Raskolnikov S Suffering In Crime And Punishment

Essay, Research Paper

Raskolnikov s Suffering in Crime and Punishment

In Fyodor Dostoevsky s novel, Crime and Punishment, suffering is an integral part of every introduced character s role. However, the message that Dostoevsky wants to present with the main character, Raskolnikov, is not one of the Christian idea of salvation through suffering. The pain Raskolnikov experiences is pangs of either physical or mental anxiety. In owing his landlord money, he is revolted at the thought of having to make excuses to her. Raskolnikov s has a sort of social phobia entailing fear of standing out in a crowd. In trying to appear inconspicuous, he actually draws more attention to himself.

Raskolnikov s s neighborhood epitomizes suffering – filthy and populated with drunks and prostitutes and other small tradespeople. His surroundings themselves may contribute to his deteriorated mental state: the narrator describes the heat and “the odor” coming off the city, the crowds and disorder. However, his pride leads him to hold himself above other people, hardly making him more sociable, while his lack of human contact probably is not good for his state of mind. He walks along in a trance-like state, thinking over his awful plan, again taking up the idea and then dismissing it. Still, the narrator informs us that over the last month, the young man’s thoughts on this matter have become increasingly serious, though at the same time they have disturbed and troubled him.

Raskolnikov suffers through guilt when he received a letter from his mother that informs him of his sister Dounia’s experiences while working as a maid. His mother reveals that Dounia was trying to earn money to help support Raskolnikov, but her employer, Svidrigailoff, made improper advances to her, and her reputation was nearly ruined. Now she has accepted a proposal of marriage from a man named Peter Petrovich Looshin, who wants to marry Dounia partly because she is poor and so will regard him as “a benefactor. Dounia agrees to it in hopes that her new husband eventually will be able to help out Raskolnikov with his career. Raskolnikov finishes reading the letter crying and goes for a walk, talking to himself like a drunk as he goes.


1.) he had been in an over-strained, irritable condition, verging on hypochondria.

2.) The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that special Petersburg stench all worked painfully upon the young man s already overwrought nerves.

3.) “This marriage shall never take place while I live, and Mr. Luzhin may go to the devil. No, mother, it shall never be, not whilst

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