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Comparing Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" to Camus' "The Outsider".

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Introduction

Comparing Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" to Camus' "The Outsider". Camus' "The Outsider" and Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" have been compared extensively. These comparisons have been made mostly on the basis of the philosophies presented in the book. They are both so-called 'confessional' novels, in which the central character goes through a change, which brings self-awareness or enlightenment. The existing comparisons have been focused on comparing philosophies, analysing the differences in them and the characters. It is thus logical to compare the book's introduction to determine how well they present the book, what type of style is used and why, what foreshadowing is present. The beginning of "The Outsider" thrusts us directly into the plot, without any explanation, any description of any kind of surrounding. ...read more.

Middle

The character of Mersault is not presented to us in any way in the beginning of the book, so all the impressions that we receive originate from the character's own mind as it is that which we are actually reading. Such a way is an interesting approach to writing a book as it gives the reader some space in which to exercise his or her imagination. Dostoevsky, on the other hand, follows a slightly more conventional way of opening a book, he applies the third-person narration, but with one nuance which is important to the further development of the book: Dostoevsky intertwines Raskolnikov's internal monologue into the third person narration, providing aspects of events open to interpretation. ...read more.

Conclusion

"...he was remarkably handsome, with beautiful dark eyes and dark, chestnut-coloured hair...". The hot, "sad and loathsome" environment of the summer in St. Petersburg are said to have "had a shattering effect on the young man's already jangled nerves." These two books represent two very different approaches to the philosophy of existentialism, but as "Crime and Punishment" deals with other points such as the Napoleonic complex, an early form of Nietzsche's �bermensch and religion, it seems to be more elaborate and complete. But as a purely existentialist book, "The Outsider" conveys its point very well. The beginnings of books can usually be used to judge whether a book is good at achieving its goals, and in this case the beginnings do give a clear indication of what is to be expected and it does not disappoint. ...read more.

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