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"Crime and Punishment" novel study Assignment. Outline, characters,setting and conflict.

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Introduction

Independent Novel Study Assignment Part One: Character Development (protagonist) - "So absorbed in himself had he grown, so isolated from everyone else, that he was actually afraid of meeting anyone at all, not simply his landlady. He had been crushed by poverty; but even his reduced circumstances had of late ceased to be a burden to him. His vital interests no longer concerned him; he did not even wish to think about them. As a matter of fact, no landlady on Earth had the power to make him afraid, whatever she might be plotting against him. But to have to stop on the stairs and listen to all that mediocre rubbish that had nothing whatsoever to do with him, all those pestering demands for payment, those threats and complaints, an be compelled in response to shift his ground, make excuses, tell lies- no, it was better to slink down the stairs like a cat and steal away unseen by anyone. As he emerged onto the street on this occasion, however, his terror of meeting his creditress shocked even him. 'I plan to attempt a thing like this, yet I allow that kind of rubbish to scare me.'"(1.1.5-6) This illuminates aspects of Raskolnikov's character, particularly his qualities of being prideful, contemptuous, and emotionally detached from society. It also, is when the audience is first given a glimpse that Raskolnikov is planning to commit murder. Raskolnikov thinks very highly of himself and believes others to be inferior because of the living conditions people subject themselves to. This is due to how the neighborhood is described as being filthy and full of chaos, further in the novel. Although, he also resides in the same neighborhood as his "inferiors" he justifies his condescension with that fact that he dose not choose to live here and that it is simply all he can afford at the time. The isolation he describes is what allows him to dream of committing heinous acts, which eventually, leads him to be so engrossed with his crazed dreams that he loses his touch on reality. ...read more.

Middle

Through these dangerous and impulsive actions police suspicion is aroused, and is the apparatus in his own downfall thus, making him his own worst enemy. Resolution of the Conflict - "Raskolnikov lowered himself onto the chair, without, however, taking his eyes off the face of the disagreeably astonished Ilya Petrovich. For a moment they both looked at each other, waiting. Water was brought. 'I'm the person...' Raskolnikov began. 'Take a drink of water.' Raskolnikov brushed the water aside and quietly, in measured tones, but distinctly, said: 'I'm the person who murdered the old civil servant's widow and her sister Lizaveta that day, I did it with an axe, and I robbed them.' Ilya Petrovich opened his mouth. People came running from every quarter. Raskolnikov repeated his deposition." (6.8.632-633) This passage brings Raskolnikov's inner conflicts to an end by having him confess to the murders. By confessing Raskolnikov is freed from the nagging of his guilty conscience but his actions here do not bring him back to humanity. The readers can infer that Raskolnikov has not gained his humanity back, because it is only when he sees Sonya after talking to Ilya Petrovich for a first attempt at confessing that he goes back into the police station to confess. Sonya acts as a guiding light for Raskolnikov by having him confess so that he can begin his journey to redemption. Through these actions he is beginning to open himself to human interaction by allowing what Sonya thinks of him to matter. Therefore, concluding the central conflict of the novel and beginning of Raskolnikov's reintroduction into society as an equal. Irony - "He rushed at her with the axe; her lips grew contorted in the pitiful manner common to very young children when they begin to be afraid of something, stare fixedly at the thing that is frightening them and prepare to cry out loud. Moreover, this unhappy Lizaveta was so simple, downtrodden and utterly intimidated that she raised her hands to protect herself, even though ...read more.

Conclusion

How does each figure in Raskolnikov's actions? Part Three: 1) the basis for and the impact of individual choices 2) human isolation and its effect on the individual < 3) how a new perspective influences an individual's interpretation of the world 4) the ways in which individuals pursue or compromise their happiness 5) the interplay between fear and foresight when individuals make life altering choices Thesis: In Crime and Punishment, isolation is used as a means to evade the inferiority of society, cause insanity, and pursue one's full potential. Argument 1: Raskolnikov's alienation from society allows him to become overly prideful. Example: "So absorbed in himself had he grown, so isolated from everyone else, that he was actually afraid of meeting anyone at all" Explanation: By depriving himself of human interaction, Raskolnikov makes rejoining society a hard task to accomplish. Since his thoughts were the only ones he heard he became prideful and believed himself to be a genius. Argument 2: By choosing to be isolated from society Raskolnikov opens himself up to having abstract and inhuman thoughts. Example: "'I plan to attempt a thing like this, yet I allow that kind of rubbish to scare me.'" Explanation: Raskolnikov's thoughts begin to become muddled as a direct result of his alienation from society. When nihilism is introduced to him, he instantly agrees because it is in support of his isolated lifestyle, which leads him to believe his thoughts are going to be what lifts up the human race. Argument 3: In his efforts to distance himself from society, Raskolnikov is destroying his chance at happiness and quality of life. Example: "His vital interests no longer concerned him; he did not even wish to think about them." Explanation: Through using isolation to create happiness for himself, Raskolnikov, deteriorates the quality of his life and destroys his chance at happiness by constantly fighting his conscience; which causes his mind to enter a half-delirious. Conclusion: Keith Henson once said "People can undergo a sudden change of thinking and loyalties under threat of death or intense social pressure and isolation from friends and family." ...read more.

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