmeladov's disintegrating mind is reflected in her language. In the original Russian text, the names of the major characters have something of a double meaningbut in translation the subtlety of the Russian language is predominantly lost due to differences in language structure and culture.
The physical image of crime as crossing over a barrier or a boundary is lost in translation, as is the religious implication of transgression.
Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. December Dreams[ edit ] Raskolnikov's dreams have a symbolic meaning, which suggests a psychological view.
The dream of the mare being whipped has been suggested as the fullest single expression of the whole novel,  symbolizing gratification and punishment, contemptible motives and contemptible society, depicting the nihilistic destruction of an unfit mare, the gratification therein, and Rodion's disgust and horror, as an example of his conflicted character.
Raskolnikov's disgust and horror is central to the theme of his conflicted character, his guilty conscience, his contempt for society, his rationality of himself as an extraordinary man above greater society, holding authority to kill, and his concept of justified murder.
His reaction is pivotal, provoking his first taking of life toward the rationalization of himself as above greater society. The dream is later mentioned when Raskolnikov talks to Marmeladov. Marmeladov's daughter, morally chaste and devout Sonya, must earn a living as a prostitute for their impoverished family, the result of his alcoholism.
The dream is also a warning, foreshadowing an impending murder and holds several comparisons to his murder of the pawnbroker. The dream occurs after Rodion crosses a bridge leading out of the oppressive heat and dust of Petersburg and into the fresh greenness of the islands.
This symbolizes a corresponding mental crossing, suggesting that Raskolnikov is returning to a state of clarity when he has the dream.
In it, he returns to the innocence of his childhood and watches as a group of peasants beat an old mare to death. Therefore, in order for Raskolnikov to find redemption, he must ultimately renounce his theory.
In the final pages, Raskolnikov, who at this point is in the prison infirmary, has a feverish dream about a plague of nihilismthat enters Russia and Europe from the east and which spreads senseless dissent Raskolnikov's name alludes to "raskol", dissent and fanatic dedication to "new ideas": Though we don't learn anything about the content of these ideas they clearly disrupt society forever and are seen as exclusively critical assaults on ordinary thinking: Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done?
Janko Lavrinwho took part in the revolutions of the World War I era, knew Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky and many others, and later would spend years writing about Dostoevsky's novels and other Russian classics, called this final dream "prophetic in its symbolism". Cross[ edit ] Sonya gives Rodya a cross when he goes to turn himself in, which symbolizes the burden Raskolnikov must bear.
Sonya and Lizaveta had exchanged crosses, so originally the cross was Lizaveta's—whom Rodya didn't intend to kill, making it an important symbol of redemption. The environment of Saint Petersburg[ edit ] On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S.Crime and Punishment study guide contains a biography of Fyodor Dostoevsky, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Crime and Punishment is a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky that was first published in Crime and Punishment is the best known work of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Read a summary of this famous novel, and analyze what this story meant to readers in Dostoevsky's time as well as what it means to.
Crime and Punishment, Russian Prestupleniye i nakazaniye, novel by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in His first masterpiece, the novel is a psychological analysis of the poor former student Raskolnikov, whose theory that he is an extraordinary person able to take on the spiritual responsibility of using evil means to achieve humanitarian ends leads him to murder.
A short summary of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Crime and Punishment. Crime and Punishment opens in s St. Petersburg, where Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished former student, has come psychologically unhinged. He wanders about the city, barely eats, and hatches a vague plan he wishes to “test” one afternoon.