The Good Earth Essay, Research Paper
Each and every novel is filled with an abundance of literary devices. Foreshadowing, metaphors, and similes, just to name a few, assist the author in better expressing his or her work. One of the most effective and powerful literary devices is irony. Irony can be defined as the contrast between what is said and what is actually meant. Irony is interlaced all throughout Dostoevsky s Crime and Punishment (1866). Through Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky conveys the message that even a murderer can be refined through guilt and the absolute love of others. The application of irony attempts to depict the intricacy of Raskolnikov s mental evolution.
The first instance of irony that presents itself in the novel is situational irony (when something unforeseen occurs). Immediately after Raskolnikov persuades himself that he can not go through with the manslaughter, he discovers that the old pawnbroker will be unaccompanied the next evening in her residence. This ironic incident alters Raskolnikov s attitude toward the murder and also commences his psychological transformation.
Raskolnikov s summons to the Police Station exhibits another instance of situational irony. Directly after he receives it, he is overcome with panic and guilt. However, when he later discovers that the summons is for his unpaid and overdue liabilities, not the murder, he is overwhelmed with relief. This incident reveals that guilt is felt by Raskolnikov s affable side only. Once he realizes that he has not yet been caught, he again justifies the murder and his baneful side returns.
Later in the story, when Raskolnikov is close to confessing the murder to Porifry, Nikolay adds even more situational irony by owning up to the murder. Dostoevsky creates this part in order to postpone Raskolnikov s confession. This permits him to become reformed through speaking with Dounia and Sonia. By Raskolnikov showing no guilt for Nikolay s confession, Dostoevsky proves the strength of his amoral half.
Svidrigailov s relationship with Dounia parallels that of Raskolnikov s and Sonia s. The distinct difference is that Dounia does not love Svidrigailov, resulting in his eventual self-destruction. If it were not for Sonia s love, Raskolnikov would have ended up the same manner. This demonstrates that love can be the determining element in one s life.
As Raskolnikov is approaching the Police Station with the intent to confess, he overhears that Svidrigailov has shot himself. Raskolnikov knows that the only other individual that was aware of the murder is now removed from the picture. His dark side exposes itself and drives him to walk away, only to view Sonia standing in his footpath. The thought of her affection forces him to turn around a second time and unburden himself of the murder. This happening show s how he is reformed and is now dominated by his kind, warm side.
Crime and Punishment is the story of the struggle between Raskolnikov s conscience and his intellect. Throughout the entire story, he tries to escape his conscience, as though it is hindering him. Ironic events power Raskolnikov to confront his conflict and at the end choose his destiny. Dostoevsky uses this literary device to explain why Raskolnikov has such a serious struggle within him. Furthermore, he uses it to reveal his message that anyone can be remedied through the acceptance of guilt and anguish. Although Raskolnikov commits an unspeakable act, he is saved by way of guilt and the undying love of Sonia.