Crime and punishment is an interesting story touching on the lives of relatives and friends as well as strangers in a Russian setting. The writer develops the plot and intertwines the events outlined in such a way that he displays all the characteristics in the most lucid form. Raskolnikov is the focus in the book with most scenes building up on his role in the story. As a university drop out he lives the life of a pauper and is barely sane enough to face the world. He is frightened of the world around him is conscious of what people will think of him. However, he knows very well that for his survival, he needs peace with the people around him.
Owing to this factor, in spite of him being unable to pay rent for a considerable length of residence, he knows that he cannot survive without the meals from the proprietor. As a result, he keeps hoping that she will remember to offer him supper and at the same time fail to demand her rent. He is also aware of the necessity of making ends meet even under the circumstances and he visits the loan shark who offers a meager loan for his most prized valuable.
Raskolnikov is obviously distraught with life but he is aware of sanctity of life. He thus does not allow the well-dressed man to take advantage of the drugged girls as posited on by Dostoevsky (p 48). He even goes to the extent of offering the remaining money he has, to the officer who probably does not spent the money on the girl. News about his sister’s marriage to Svidrigailev is a major distraction to his calm and he becomes possessed with the need to get rid of Svidrigailev. He is saddened by the fact that his mother and sister do not see through the deception of the man who seeks her hand in marriage.
When Raskolnikov visits the police station after his summon, he is wary of giving himself up through his nervousness (Dostoevsky, 100). As a result, he decides to keep his cool just as he always does. As observed from the story, his ability to maintain his composure in any situation is not deniable. However, when he visits the police station, he is unable to maintain his cool and nearly gives himself away through his actions.
After the murders, Raskolnikov feels that he has achieved the most commendable feat by ridding society of wrong doers. The idea to commit the murder formed in his mind on the day he had visited to ask for the loan. However, after carefully considering the consequences and the involved intricacies, he shelved the idea. Too many uncertainties clouded his quest and he chose to discard the idea. However, the discussion between the student and police officer completely fuels his desire to act on his instincts.
Even though he had played everything in his mind from the start, he finds himself unable to wipe the feeling that he will be caught and that anything can go wrong. After stealing from the woman, his composure becomes a subject of debate and he is gripped by fear that he did wrong. The succeeding days are the most trying as Raskolnikov is embattled with thoughts of offering a confession for the murders.
In most instances, he stops short of fully confessing as he tries to justify the actions committed by the ‘murderer’ according to Dostoevsky (p 505). The back and forth aspects of his account and topics bordering on deriding the police officers finally stall at the point where Raskolnikov feels burdened by the need to confess and takes himself to the police station. His confession is however motivated by the need to identify with her owing to the fact that she has in the past done illegal things.
Svidrigailev on his side is well off and has wealth to use unlike the poor Raskolnikov. However, he has realized that his feelings for Raskolnikov’s sister are real and he wants to marry her. outlines to Raskolnikov that he only has good intentions with Dunya and that he only wants to uplift her status so that she doesn’t make any rush decisions. His pursuit for Dunya takes catastrophic levels when he frames her sister for the theft of a hundred rumbles and poses the information that he suspects her.
However as luck had it, someone had seen it happening and Sonya is liberated. His final quest is met with a violent attack as he tries to shamelessly force himself onto Sonya who is armed. The injuries he sustains jar his ego to the extent that he decides to end his life. Despite his conviction that Sonya was meant for him, Svidrigailev commits suicide after giving up on his quest. He however, leaves his wealth to facilitate the livelihoods of the orphaned children (Dostoevsky, p 350).
His decision to commit suicide depicts him as a realistic individual who knows when he has reached a wall. Similarly, he protects all those he leaves behind by not telling them the truth about his intentions. However, Raskolnikov is undecided whether to go forth with the confession and toys wit h idea for a long time before actually doing. Even on his ay to confess, he still has qualms about whether it is the right decision.
Raskolnikov is consumed by his actions and feels like the black sheep of the family. He already knows at one point in time, the truth about the murders will resurface. As a result, he is edge at any mention of the murders. The climax comes when he decides to disengage himself from his family and run away. However, after spending sometime with Sonya, he finds it hard to leave her behind. He is unable to bring himself to leave the people he loves so much in spite of the risk he is putting himself into by staying around.
As posited by Dostoevsky (399), the fact that Raskolnikov and Svidrigailev end up accepting their fate brings out the rationale behind the title of the book. Raskolnikov on his side has done more harm than good. After robbing the woman of her possessions and murdering her, he plunges into a world of self-pity and finds himself helping people with the wealth sourced from illegal acts. Similarly, Svidrigailev is tormented by the fact that he is not sufficient for Sonya. After distributing his wealth among the people he cared most about, he takes his own life.