Crime And Punishment Dream Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Dreams of Good and Evil
Dreams are windows into peoples sub conscience and their true emotions and gives important clues to emotional disturbances. Sigmund Freud, the first person to systematically study dreams, said that desires are revealed in the form of dreams. Freud said that dreams gratify those desires which that a person would never express while awake. Psychiatrists today tend to view dreams as attempts to solve problems rather than as the fulfillment of unconscious desires. Whatever dreams are, they gratify a physiological and psychological need of humans. In Crime and Punishment, Raskolinov manifests guilt itself in a dream in which Ilya Petrovich mercilessly beats his landlady. This dream is a vision into Raskolinov s emotional disturbances and signifies resentment and fear.
Raskolinov s dreams are continual conflicts between his dark and hateful mind and his conscience. His mind drives him to murder and inflates his ego to make him feel as an extraordinary man. On the other hand, his conscience struggles to hinder these violent motives. Raskolinov s mind is at battle with itself in a conflict of morals and corruption that is manifested into the dream of the mare. Dostoevsky uses the dream as evidence of Raskolinov s psychic illness. Raskolinov can be identified as all of the characters in his dream: Mikolka, the jeering crowd, the beaten horse, and the innocent child. Raskolinov s confusion and obvious bewilderment is evident as he dreams of a mare being beaten unmercifully.
The entire dream sequence is saturated with psychological symbols. The dream fills Raskolinov heart with horror and he sees it as a symbol that he will murder the old woman. For Raskolinov, the dream reveals the true nature of the world: the helpless are victimized by the strong. The dream reveals two different sides of Raskolinov. Cruelty and thoughtlessness is shown as the taunting crowd and Milolka while his compassionate and caring side is conspicuous as the horse and innocent child. The brutal attack on the horse is similar to Raskolinov s attack on Alyona Ivanovna and foreshadows the upcoming murder. The beaten horse symbolizes the theme of victimization and persecution that is evident throughout the novel. The horse could represent anyone from his sister, Sonia, his mother, Marmeladov, Raskolinov, or even all of them. The mare can signify Raskolinov s own victimization and the load that he could not pull as a student. Just as he had been beaten, Raskolinov awakes from the dream with aching muscles and burning eyes.
The young innocent child in the dream represents a different side of Raskolinov: the caring and virtuous side. The child is utterly astonished by the brutality displayed by Mikolka and feels deeply for the dying mare. He shows his compassion by grasping the mare and kissing it. Raskolinov has represented this compassion by helping the young girl who had just been raped. He also evidently cares for his mother and sister. These kind-hearted motives are tainted and shaded by the instincts that propels his thirst for blood.
The dream provides much insight into Raskolinov s motives and conscience. The dream depicts victimization by the strong on the weak. Raskolinov himself feels he is a Superman, a man who looks down on the rest of the world. His inflated ego impels a feeling to want to clean the world of what he feels to be the retched of the Earth. Raskolinov s conflicting emotions and thoughts are expressed through the horrific dream. It is obvious that his raging contemplative mind will overwhelm his caring side, just as it did in his dream. His thirst for blood, lack of rationale, and undeniable anger at the world all converge into the dream of the mare. Raskolinov uses the dream to rationalize his murder and all of his actions. The dream makes it apparent that Raskolinov s mind has deteriorated to a state where he cannot distinguish between dream and reality as he wakes up just as he had been beaten. The dream is a representation of Raskolinov s desires to rid the world of Alyona and the guilt that his conscience is imbedding in his mind.
Raskolinov s fears and passions are intertwined into a complex and surreal dream. The dream combines his innocence with his fury and rage. The conflict between his conscience and mind is manifested into a dream in which a mare severely beaten. The dream harsh depiction sprouts more feelings of anger in Raskolinov and just adds to a pot that is just ready to overflow. Raskolinov s dreams are dark and cold places where good and evil are at war in a battle for Raskolinov s body and soul.