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Suffering in Crime and Punishment
In the novel Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky,
suffering is an integral part of every 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. Rather, it appears to me, as if the author never lets his
main character suffer mentally throughout the novel, in relation to the
crime, that is. His only pain seems to be physical sicknes.
Raskolnikov commits a premeditated murder in a state of
delirium. He ends up committing a second murder, which he never ever
wanted to be responsible for. He kills Lizaveta, an exceedingly innocent
person. But does the author ever remind us of the murder at any time in
the novel again? Not in the physical sense of the crime itself. The
reader doesn't hear about how heavily the murders are weighing on his
heart, or how he is tormented by visions of the crime. He doesn't feel
the least bit guilty about having committed the crime, only his pride's
hurt. He doesn't mention the idea of the pain that might arise from
recurrent visions of the crime. Raskolnikov never again recalls the
massive amounts of blood everywhere, the look on Lizaveta's face when he
brings down the axe on her head. These things clearly show that the
crime isn't what might cause him suffering, or pain, it is something
After Raskolnikov is sent off to Siberia, he doesn't
feel remorseful. His feelings haven't changed about his crime, he feels
bad at not being able to living up to his own ideas of greatness. He
grows depressed only when he learns of his mother's death. Raskolnikov
still hasn't found any reason to feel remorse for his crimes. He takes
Siberia as his punishment, because of how annoying it is to go through
all these formalities, and ridicularities that it entails. Yet, he
actually feels more comfortable in Siberia than in his home in St.
Petersburg. It's more comfortable, and has better living conditions than
his own home. But he isn't free to do whatever he likes. But this does
not contradict what I've said before. He doesn't view Siberia as
suffering, but he does view it as punishment, because he would rather
not have to go through seven years in his prison cell.
His theory of the extraordinary, and the ordinary is something
he has to follow and adhere to . His necessity to suffer is a part of
his necessity to fulfill his unknown criteria to be extraordinary. His
suffering, if any, is purely superficial. The idea of suffering has to
be heartfelt and well-specified. Raskolnikov's suffering is never spoken
about, mainly because there is none. Even Raskolnikov views his turning
himself in as a blunder, because he couldn't take the heat. It is
obvious that Raskolnikov never seems to be in a pit of despair from all
the suffering he has to face from the effect of the murder.
One might argue that Raskolnikov's illnesses arise from his
guilt and remorse for the crimes, but that doesn't appear possible.
Since the character never cites the murder for his sickness. In fact,
Raskolnikov fell immediately sick after committing the murder. How could
he struck by guilt five seconds after committing the murder when he
hasn't even had a chance to see what events have just occurred? There is
not a single instance when Raskolnikov, or the author for that matter,
ever cite the dramatic effect of the murders on Raskolnikov's conscience
for his terrible illness.
NOTHING in the novel would even imply that he feels remorse
about committing the murders, it is just a silly idea that has been
implanted in people's minds and the seed has spread too rapidly, without
analization.It is incredibly obvious that all the so-called pain and
suffering that Raskolnikov feels is untrue, silly, and backed by no
support. It would be incredulously moronic to attempt to view it from
another point of understanding. People are entitled to their own
opinions but the beliefs of the at error majority should not overbear
the beliefs of the correct minority. Acceptance of a theory without
analysis of it is ignorance.
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