Crime and Punishment
The poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, believing he is exempt from moral law, murders a man only to face the consequences not only from society but from his conscience, in this seminal story of justice, morality, and redemption from one of Russia's greatest novelists. (From feedbooks.com)
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Part 1, Chapter 1
The text begins with an introduction to a conflict between the main character and his landlady to whom he is in debt. The structure of the plot in this text is unique in that the text is not perpetuated by action but by the psychological state of the main character. As you read, pay particular attention to the anxieties, mental, and physical issues the character suffers.
What can you infer from the highlighted passage?
The author utilizes sensory imagery in order to create the setting of the story. The setting is important because the people in Raskolnikov's immediate vicinity are all extremely poor and suffer the social, psychological, and physical ills from living in such poverty. So, when the narrator notes the pawnbroker looked at Raskolinkov with a "gleam of mistrust," it is a natural reaction because the pawnbroker understands that poverty is fodder for desperation.
Based on the dialogue between Alyona and Raskolnikov, which statement best characterizes Alyona?
By purposefully not revealing key details about Raskolnikov's plan and his motivation to execute his plan, the author creates suspense within the exposition. To review the elements of plot and how they build upon one another, please click the link below and view the video clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH5jlkK4aUI (This annotation contains a video)
From what point of view is the story told?
Part 1, Chapter 2
The author introduces the theme of alienation almost immediately in the text. Raskolnikov is a person who does not view himself as a part of society. This alienation will allow Raskolnikov to develop his theories and commit his crimes, but it will not prevent his conscience from working. To review the definition of theme, please click on the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the difference between a virtue and a vice? What religious idea do these terms allude to? (Hint: There are seven of them)
The "yellow passport" Marmeladov refers to is a document that a prostitute must have to prove she is registered with the city. In a sense, it is legalized prostitution. Marmeladov's daughter was forced to become a prostitute in order to care for her family.
Which term best characterizes Marlmeladov's feelings about his choices in his life?
The information Marlmeladov shares with Raskolnikov is important to the exposition of the story. It illustrates the anxieties and the complexities of living in an impoverished state. It also introduces the motifs of illness (both mental and physical) and addiction. To review the term motif, please click on the link below and view the brief video. (This annotation contains a video)
Sonia is forced to live in a separate home from her family because of her "yellow passport." She resides with a family who all suffer the same genetic disfigurement: a cleft palate. Sonia's relocation and new abode illustrate which theme?
Marlmeladov seems to be astounded by the faith his family has in him; though his addiction has driven him to ruin every opportunity presented to him and prevented him from making decent money to support his family, they continue to support him each time he has an opportunity to redeem himself and support his family.
Marmeladov admits that he took money from his daughter, who is prostituting herself to support her family, in order to buy more alcohol. What does the author convey with this anecdote?
The author alludes to the crucifixion of Christ when Marmeladov hypothetically asks, "Where is the daughter who gave herself for her ...stepmother and for the little children of another?" This introduces the religious theme throughout the text. But, it also conveys an element of Sonia's character. Through indirect characterization, the author reveals that Sonia's actions as a prostitute are not immoral but selfless. In a sense, this absolves her from the sin and the connotations that accompany the act of prostitution. To review indirect versus direct characterization, please click on the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
Katerina Ivanovna is described as having flushed cheeks, parched lips, and nervous gasps instead of deep breaths. These are all symptoms of which disease?
This chapter is important to establish the exposition of the text. Rather than telling you that the people are destitute and suffering, the author illustrates how poverty affects every facet of a person's life. The effects of poverty are something that the author witnessed first-hand; this is one of many elements he gleaned from his own life and experiences.
Part 1, Chapter 3
What does the author's use of imagery emphasize about Rasolnikov's lifestyle and character?
The text is perpetuated by Raskolnikov's psychological state. He tells Nastasya that he is "thinking" which is his definition of work. What is he contemplating? Is it disturbing him at all? What are his motives for his actions? This exchange also helps to develop the arrogance of Raskolnikov's character. He will demonstrate that he believes he is superior to other people because of his intellect.
Reread the highlighted passage. What does Raskonikov's reaction to receiving his mother's letter intimate about his character or his family? Identify three possibilities based on the text thus far. Use textual evidence to support your inferences.
Upon realizing that she had wronged Dounia, Marfa Petrovna seeks penance in the church. This is just one of many examples of characters seeking forgiveness or absolution for the sins they commit. This is an example of which literary device?
Luzhin declares that he sought out a girl who lacked a dowry and "who had experienced poverty" because he wanted his wife "to look upon her husband as her benefactor." What does this imply about the relationship Luzhin wants to have with his wife?
After reading the characterization of Luzhin, do you think he is a good man? Which qualities make him unappealing?
Bacchus was the Roman god of wine and intoxication. The celebrations associated with Bacchus in the Roman Empire can be described as licentious and lewd. There were forbidden by the Roman Senate in 186 BC. The image below is a painting by Bouguereau and entitled "The Youth of Bacchus." What does Raskolnikov's mother imply about Mr. Svidrigailov's character through this reference? (This annotation contains an image)
The union between Dounia and Luzhin is an economic contract and not a marriage of love and trust. This is evident by Dounia's acknowledgement of Luzhin's character flaws and hopes that she may endure the marriage to provide financial security for her family. This type of marriage arrangement was common in the nineteenth century, but does this union ensure any longevity or contentment?
When Raskolnikov finishes reading his mother's letter, his "face was wet with tears" and he has a "wrathful and malignant smile on his lips." What does this indicate about the actions he is about to perform?
Part 1, Chapter 4
The elements of the story that illustrate self-sacrifice, suffering, absolution of sin, and salvation are all aspects of the theme of religion or faith. What does religion give those whose lives are bleak and destitute?
Raskolnikov declares that his sister will not "sell her soul" or "barter her moral freedom for comfort." What is Raskolnikov alluding to by these references?
Throughout the text, it is evident that Raskolnikov feels alienated from society, his peers, and his family. In this example, Raskolinkov is alienated by his guilt and feelings of emasculation. He cannot allow his mother and sister to sacrifice their lives for the sake of his; he is also cognizant that his choices and failures have led to his family's decisions, and he will continue to fail them in the future.
Raskolnikov encounters a young girl behaving erratically in the street and feels the responsibility to protect her from the man waiting to approach her. Which theme is illustrated in this scene?
The young girl is similar to Sonia's character. She is most likely prostituting herself due to poverty. What does this reveal about the relationship between poverty and desperation?
The title of the text is Crime and Punishment; therefore, we will see many crimes committed throughout the text. As you read, consider what the author is trying to illustrate or convey about the theme of crime. Who are the victims? Who are the perpetrators? Do the perpetrators have some commonality or do their characters differ in some way?
What is the impetus that causes Raksolnikov to change his mind about the fate of the young girl?
In many ways Razumihin is considered a foil to Raskolnikov. Read a complete definition of foil characters by clicking the link below. Consider how the two men are foils and how the author may use this contrast throughout the text to develop the plot and themes. (This annotation contains a link)
Part 1, Chapter 5
As Raskolnikov revises his plan to commit his crime, he behaves erratically and is obviously mentally as well as physically affected by his pursuits. Which motif do his actions illustrate?
As you read about Raskolnikov's dream, consider what it may symbolize. What does it reveal about his character, his fears, and his anxieties? Review the definition of symbolism by viewing the clip below. ube.com/watch?v=49oFu9bl_J0 (This annotation contains a video)
Though the dream is about a man willing to kill his weak horse to accommodate an abundant load of passengers, this dream is symbolic of a conflict. What is the basic conflict the dream symbolizes?
The brutality and violence with which the people attack the mare are similar to the violence with which Raskolnikov will use to commit his crime. This dream is a symbol of the guilt he is already feeling about the crime he will commit. Within the text, Raskolnikov will have more dreams. This text is considered a source of the origins of existentialism and also an influential piece on Freud's psychoanalysis theories. Below is a link to a simplified breakdown of Freud's theories regarding the human psyche and dreams. (This annotation contains a link)
The crowd turns on Mikolka and condemns him as "not a Christian." What does this imply about his character?
The theme of religion is illustrated throughout the text through the suffering, guilt, and seeking of redemption by the characters. The author does not question the presence of an omnipotent and omniscient being, instead he holds all of the characters accountable to the being and judges the characters' worths and value based on their humility and adherence to the guidelines set forth by this deity.
Lizaveta Ivanovna is the sister of the pawnbroker and is characterized as "idiotic." She moves "slowly and thoughtfully" as if she is putting great effort into making the simplest decisions. Which statement accurately characterizes Lizaveta?
Part 1, Chapter 6
Consider the perspective of the text and answer the following question. Based on the characterization of the pawnbroker, do you think Raskolnikov is justified in plotting to harm her? Why or why not? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
What is the author trying to accomplish by inserting this flashback of the conversation between Raskolnikov and the police officer? Review the definition of flashback by clicking the link below to make an informed answer. (This annotation contains a video)
How do you define fate? Is it an idea you subscribe to? How does the idea of fate play a role in the text? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Which term best describes the crime Raskolnikov is about to commit?
It is important to compare the impetus for the crimes committed in the text, in order to understand the theme. It is also important to compare the reactions of the perpetrators prior to and after committing the crimes. What is happening to Raskolnikov as he gets closer to committing the crime?
What does the highlighted statement reveal about the plot of the text?
Some critics contend that the text deals with the idea of dissociative identity disorder. Do you believe this is evident here? Click on the link below to read the medical description of Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID. (This annotation contains a link)
The narrator describes the pawnbroker as "suspicious and alone" and implies this is because she is aware that something is not right about Raskolnikov's visit to her apartment. What is a logical reason why the woman would be suspicious of any person who appeared at her door?
Part 1, Chapter 7
Does the author convey his opinion of the characters through his direct characterization of them? Or do you think it may reveal the bias of the third-person limited perspective of the text? (If so, whose bias does the narrator convey?)
Which term accurately describes the murder of the pawnbroker?
How is the murder of Lizaveta different from the murder of the pawnbroker? Is there a difference? Use textual evidence to support your answer. (Remember this will help to develop your understanding of the theme of crime).
Compare and contrast Raskolnikov's behavior and mental state prior to and after committing the crimes. What do you think has changed? Keep this in mind as we explore the theme of punishment.
What is one possible thought that Raskolnikov may be considering as he hears visitors arrive at the pawnbroker's door?
What did Raskolnikov underestimate about the people in the pawnbroker's lives? What does this reveal about her character?
Which elements of preparing for the murder did Raskolnikov fail to obviate?
Once a crime is committed, most perpetrators feel guilty about their crime. What evidence is there that Raskolnikov is feeling guilt about his crime?
Part 2, Chapter 1
Which term best characterizes Raskolnikov the morning after the murder?
The moments after the murder reinforce the motif of illness. Raskolnikov's mental state is reflected in his physical state. And the cause of his malaise is his crime from the night before. What does this illustrate about the theme of punishment?
Upon initially reading that the police summoned Raskolnikov, what did you believe it was for?
What does Raskolnikov's reaction to his sock reveal about his mental state?
On his way to the police station, Raskolnikov decides he will "go in, fall on my knees, and confess everything..." Which theme does this help to develop?
The highlighted passage is a prime example of how the plot is primarily perpetuated by Raskolnikov's psychological state and the action is a secondary source for the plot's development.
When he arrives at the police station, Raskolnikov realizes that he is charged with failure to pay rent. When the officer is annoyed with him for arriving late, it aggravates Raskolnikov. This is an example of which literary device?
The author illustrates Raskonikov's arrogance through his interaction with the police officer at the station. He is basking in his amusement that the police have not sought him in the murder of the two sisters. It is this arrogance that caused Raskolnikov to commit the crime.
What does the officer mean when he tells Petrovitch, "Poverty is not a vice"?
Raskolnikov's feelings of guilt have a profound effect on him; they alienate him from others in society both mentally and physically. This develops the theme of alienation.
What is Raskolnikov's reaction to hearing the account of the murder?
Do you think Raskolnikov's fear that the police suspect him is valid? Or it is additional evidence that he is mentally ill?
Part 2, Chapter 2
As Raskolnikov wanders in search of a place to throw away any evidence that may connect him to the crime, his thoughts reveal a man that is becoming more and more paranoid. Which motif does this illustrate?
It is evident by Raskolnikov's questions and thoughts that he is experiencing regret. According to the author and his characterization of other criminals in the text, Raskolnikov's feelings of anguish, guilt, and regret make him a very different person.
Which statement supports the assertion that Razumihin's character is revealed indirectly?
In Raskolnikov's bleakest moments, the author includes interactions with people who are kind or charitable to him for no reason other than they want to help him. This helps to contrast Raskolnikov's motives for killing the women and also helps to intensify Raskolnikov's feeling of guilt.
Raskolnikov believes he hears the police officer Petrovitch beating the landlady. Why would you, as the reader, be equivocal about this action?
Do you believe Nastasya knows Raskolnikov has committed the crime? Or is this the author's use of point of view and portrayal of mental illness to illustrate Raskolnikov's suffering from his guilt?
Part 2, Chapter 3
What motif does Raskolnikov's hallucinations illustrate?
Throughout the text, you will see characters who endure suffering. This motif helps to develop the theme of religion. While some characters suffer, others like Razumihin, Sonia, and even Raskolnikov, at various times, try to alleviate the suffering of others. This also helps to develop the theme of religion.
Though he is living in poverty, Raskolnikov does not want the money his mother has procured for him. Why not?
Note the change in Raskolnikov's room and the food provided by his landlady. This is result of Razumihin and the kindness he has shown the landlady. Why do you think the author includes these details? What does it reveal about Raskolnikov?
In addition to the guilt he feels about his crimes, Raskolnikov reveals that his mother is "almost a beggar." This clarifies why he did not want to sign for the money earlier in the text. How do you think Raskolnikov's relationship with his mother plays a role in his mental state? Use textual evidence to support your response.
It is evident that Raskolnikov is wracked with guilt; he mutters in his sleep about the details of the murder and the events that followed. Fortunately, the details are so spotty that even the police officer does not suspect he has something to do with the murders.
Raskolnikov fantasizes about running away to America in order to avoid capture for the murder of the two women. To the impoverished Russian people, what do you think America may symbolize during this time?
The author continually demonstrates that Razumihim is a foil to Raskolnikov throughout the text. Can you identify any examples in this chapter of their contrasting characters?
Part 2, Chapter 4
Because the text was originally written in Russian, the names are sometimes difficult to remember and keep track of who's who. It may be a good idea to write a list of characters on a piece of paper and keep the paper close as you read. Next to each character's name, you could also write down an identifying characteristic. For example: Zossimov is the doctor who cares for Raskolnikov. He was sent for by Razumihim. Razumihim is a friend (the only one) of Raskolnikov. He is a foil to Raskolnikov. You may continue from there.
Razumihin contends that he only judges men by their amicability; why does he not judge them by their moral character?
Razumihin states that lying is not offensive but when people "worship their own lying..." This illustrates an important concept in the text and differentiates criminals from one another: the concept of guilt and acceptance of a punishment. This concept is related to the themes of crime, punishment, and religion. It is developed by the motifs of guilt, suffering, and absolution. Criminals, who seek absolution for their crimes and accept their punishment, are different people than those who commit crimes and believe that they are not wrong or above the confines of the law.
Why would the painter admit to a crime he didn't commit? Is this part of the plot to simply add a twist, or does it help to augment Raskolnikov's guilt about his crime? What other societal and economic elements may have influenced the painter's decision to confess to the crime? Use textual evidence to support your response.
What does Razumihim's tone indicate about his feelings about the painter's confession and Raskolnikov's reaction to the details?
Crime and Punishment is one of Dostoevsky's most popular novels. One reason is due to the elements of the detective story woven into the plot. A detective story has five basic elements: "(1) the seemingly perfect crime; (2) the wrongly accused suspect at whom circumstantial evidence points; (3) the bungling of dim-witted police; (4) the greater powers of observation and superior mind of the detective; and (5) the startling and unexpected denouement, in which the detective reveals how the identity of the culprit was ascertained" ("Detective Story" Encyclopedia Britannica.)" This was a popular genre (Sherlock Holmes was first published in 1887). Though the detective story is more of a subplot in the text, it is still a popular element of the text. For an explicit definition of subplot, click on the video clip below. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the text thus far, what effect does Razumihin's account of the murder have on Raskolnikov?
Part 2, Chapter 5
Some critics believe Luzhin's character is one of the only characters in the text that the author did not like at all and did not create with any redeeming qualities. As you read, look for evidence to prove this true or to the contrary.
Which term best describes Raskolnikov's greeting of Luzhin?
What does the narration reveal about Luzhin's character? If a fiancée were to provide lodging for his bride-to-be and her mother, don't you think it would be the best he could afford? What does this reveal about his attitude about this union?
Luzhin argues that, "Science now tells us, love yourself before all men, for everything in the world rests on self-interest." What may be inferred about his character based on this statement?
The conversation between Luzhin and the men alludes to a fundamental belief in the existentialist philosophy: absurdity. This concept may be summarized by the belief that there is not a reason or logic in nature. There is not a reason for its existence, and the scientific studies in the origins of the "laws of nature" are pointless. The existentialists did not place much value on the natural sciences. If one were to adhere to the laws of science, rather than one's true self, you were living "inauthentically."
Is Razumihin's characterization of the criminal correct? What does this reveal about Raskolnikov's character? Is he a typical "inexperienced criminal"? Use textual evidence to support your conclusions.
Razumihin believes that some crimes are caused by the faults of society. Men rob because "we've grown used to having everything ready-made, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for us." The use of which modern-day technology also illustrates this point?
Does Luzhin deny Raskolnikov's claims about his statements regarding marrying a poor woman? What does this reveal about Luzhin's character?
Part 2, Chapter 6
As Raskolnikov leaves his apartment, he thinks, "That all this must be ended to-day, once and for all, immediately; that he would not return home without it, because he would not go on living like that." What does this imply he may do?
Sometimes the setting is easily overlooked because the psychological element in the story is captivating, but the setting is almost another character in the text. The world around Raskolnikov is wrought with pecuniary difficulties. People deal with their economic struggles through vice and means of escape. What impact do you think this has on the characters?
After interacting with the two prostitutes, Raskolnikov declares that life is precious "whatever it may be" and "man is a vile creature." Which critical assertion does this support?
Mr. Zametov is the police officer Raskolnikov initially met at the police station. Do not confuse him with Zossimov, the doctor.
What is Raskolnikov implying about the murder to Zametov?
As Raskolnikov interacts with other characters and discusses the crime, he reveals aspects of his theory about criminals and crime. For example, he does not believe the "false coiners" are criminals, rather they are "children, simpletons" because of their intellectual failings.
Though Zametov gives the impression he is easily fooled, which textual excerpt proves the contrary?
The dialogue between Zametov and Raskolnikov is important for many reasons. It illustrates the arrogance of Raskolnikov's character: he believes he is able to outwit Zametov and is willing to reveal details of the crime to prove it. It also illustrates the illness motif: Raskolnikov resembles a madman as he discusses the crime. Lastly, this is a prime example of how the psychological element of the story perpetuates the plot. There is no further action in the story; the men are simply rehashing the crime. Yet, the impact of the crime is evident on both men and will be a determining factor in their next actions.
Which adage captures Raskolnikov's description of Razumihin?
Raskolnikov witnesses a suicide attempt. This is the second mention of suicide in the text. This is an example of which literary element?
Though Raskolnikov is characterized as arrogant, it is evident that the guilt of his crime is influencing his decisions and his behavior. This is an important factor in distinguishing him from other criminals or reprobates in the text.
Why does Raskolnikov revisit the scene of crime? Characterize his reaction to the workman refinishing the apartment. Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Raskolnikov's behavior is perplexing. If he wanted to confess, he should go directly to the police station and make a confession. But this instance seems more about his suffering than his need to confess. Suffering is an essential motif in developing the theme of religion.
When Raskolnikov sees the crowd gathered around a carriage, what is it an allusion to?
Part 2, Chapter 7
Raskolnikov sought the police to assist the injured Marmeladov as "earnestly as if it had been his father." This indirect characterization of Raskolnikov humanizes him and indicates he is not, simply, a psychotic killer.
Katerina Ivanovna's life can be summarized with one term: regret. Does her regret differ from the regret a criminal may feel after committing a crime? Explain using textual evidence to support your answer.
The author presents a broad spectrum of the impoverished people in the text. Some deal with their lots by drinking and partaking in illicit activities. Yet, others, like Katerina, live in poverty and are desperate, but she does have her pride. There is something else important about this scene: it is an allusion to the Biblical scene after the crucifixion of Christ. Once Jesus is dead on the cross, his body is left at the base of the cross and Mary, his mother, claims his body and washes his wounds to prepare for his burial. The image below depicts the scene. (This annotation contains an image)
When Katerina hears people discussing that "they'd no business to make a disturbance here." How would you describe Katerina's tone in her response?
Do you believe in the idea of fate? Katerina states that her life was "cursed." Do you believe her life could have been different if they had simply made different choices?
Prior to his death, Marmeladov receives confession. Which motif does this illustrate?
What is Katerina's point? Why does she refuse to forgive her husband?
Upon leaving Marmeladov's apartment, Raskolnikov instructs Fomitch to take care of the family. Fomitch observes that Raskolnikov is covered in blood, to which he responds, "Yes...I'm covered with blood." This is an example of which literary device?
The interaction with Marmeladov's daughter affects him; he declares that he is "done with fancies, imaginary terrors, and phantoms!" This may be interpreted as the basis for another element of existentialism: situatedness. This simply means that one must live in reality and not in an abstract concept.
Some critics believe that all of the characters are symbolic extensions of Raskolnikov's personality. Do you think this justifies Raskolnikov seeking him out in times of need or stress? What is Raskolnikov seeking?
Under what pretense do the police wish to see Raskolnikov?
Why are Raskolnikov's mother and sister's cries of joy greeted with his cries of horror?
Part 3, Chapter 1
Raskolnikov's sister is introduced as Avdotya Romanovna but is known as Dounia throughout the text.
The motifs of guilt, suffering, and selfless sacrifice are reiterated throughout the text in order to develop which theme?
The narrator describes the immediate attraction between Dounia and Razumihin, but the narrator also interjects that Razumihin is impaired by the alcohol he consumed earlier.
Why does Razumihin go out of his way to take care of Raskolnikov and insure his security to his mother and sister? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Razumihin's theory about owning one's actions, mistakes, and thoughts is the foundation for the concept of "authenticity" in the existential philosophy. The existentialist believes that a person must live in accordance with his or her nature.
Characterize Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Why is she so concerned about her son?
An additional emerging theme in the text is loss. There are examples of explicit loss such as when Sonia loses her father, or more subtle examples of loss such as the loss of Pulcheria's beauty due to her years of enduring poverty, "anxiety and grief."
As Zossimov leaves the room, the narrator describes him as "exceedingly pleased with his visit and still more so with himself." What does this imply about Zossimov's diagnosis of Raskolnikov?
Razumihin is desperately trying to have Zossimov romance the landlady, so that Razumihin may pursue Dounia.
Part 3, Chapter 2
Which term is an appropriate synonym for abasement?
As you read, remember the text was originally written in Russian, so you are reading a translation of a text. Therefore, each version of the text may be slightly different from another depending on who translated the text. This accounts for the use of idioms such as "mountain out of a mole-hill" included in the text.
The narrator's description of the dirty waiter, lodgings, and poor tea service reinforces the idea that Luzhin is
Is the Razumihin's characterization of Raskolnikov accurate? What does this reveal about Razumihin's character as well as Raskolnikov's?
The relationships in the text all suggest there is an ulterior motive for the unions: social, economic, or political. No one seems to marry for love. Why would Raskolnikov agree to marry the landlady's daughter if she did not offer any of these advancements?
Luzhin refuses to accept any responsibility for the altercation that occurred between Raskolnikov and him. Luzhin is aware of Dounia's reasons for accepting his marriage proposal, and he uses his offer as a means of manipulating Dounia. Do you think the women will choose Luzhin over their family?
The burgeoning relationship between Razumihin and Dounia illustrates which emerging theme?
Part 3, Chapter 3
Have you ever disguised your true emotions with a smile? In this case, Raskolnikov wishes to disguise his malaise with a physical ailment. The image below is a fan's depiction of Razumihin and Raskolnikov. What do you notice about the author's use of light and dark to reflect the personas of the characters? (This annotation contains an image)
What does Dounia recognize in her brother that no one else sees?
It is evident from the reactions of Razumihin and Zossimov that the men have very different impressions of Raskolnikov than how Raskonikov views himself. Do you think Raskolnikov purposely portrayed himself in particular ways to create these personas? Or does the disparity in impressions reveal the internal conflict Raskolnikov is experiencing?
The french phrase Raskolnikov utters to his sister means, "Die dogs if you are not satisfied." Why do you think Dounia disagrees with this statement?
Dounia's dissent with Raskolnikov implies that rather than relenting when one is unhappy, Dounia believes that people may have to endure
Though Raskolnikov experiences other conflict in the text, the only character who understands, yet does not tolerate his behavior, is his sister.
How do Raskolnikov's comments, about the girl he wished to marry, develop his character?
Why is Raskolnikov upset with his sister for "selling [hersel] for money" but he sympathizes with Sonia?
According to Raskolnikov, Luzhin has no redeeming qualities. He lacks a proper education, is rude, and more importantly is arrogant without justification. He also shows no concern or care for others and is not in the least bit remorseful for his lack of concern.
Part 3, Chapter 4
Luzhin characterizes Sonia as a "young woman of notorious behavior." He fails to elaborate about why she is a prostitute. What does this reveal about Luzhin's character?
Though the narrator claims that Sonia "could not have been called pretty," Raskolnikov is attracted to her. Which emerging theme does this attraction develop?
Sonia's reaction to Dounia's act of courtesy and respect is quite telling. Sonia is not used to being treated with respect by anyone. She endures maltreatment to care for her family. Like Dounia, she illustrates the motif of suffering.
Which term is an appropriate synonym for slanderer?
What is ironic about the highlighted statement?
The narration follows Sonia, rather than Raskolnikov, in order to introduce a new character. Though we don't know his name, we do know he is lodging in the same building as Sonia and he makes her feel "ashamed and uneasy."
Which statement best characterizes Petrovitch's approach to detective work?
For the first time in the text, we are witnessing Raskolnikov enjoying himself as he teases Razumihin about his feelings for Dounia. Do you think this is genuine enjoyment, or does the narrator imply that it may be for show?
Part 3, Chapter 5
The dialogue and interaction between Petrovitch and Raskolnikov is like watching a chess match or a poker game. Both men are using strategy and psychological tools to try and fool the other. As you read, take note of how the men try to manipulate each other.
A tertiary definition for the term "mawkish" is expressing extreme sentiment or overly sentimental. What does this term imply about Petrovitch?
What do you think Raskolnikov's real intentions are in coming to meet Petrovitch? Do you think he is simply trying to claim his pawned items, or could he possibly be trying to determine what Petrovitch knows about the murder?
Compare and contrast the tone used by the police officers and Raskolnikov. What does their tone reveal about their feelings for one another? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Reread Raskolnikov's thoughts. Do you think that he has the upper hand in his battle of the minds with Petrovitch? Or is Petrovitch successfully breaking him down?
Do you find any validity in the social theory about crime? Support your response with examples from your life, contemporary society or history.
Petrovitch lures Razumihin into discussing the socialist theory about crime in order to introduce an article Raskolnikov wrote and published about crime. What can you infer about Petrovitch's point of view of Raskolnikov based on this detail?
Though Petrovitch simplifies Raskolnikov's argument into the idea that extraordinary men may transgress simply because they are extraordinary, Raskolnikov explains that he meant that in order to achieve "fulfillment of [an] idea" a great man has a "right to decide in his own conscience to overstep." Based on Raskolnikov's examples, which event would be a contemporary example of his theory?
Petrovitch makes an allusion to Lazarus's rising from the dead. Read the story of Lazarus by clicking the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
What does Petrovitch imply when he asks if Raskolnikov believes in the story of Lazarus rising "literally"?
What is the primary fault in Raskolnikov's argument?
The motifs of suffering and guilt connect with the motifs of rebirth and resurrection in that with the acceptance of guilt and suffering for your indiscretions, your soul may be cleansed or "reborn" or "resurrected."
Due to the classification of people into categories of "extraordinary" and "ordinary," and by stating that the extraordinary people are one in a million, Raskolinov's theory exemplifies which theme in the text?
Reread the dialogue between Raskolnikov and Petrovitch carefully. Who is the "winner" of the battle of intellect and psychology?
Part 3, Chapter 6
Which term describes a case not based on facts and concrete evidence but on incidental evidence?
Based on his dialogue with Razumihin about the crime, which term accurately describes Raskolnikov's attitude?
Once again, Raskolnikov is experiencing paranoid thoughts due to the effects of his guilt for committing the crimes. For all of his conjecture, Raskolnikov is aware that Petrovitch is on the right track and suspects he committed the crime.
Do you think Raskolnikov is hallucinating the man in the street? Cite examples to support your conclusion and be prepared to defend your position.
Read the highlighted statement. Can you think of a simple explanation for this metaphor?
Raskolnikov claims to hate his mother, sister, and the old woman. He then expresses regret for killing Lizaveta and compares her to Sonia. Why does he focus his anger on his sister, mother, and the old woman versus all women in his life?
The dreams in the text are symbolic; all of them represent some element of Raskolnikov's character or deficiency in his morals. What does this dream symbolize? How is Raskolnikov feeling about his actions and himself?
Part 4, Chapter 1
Svidrigailov is the husband of Marfa (the woman who recently died and Dounia worked for.)
When Raskolnikov accuses Svidrigailov of murdering his wife, Svidrigailov responds, "my own conscience is quite at rest on that score." What can you infer from that statement?
Through his interaction with other characters, elements of Raskolnikov's personality are revealed. What purpose do you think Svidrigailov serves in the text? What does he elicit from Raskolnikov?
How is the union between Svidrigailov and Marfa similar to the proposed union between Luzhin and Dounia?
When Svidrigailov claims that he and Raskolnikov have "something in common," Raskolnikov is angered. It is evident that Svidrigailov is implying that they both committed a crime. What disturbs Raksolnikov about the implication he is similar to Svidrigailov?
Svidrigailov believes he is seeing ghosts. What do the supernatural instances he describes have in common?
Once again, Svidrigailov states that he and Raskolnikov are similar. He refers to the afterlife and compares it to cramped space that is uncomfortable and almost frightening. This implies that both men will be punished for their sins because neither have been absolved for their crimes.
Svidrigailov admits to Raskolnikov that he wishes to subvert the relationship between Luzhin and Dounia. He is not doing this to claim Dounia for himself, but rather because he dislikes Luzhin and foresees trouble for Dounia in the future. Why is this significant?
Even though Svidrigailov is a despicable man in many regards, he is totally honest with Raskolnikov. He wishes to take care of Dounia to right a wrong and prevent her from being harmed by Luzhin. He is also honest about his immoral character and judgment.
Part 4, Chapter 2
The narrator uses the description of Raskolnikov's mouth "twisting... into a smile" to indicate a change in his countenance. Describe the change and what it may be attributed to. Use textual evidence to support your response.
Read the highlighted statement. What does Luzhin believe about himself in regards to Dounia and her mother?
It is ironic that Luzhin describes Svidrigailov as "the most depraved, and abjectly vicious specimen of that class of men" because Svidrigailov is determined to provide pecuniary support to Dounia to free her from Luzhin's exploits.
Earlier Dounia referred to Luzhin as a "slanderer." She is distrustful of Luzhin's statements as well as his motives for making such statements.
Describe Dounia's tone in her dialogue with Luzhin. Are you surprised at her assertiveness? What do you think precipitates this conversation?
Dounia interprets Luzhin's request to meet without her brother and his failure to reconcile with him as an ultimatum: choose your family or choose Luzhin. Dounia is shocked by Luzhin's threat to rescind his proposal because he perceives that she values him less. Do you think that this may be a ploy in order to exert his dominance over her and exploit her economic situation?
When Luzhin states, "Then this is my fault again," what tone is implied?
Even when Dounia turns him down and he realizes that his plans are gone, Luzhin does not admit wrongdoing or feel guilty about what he has done to the family. This is how he differs from all other characters in the text. Unlike characters who seek redemption and will be resurrected, Luzhin will suffer and be alone.
Based on your knowledge of Luzhin's character and the final paragraph of this chapter, predict what Luzhin may do to Raskolnikov in the future.
Part 4, Chapter 3
Luzhin's plan to marry a girl like Dounia exemplifies the theme of exploitation. As you continue to read, consider other characters who take advantage of another's misfortune in order to better themselves. (Have you already seen examples in the text?)
Why does Raskolnikov omit Svidrigailov's mention of ghosts in relaying the conversation to his mother and sister?
In a text that presents a very bleak perspective of life, the love between Pulcheria and her children and the romance between Razumihin and Dounia are elements of hope. This illustrates the theme of love. Dounia illustrates how, when one is willing to endure suffering and be selfless, one will be rewarded. This exemplifies the theme of religion.
Raskolnikov's good-bye to his family implies all of the following except
Though the friendship between Raskolnikov and Razumihin is often one-sided, Razumihin has grown to understand Raskolnikov and conversely Raskolnikov trusts Razumihin. This is evidenced by Raskolnikov asking him to care for his family and conveying to him Raskolnikov's guilt.
Part 4, Chapter 4
Below is an image of Raskolnikov and Sonia. Based on the depiction of the couple, what adjectives come to mind to describe their relationship? (This annotation contains an image)
How does Sonia's life and lodgings contrast with Raskolnikov's?
Though Sonia suffers greatly, she does not complain and has an "insatiable compassion" for those who suffer in her life. She is a foil to Raskolnikov in many ways.
Sonia exemplifies all of the following motifs except
The dynamic between Sonia and Raskolnikov is filled with tension and anxiety because they are contrasting characters. Whereas, Sonia accepts her suffering and is honest about her transgressions, Raskolnikov has yet to do so. But ironically, Raskolnikov appears to be more realistic than Sonia about the possibility of losing her stepmother and family.
Do you agree with Raskolnikov's assessment of Sonia's situation? Did she sacrifice herself for nothing? Or was her sacrifice for a noble cause? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Sonia's dependence on God exemplifies the theme of religion. Though Raskolnikov questions her adherence to her faith, she does not waiver.
What does the story of Lazarus symbolize?
This interaction between Sonia and Raskolnikov has a profound effect on him for many reasons: Sonia's faith in God and faith in redemption, Sonia's connection to the innocent Lizaveta, and Sonia's willingness to perpetually sacrifice herself for the sake of her family. Though he may deem it lunacy, it affects him.
Raskolnikov witnesses how the scripture gives Sonia power. She is literally demonstrating the power of faith. This exemplifies the theme of religion.
The narrator notes that in the "poverty-stricken room the murderer and the harlot" stood reading "the eternal book." This is an example of which literary device?
Even though Raskolnikov states that he is not revealing the murderer of Lizaveta to seek absolution, he is admitting guilt. That is a step on the road to redemption. What point is the author trying to convey through this action?
Please read the highlighted passage. What can Svidrigailov do with the information he has overheard?
Part 4, Chapter 5
Why does Raskolnikov hate Petrovitch?
Due to Raskolnikov's arrogance, he dislikes Petrovitch. Raskolnikov believed he was "extraordinary" and could behave beyond the confines of the law, but upon meeting Petrovitch, Raskolnikov is challenged intellectually and psychologically. Ultimately, Raskolnikov realizes he is not as smart or special as he thinks he is.
In the United States, a capital crime is a crime whose penalty is eligible for the death penalty. Do you think Petrovitch is punning the term capital in order to elicit a response from Raskolnikov?
What tactics is Petrovitch using to make Raskolnikov uncomfortable? Are they working? Support your response with textual evidence.
Raskolnikov and Petrovitch are not friends. This is a tactic to make Raskolnikov complacent and possibly admit to his crimes.
Petrovitch outlines his modus operandi for arresting a criminal. What is Petrovitch's intent?
Petrovitch's character exemplifies the psychological plot of the story. He enjoys the "cat and mouse" game he plays with Raskolnikov because Petrovitch believes that psychologically, he has the upper-hand.
When Petrovitch concludes that "at the most interesting, the most flagrant moment [the guilty man] will faint," what is he alluding to?
Below is a clip of this scene from the BBC film adaptation. (This annotation contains a video)
Which theme is illustrated through Petrovitch's dialogue about "delirium"?
When Petrovitch references Raskolnikov's mother and sister, he does so to elicit a reaction from Raskolnikov and to convey to Raskolnikov that he knows everything about him.
What does Petrovitch imply when he uses the simile, "you are like a child asking for matches" to describe Raskolnikov in this scene? Use textual evidence to support your explanation.
If the men hadn't been interrupted by a "strange incident," what do you think would have been waiting for Raskolnikov?
Part 4, Chapter 6
What is the mood of the interrogation room as Nikolay is brought into the station?
Why would Nikolay admit to a crime he did not commit? Do you think he could be finding an outlet for the guilt about some other deed?
Petrovitch did not anticipate Nikolay's confession and as a result is
It is evident that Petrovitch believes Raskolnikov committed the crime, but ironically, it is Petrovitch's ability to mentally break down suspects that causes Nikolay to confess.
Based on the tone and mood of the text, do you think that Raskolnikov's interpretation of his premonition is accurate? Do you think he has escaped punishment for his crimes?
Petrovitch is so certain that Raskolnikov is the murderer that he basically "sets him up" and plants a person to incite Raskolnikov's guilt. Did it work?
Part 5, Chapter 1
Why is Luzhin so upset about his breakup with Dounia?
Everything Luzhin does is self-serving. He chooses to stay with Semyonovitch because he believes that Semyonovitch has some inside knowledge of a "progressive group" that is emerging in Russia at the time. This most likely refers to the fledgling development of communism.
Which excerpt from the text confirms Lebeziatnikov's claim that he never beat Katerina?
Based on his character, why do you think Luzhin is inquiring about Sonia?
It is important to remember that Lebeziantnikov admires and respects Sonia.
Lebeziatnikov is discussing the ideals of communism with Luzhin who subverts the ideals and portrays Lebeziantnikov as a deviant.
Lebeziantnikov argues that a man who cleans a cesspool performs a more "honorable" profession than someone who paints or writes. Based on the way Dostoevsky presents his ideas and his dialogue with Luzhin, what can you infer about the author's opinion of communism?
The conversation between Sonia and Luzhin is awkward and uncomfortable. Sonia is unsure of Luzhin's intentions. As readers, we are aware that Luzhin has yet to act selflessly, so we are unsure what his intentions are with Sonia.
How is Luzhin's characterization of Katerina erroneous?
Luzhin's response to Lebeziatnikov's praise of his generosity is an example of verbal irony. Luzhin appears to be humble, but in reality, he is dismissing the idea that he is generous and charitable. This is act is a means to an end.
Part 5, Chapter 2
The narrator tries to explain why Katerina would spend what little money she has on a luncheon after her husband's funeral. It is evident that though she is poor, she still has her pride. Which scene from another text conveys a similar sentiment?
Katerina is suffering from consumption and is not losing her mind. She illustrates the theme of illness.
What upsets Katerina at the funeral lunch?
Katerina is not well and will most likely die from her illness as evidenced by the blood on her tissue after she coughs. She should probably be resting, but she cannot because she must host this lunch.
Why do you think Katerina's opinion of her husband is so drastically different from when he was alive?
Katerina loves Sonia and appreciates the sacrifice Sonia makes for the good of the family. This is why when Sonia's character is insulted by some of the women, Katerina is incensed.
Amalia Ivanovna is Katerina's landlady. Though Katerina is annoyed with her, why should she try and maintain a semblance of calm?
In another story, Luzhin's entrance may have symbolized the entrance of a hero coming to save Katerina from herself. But you should be suspect of Luzhin and his motives.
Part 5, Chapter 3
What does Luzhin accuse Sonia of doing?
It is evident that Luzhin's plan was to incriminate Sonia in a crime but to what end? Is it a means to hurt Raskolnikov? Or is he planning on exploiting Sonia into marrying him?
Compare and contrast Katerina and Sonia based on the incident with Luzhin.
The people at the service feel compassion for Katerina and Sonia partly due to Katerina's illness and partly because they understand desperation of poverty. Though stealing is a crime, it is an understandable and forgivable offense.
What motivates Lebeziatnikov to intervene on Sonia's behalf?
Lebeziatnikov cannot conclude why Luzhin would want to frame Sonia, but can you think of a reason that would make the most sense? Ultimately, all of the reasons have one thing in common: any scenario benefits one person - Luzhin. This illustrates his narcissistic character.
According to Raskolnikov, what was the purpose of Luzhin's plan?
Though Luzhin's plan is revealed, he does not express one iota of guilt or remorse for his actions.
Throughout the text, the theme of religion develops through the character's self-sacrifice, suffering, and allusions to The Bible. The author was a devout Catholic and believed in the ideas of suffering and salvation. Do you think that Katerina's family's suffering will lead to their salvation?
Part 5, Chapter 4
The image below is entitled "Raskolnikov collapsing to Sonia." In this chapter, Raskolnikov confides in Sonia and she will urge him to confess to his crimes and seek absolution. Though there is a romantic relationship developing between them, it is expressed through their emotional struggle to connect to one another and deal with the external forces of society. This is another example of how the plot is perpetuated through psychological elements rather than simply action. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Sonia's response to Raskolnikov's question about Luzhin's fate?
Raskolnikov poses a hypothetical question when he asks, "You can't guess, then?" He is already aware that Sonia knows he is the murderer. Why doesn't she run?
Why does Sonia ask Raskolnikov, "What have you done to yourself?" after he confesses to the crime?
Why does Sonia ask if Raskolnikov's motive was to "help your mother?"
Sonia urges Raskolnikov to confess, so he may accept the punishment for his crime. She believes that his guilt is his suffering. If this is true, are he and Sonia very different?
Raskolnikov justifies his crime by claiming the pawnbroker was a "useless, loathsome, harmful creature." But what is the fault in this argument?
Raskolnikov admits that he knows "that it was the devil leading" him. Does this imply that he believes in God? Can you believe in the devil if you do not believe in his counterpart?
In The Bible, it is stated that Lucifer was an angel who fell from Heaven, but his one transgression was that he wanted to be God. He refused to acquiesce to a higher power. Sonia is begging Raskolnikov to repent and be saved from damnation; a fate worse than any punishment a court would dole out to Raskolnikov.
What is the symbolic significance of Lizaveta's cross?
Part 5, Chapter 5
Are you surprised Katerina has lost her mind? In previous chapters, Raskolnikov also suffered from mental illness brought on by his guilt and inability to deal with his actions. Do you think this is the cause of Katerina's illness? Or do you think the author is trying to show a relationship between the setting and its effects on its inhabitants?
Though he does not admit his feelings for Sonia explicitly, what does Raskolnikov imply when he thinks, "she shall not come to the prison!"?
Why is Sonia so "frantic" about Katerina's spectacle on the side of the road?
Raskolnikov does need to assist Katerina. If he intends on leaving Sonia behind and not allowing his transgressions to impact her life, it would be smarter to ignore Katerina. But this illustrates how much he cares for Sonia. It also illustrates that Raskolnikov is not a flat character.
The author presents a contrasting image of the setting when he introduces the official's character. He treats Katerina with sympathy and kindness and tries to remove her from the street without hurting her. This illustrates that there is compassion in the world.
Why is it significant that Katerina dies in Sonia's room?
Why does Svidrigailov offer to pay for Katerina's funeral and see to it that the children are in a "good orphan asylum"?
Part 6, Chapter 1
How is the situation with Svidrigailov and Sonia similar to the situation with Luzhin and Sonia?
Raskolnikov expects Sonia to be disgusted with him and reject him, but she does not. She is the antithesis to Luzhin's character in every way. Had the author wanted you to like Luzhin- even an iota- he would have created some redeemable quality for the reader to appreciate or defend him with. The same can be said about Sonia. If the author had wished for her to be viewed in a negative light, he would have written her character differently. She is meant to be admired and honored.
How has Razumihin's relationship with Raskolnikov been affected by his relationship with Dounia?
Raskolnikov's character is developing and changing as a result of his burgeoning relationships. What does this reveal about the theme of alienation?
Why do you think Petrovitch informed Razumihin of the details of the man's confession?
Petrovitch is an essential character in the text because he forces Raskolnikov to overanalyze his crime and guilt. Because he is skilled in using psychology, Petrovitch understands exactly how to disturb Raskolnikov. There is a contemporary text by R.N. Morris titled The Gentle Axe. Its main character is Porfiry Petrovitch and it is set a year after he solves the murder of the pawnbroker. For more details, click on the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
Part 6, Chapter 2
The two men have been psychologically warring for the majority of the text. Which term accurate describes the mood in Raskolnikov's room?
Petrovitch is patronizing Raskolnikov in order to convince Raskolnikov that he no longer believes he is guilty of the crime.
How did Raskolnikov make errors after the murder? Which character trait led him to commit such egregious errors?
Petrovitch characterizes Nikolay as simple and easily manipulated. This is another example of the theme of exploitation. An innocent man is manipulated and used to bait the man Petrovitch suspects is the killer.
Who is Petrovitch describing?
Petrovitch does not want to simply arrest Raskolnikov because that is not the end he seeks. He wants Raskolnikov to admit he was right and admit to the crime.
Petrovitch cannot convince Raskolnikov to admit to the crime simply because he asks him to. He does, however, present all of the following reasons for him to confess except which of the following?
It seems as if every character in the text is trying to convince Raskolnikov that all is not lost. This illustrates the theme of religion.
Part 6, Chapter 3
Please describe the "hidden power" Svidrigailov has over him.
How does Raskolnikov's motive for contemplating killing Svidrigailov differ from his motives for killing the pawnbroker? How does the thought of murder impact him this time?
What does the term "patriarchal footing" reveal about Svidrigailov's character?
Based on his observations of Raskolnikov, who is Svidrigailov reminiscent of?
Though Svidrigailov feigns innocence, he reveals his motives for wanting to become "friends" with Raskolnikov in the highlighted excerpt.
How does Svidrigailov justify his "vice" of interest in women?
Is Svidrigailov's story about Dounia trying to "save" him similar to Sonia trying to save Raskolnikov? If it is, what impact do you think it will have on Raskolnikov?
Part 6, Chapter 4
Did Svidrigailov exploit Marfa Petrovna? If so, how? What does this reveal about the theme of exploitation?
Which slang term accurately describes Svidrigailov?
When Svidrigailov discusses the effect of pity on a woman's heart, Raskolnikov frowns. Do you think he believes that Sonia may pity him rather than love him? How does this change their relationship?
Svidrigailov may be characterized as frank, blunt, and brutally honest. So, when his response to Raskolnikov is described as "naive," it is evident that he employs sarcasm.
In the contemporary society of the United States, what would be the appropriate legal term to describe Svidrigailov?
Part 6, Chapter 5
Both men share the characteristic of persistence. It may be what Svidrigailov recognizes in Raskolnikov and is content knowing.
Throughout the text, the motif of suicide appears several times. What do you think the author's stance on suicide is, based on the characters who discuss it as an option or choose to commit suicide rather than endure suffering? Use textual evidence to support your response.
The highlighted statement is very revealing about Dounia's fortitude and the power of adherence to one's beliefs versus relenting to vice.
What do you think Svidrigailov plans to gain by revealing to Dounia that her brother is a murderer?
It is ironic that someone of such poor morals is so frank and sincere.
How does Svidrigailov's belief that "I never blame anyone" for their actions contradict the ideas expressed in theme of religion?
There is a difference in the "saving" that Svidrigailov refers to and the "saving" that is emphasized throughout the text. Though Svidrigailov may help Raskolnikov escape, he cannot help him find solace.
Do you think Dounia came prepared to kill Svidrigailov? Or do you think she intentionally misses to warn him of what she is capable of? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Svidrigailov takes some sort of pleasure in seeing Dounia lose control. He also seems to have a death wish or at least do not have care about whether he lives or dies.
What does Dounia say or do that causes Svidrigailov to relent and allow her to leave?
Part 6, Chapter 6
Though Svidrigailov is a despicable character by most accounts, Sonia still greets him with "respectful silence." What does this reveal about Sonia' s character?
After Dounia declares she could never love him, Svidrigailov takes her gun, visits Sonia and gives her a large sum of money. What do these actions imply?
The narrator indicates that Svidrigailov is aware that his union with the teenage girl is immoral, and he exploited her mother in order to have the marriage arranged.
Water is an archetype for rebirth and purity. What does Svidrigailov comment about water?
Once again, the author uses dreams as a device to reveal character. If you refer back to the link about Freud and dreams, you will remember that Freud believed that our dreams were simply manifestations of our repressed desires, fears, and emotions. If this is true, what do Svidrigailov's dreams reveal about his true nature?
As Svidrigailov dreams, he sees visions of the young girl who killed herself. Though it is not explicitly stated, it is implied that Svidrigailov
What is the vision of the five year old child in his bed with the "face of a harlot" symbolize?
Ultimately, Svidrigailov could not endure his suffering. Though he claimed to be unaffected by his deeds, his dreams revealed his anguish and guilt over the sins he committed.
Part 6, Chapter 7
In what ways does Pulcheria remind you of your own parents?
Throughout the text, the theme of love has been explored. There are many facets of love: romantic love, platonic love, and unconditional love. The love Pulcheria has for Raskolnikov is unconditional.
What is a noticeable change in Raskolnikov's character?
The union of Sonia and Dounia is significant, because it is symbolic of the good forces uniting to save Raskolnikov from himself.
What does Dounia's willingness to hold her brother's hand symbolize?
If Raskolnikov was "alone and no one loved" him, then which character would he probably develop into?
Part 6, Chapter 8
The highlighted statement represents three elements that destroy the road to redemption. This develops the theme of religion.
What is Raskolnikov unable to admit about Sonia? Why? What does this reveal about the theme of love?
What do Sonia's words symbolize?
Raskolnikov hesitates but then acquiesces and goes to confess to Petrovitch. Why?
Characterize Raskolnikov in the scene with the "explosive lieutenant." Include details about his physical appearance, as well as his mental state. (The narration does not include his inner monologue, so feel free to elaborate on that as well.)
Sonia is the impetus for Raskolnikov's confession. Though he doesn't state that he is in love with her, it is her love and devotion to him and her concern for his soul that compels him to do the right thing and confess.
Why is the line, "Drink some water" significant?
Part 7, Epilogue 1
The epilogue is the concluding part of a literary work. In terms of plot structure, the epilogue contains the denouement.
Raskolnikov's sentence is mitigated because of the court's belief that he was "mentally deranged" when he committed the crime. This is another example of how psychological elements propel the plot and the action in the text. This is why the text is considered a foundation piece in philosophical and psychological theory.
Why does Pulcheria not ask questions about her son's trial?
The text began with a man alone in his apartment who was so alienated from the world that he believed no one would care if he killed someone because he was extraordinary. Now his sister, friend, and love are all following him to resettle in Siberia where he is sentenced.
Which term best describes Raskolnikov's life in Siberia?
Part 7, Epilogue 2
What does the highlighted passage reveal about Raskolnikov's character, while serving his term in Siberia?
Raskolnikov has yet to experience true redemption because he is not sorry for committing the crime, but rather he is sorry he was caught.
Lent and the Lenten Season is one of the holiest times of the year in the Christian faith. It culminates with the celebration of Easter. Please click on the link below to read more about Lent and the Lenten Season. (This annotation contains a link)
What is the significance of Raskolnikov's redemption and the Easter holiday? What is the author trying to convey by having the two coincide?
Ultimately, Raskolnikov is reborn and agrees to endure seven years until he and Sonia could be together. He embraces his suffering; this is the element that allows him to find salvation.
The author contends that "our present story is ended" but the ending "might be the subject of a new story." Based on the themes and the events of the story, what may be an appropriate title for the next text?