The Murder Begin
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a Russian author, wrote Crime and Punishment, a novel about studying an anti-hero and its enigmatic. He first published the book in 1866. While it was his first work, the novel is a psychological analysis of the poor former student Raskolnikov. The theory is that he is an extraordinary person capable of taking on spiritual responsibility using evil means to achieve humanity’s goals. It leads him to murder. The act produced a terrible sense of guilt for Raskolnikov. Such a story is one of the best studies on the guilt psychopathology that Dostoyevsky wrote, and any translator in any language has written. Raskolnikov lives in a tiny attic on the top floor of a run-down apartment building in St. Petersburg. He was sickly, dressed in rags, and often talked to himself, short of money. However, Raskolnikov is also brilliant, proud, and handsome.
On the other hand, he is considering committing a terrible crime. However, the nature of the crime is unknown. He visits the apartment of Ivanovna, an elderly pawnbroker, to obtain watch money and organize a crime. In addition, he stopped for a drink in a bar met a man named Marmeladov, who, in a drunken state. He had left his job and continued binge drinking for five days. Frightened to return to his family, Marmeladov told Raskolnikov about his sickly wife. The environment forced his daughter to become a prostitute to support the family. At the onset, Raskolnikov walked with Marmeladov to Marmeladov’s apartment. He met Katerina and saw firsthand the slum conditions in which they lived.
The following day, Raskolnikov received a letter from his mother informing him that a government official had engaged his daughter. They would all later move to St. Petersburg. He overhears a student talking about how society would be better if Ivanovna’s old pawnshop died when he went to another tavern. Raskolnikov heard that the pawnshop would be alone in his apartment the next night on the streets. While sleeping restlessly and waking up the next day, he found an ax and made a fake item to distract the pawnshop. On the same night, Raskolnikov went to her apartment and killed her.
While he was rummaging through her bedroom looking for money, her sister came in, and then Raskolnikov killed her as well. He barely escaped from the apartment unnoticed, returned to his apartment, and collapsed. On the next day, Raskolnikov frantically looked for traces of blood on his clothes. On receiving a call from the police at the police station, he finds out that his landlady is trying to collect the money he owes her. During a conversation about the murder, Raskolnikov faints, and the police begin to suspect him. Raskolnikov returned to his room, collected the things he had stolen from the pawnshop, and buried them under a rock in a secluded courtyard. He visits his friend, Razumikhin, and refuses his job offer. Raskolnikov then fell into a restless, nightmare-filled sleep when returning to his apartment.
The Tight Outlines
Crime and Punishment follow Raskolnikov’s enigmatic psychology and anti-hero. It outlines his struggles with his increasingly tight conscience. Throughout most of the story, he is ill, angrily rejecting his family’s efforts, and his best friends come to his aid. When Marmeladov died, Raskolnikov gave Sonya and the family money for the funeral. He forbade Dunya to marry the arrogant Luzhin, offending Dunya to the point that she broke off the engagement. Raskolnikov also repeatedly visited Sonya but behaved so that he thought she was scaring her. When Porfiry, investigating such a murder, appeared to be suing Raskolnikov, another man admitted. Luzhin falsely accuses Sonya of stealing from him during a memorial meal for Marmeladov. Raskolnikov then explained why he did such a thing. He also told Sonya that he had killed the two women.
Svidrigailov overhears the confession, using the knowledge to blackmail Dunya into accepting him. However, when it became clear that she would never love him, he committed suicide. Raskolnikov turned himself in at the last moment, sentenced to eight years of hard labor in Siberia. Sonya followed him to Siberia, visiting him at every opportunity. Dunya married Razumikhin, but Raskolnikov did not repent for the murder. He continued to lock Sonya and the other prisoners emotionally. After being sick, he finally realized that a reasoned plan of existence could not achieve happiness. However, it must be obtained with suffering. He was then able to accept and reciprocate Sonya’s love.
Mikhail Bakhtin, a Russian philosopher and cultural thinker characterizes the Dostoyevskian anti-hero in self-awareness. Therefore, there is no conclusion. Self-awareness is not just a feature of the hero’s psychological makeup. It is not also one character trait among others. However, the main principle serves as the dominant artistic psychological material. Thus, it messes up all the static definitions. It makes all that is said about the hero wrong based on his capacity to prevent other people from characterizing him. Although self-consciousness is less Cartesian than Hegelian in that it is not isolated and independent, it is dependent on, and hostile to, such other consciousnesses. It struggles to avoid confession obsessively. At the psychological level, the principle of self-awareness often appears as a kind of egoistic contradiction.
Therefore, Dostoyevsky’s characterization is often motivated by the need to thwart expectations. All of the characters are stubborn and often fickle. They often justify their irregularities by elevating them to the level of explicit philosophical principles. As one of the most self-conscious of them, it is more profitable than all other advantages. In fact, in cases where it is dangerous and contradictory to conclusions, it makes the most sense when it comes to advantages because, after all, it preserves the most important and valuable things, namely personality and individuality. The plausible and the profitable are rejected in the name of personality and individuality. Such refusal completes the narrative level with a refusal to work.
The Contemporary Historiographical Basis
Dostoyevsky reveals the historiographical dimension of the contemporary development of journalistic activity in his novelistic poetry. Immediately after returning to St. Petersburg from political exile, he published a journal with his brother. A group of like-minded thinkers and writers repeatedly attacked the abstract universalism that restricted Russia to the same historical universal path. They assume that Russia must follow its unique path, fulfill its uniqueness, and in its own time. Thus, one of the journal’s regular contributors explained the meaning of freedom in general.
According to one such contributor, freedom does not consist of such development capacity. However, it is in active development, i.e., completeness and originality. In particular, it demonstrates one of the key philosophical assumptions that journal contributors share. Like the Dostoyevskian hero, the emancipation of the Russian people and the peasantry, in general, should not be treated as an object. The bureaucratic question of what to do cannot be applied to them.
On the other hand, Russia itself has to put up a riddle, not unlike the enigma of the living self, which can reveal itself only through independent activity. Dostoyevsky’s novelistic preoccupation with the question of who he or she is. The question and the unique story of the hero’s enigmatic life can be read as a biographical rearrangement of Russia. In any enigmatic form, Dostoyevsky’s post-reform books, and Crime and Punishment, in particular, examine the basis of various modes of setting out anti-hero experimentation. Plots or configurations can be identified among several historically available possibilities.
The Psychology and Nihilism
The narrative’s engaging tone and moving depiction of the psychological recovery of the sick contribute to its status as a masterpiece. The novel offers an extraordinary psychological portrait of Marmeladov as the alcoholic and violent amoralist of Svidrigailov. Razumikhin exemplifies Dostoyevsky’s belief that hard, steady, and slow work is the right approach to life. The enigmatic deals with crime and punishment, not as the readers expect an anti-hero.
Crime is committed in the first chapter, and punishment comes hundreds of pages in the epilogue. However, the novel’s real focus is not on these two ending points. What lies between the two is an in-depth exploration of the psychology of a criminal. With all the noise and despair, Raskolnikov’s inner world is at the heart of such a story. Dostoyevsky is concerned with himself, not with the real consequences of the murder. However, the killings forced Raskolnikov to face a pang of agonizing guilt.
The Condemn of Moral Decisions
Despite a minor emphasis on Raskolnikov’s imprisonment, Dostoyevsky implies that actual punishment is significantly worse than the tension and worry associated with avoiding punishment. The philosophical position of nihilism is also familiar to readers because it eliminates such words. By rejecting family and community ties and emotional worries, aesthetics advocates strict materialism or the idea that there is neither mind nor soul outside the physical. As related to nihilism as utilitarianism, moral decisions are based on the greatest happiness for the most significant number of people. In the first place, Raskolnikov justifies his murder because society hopes to get rid of the lice. He is undoubtedly a nihilist, completely unsentimental for most of the novel, and unconcerned with other people’s emotions. Likewise, he completely ignores social conventions that counter the violent interactions he wants with the world. Through such actions, the novel condemns nihilism as space.
- Bakhtin, M. (2013). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics (Vol. 8). U of Minnesota Press.
- Dostoyevsky, F. (2017). Crime and punishment. Oxford University Press.
- Morson, G. S., & Emerson, C. (1990). Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a prosaics. Stanford University Press.
- Stellino, P. (2015). Nietzsche and Dostoevsky: On the Verge of Nihilism (Vol. 6). Peter Lang.