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Sin and Ego in Crime and Punishment

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Sin and Ego Psychology The actions of Raskolnikov in Fydor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment illuminate the complexity of his character. Raskolnikov rationalizes his murders and evil deeds, and feels compelled to take action when fellow tenants suggest that the two old sisters are "...Cursed wr-r-etches!" (Dostoyevsky 101). He determines that some people do not deserve to live; therefore, he feels justified in carrying out the murders. Raskolnikov neither questions the morality of his actions, nor considers them as sins. Instead, he remains detached and objective. Exploring Raskolnikov's motivations for his actions and the psychology behind his actions are the predominant themes in this chapter. Prior to committing the murders, Raskolnikov is motivated by his unfortunate circumstances. Destitute and alienated in the emotionally-suffocating environment of St. Petersburg, Raskolnikov finds himself feeling compelled to take some form of action by murdering Alyona and, later, Lizaveta. Raskolnikov is motivated primarily by his dire financial circumstances. By killing Alyona, Raskolnikov knows that he can rob her and improve his life. Following her murder, Raskolnikov "[takes] the keys out at once," (Dostoyevsky 95) ...read more.


Lizaveta. In a symbolic sense, the two murders that Raskolnikov commits directly corresponds to the dual facets of Raskolnikov's personality. Alyona represents the cold and vicious side of Raskolnikov's characteristics. On the other hand, Lizaveta represents the submissive and more humane side of Raskolnikov. By murdering both of these two women, Raskolnikov stifles and destroys parts of himself. This is seen on various occasions throughout the chapter. Before killing Alyona, Raskolnikov is questioned by the old woman: "But why are you so pale? Look your hands are shaking" (Dostoyevsky 93). However, before the killing of Lizaveta, Raskolnikov merely "grabbed the axe and ran from the bedroom" (Dostoyevsky 97). Furthermore, while killing Alyona, Raskolnikov, "...was scared he would lose his grip on the axe and drop it" (Dostoyevsky 94). Similarly, he had not felt anything while murdering Lizaveta. I conclude that because Raskolnikov "brought the butt of it down on the old woman's head" (Dostoyevsky 94), he smashes the submissive and compassionate elements in his nature with greater ferocity and viciousness than he employs when killing Lizaveta. ...read more.


(Take the power #2 and explain) [There are two major Puritan Ideals. Both of these ideals are related to the murders Raskolnikov commits. Raskolnikov's act against God will eventually bring about his own demise]. Raskolnikov without hesitation and easily contemplates his deeds. He feels as though he will not make a mistake while putting his crime into actions. He feel as though his actions are not a crime. Then he believes that he will be able to carry out his crime without making any errors that will allow him to be eventually caught. We eventually see that Raskolnikov grossly overestimates his abilities to maintain himself and all the details of the murder. Discussing the handout: [I wanted to mention that Dostoyevsky uses a lot of repetition to illustrate Rakolnikov's mind. For example, as shown on the hand out quote number 3, "No, that's not the right thing to do, either! I must go, go..." (99). Dostoyevsky predominantly uses repetition as a way to express Raskolnikov's reflective side. As for me, I am able to draw out Raskolnikov's thoughts and ego psychology by paying attention to the literary feature, repetition. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lee 1 ...read more.

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