Crime And Punishment Essay Research Paper Comparison

Crime And Punishment Essay, Research Paper

Comparison Essay between Crime and Punishment and Notes from the


Fyodor Dostoyevsky?s stories are stories of a sort of rebirth. He

weaves a tale of suffering and how each character attempts to deliver

themselves from this misery. In the novel Crime and Punishment, he

tells the story of Raskolnikov, a former student who murders an old

pawnbroker as an attempt to prove a theory. In Notes from the

Underground, we are given a chance to explore Dostoyevsky?s opinion of

human beings.

Dostoyevsky?s characters are very similar, as is his stories. He puts

a strong stress on the estrangement and isolation his characters feel.

His characters are both brilliant and ?sick? as mentioned in each novel,

poisoned by their intelligence. In Notes from the Underground, the

character, who is never given a name, writes his journal from solitude.

He is spoiled by his intelligence, giving him a fierce conceit with

which he lashes out at the world and justifies the malicious things he

does. At the same time, though, he speaks of the doubt he feels at the

value of human thought and purpose and later, of human life. He

believes that intelligence, to be constantly questioning and

?faithless(ly) drifting? between ideas, is a curse. To be damned to see

everything, clearly as a window (and that includes things that aren?t

meant to be seen, such as the corruption in the world) or constantly

seeking the meaning of things elusive. Dostoyevsky thought that humans

are evil, destructive and irrational.

In Crime and Punishment, we see Raskolnikov caught between reason and

will, the human needs for personal freedom and the need to submit to

authority. He spends most of the first two parts stuck between wanting

to act and wanting to observe. After he acts and murders the old

woman, he spends much time contemplating confession. Raskolnikov seems

trapped in his world although there is really nothing holding him back;

he chooses not to flee and not to confess, but still acts as though he?s

suffocation (perhaps guilt?)In both novels defeat seems inevitable.

Both characters believe that normal man is stupid, unsatisfied and

confused. Perhaps they are right, but both characters fail to see the

positive aspects of humans; the closest was the scene between the

narrator of Notes from the Underground and Liza. In this scene he

almost lets the human side show, rather than the insecure, closed off

person he normally is.

I assert that Dostoyevsky?s characters are (clinically) depressive of

some sort. They complain of a detachment to life and alienation from

other people, just going through the motions. They are suffering, but

are unwilling to give up and are also helpless in terms of feeling

better. They are confused as to what to do in the future and see it

only as a bleak possibility, just more problems. And with the collapse

of certainty, men and women will do crazy things.


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