Suffering in Crime and Punishment
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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 sickness.
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 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 else.
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. 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 stupid to
attempt to view it from another point of understanding. People are entitled to their own opinions but the
beliefs of the majority should not overbear the beliefs of the correct minority. Acceptance of a theory
without analysis of it is ignorance.
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Literature, Fiction, English-language films, Films, Crime and Punishment, Rodion Raskolnikov, Fiction with unreliable narrators, Raskolnikov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Conscience, Despair, Guilt
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