Crime and Punishment

Behind Every Great Man There is a Great Woman: Delving Into Man and Woman, Delving Into Modernity and Tradition

Fyodor Dostoevsky uses Crime and Punishment as a vehicle for his critique on the moral deterioration of society caused by the encroaching poisonous, impersonal rationalism of modernity. He focuses his critique by utilizing a defining component of nineteenth century Russia: Orthodox Christianity. Drawing from personal trauma and experience, Dostoevsky uses the relationship between Sonya and Raskolnikov to place traditional values of morality, sacrifice, and redemption on a pedestal, while also striving to expose the rise of social science and utilitarianism as emotional and spiritual prisons.

The novel brims with a continuous stream of characters that typify the redeeming aspects of salvation and redemption through suffering. Rising from the multitude of characters is the complexly pure Sonya. While there is an argument made for Raskolnikov's depiction as a Christ-like figure, Sonya's influence on those around her most closely mimics the paragon of deliverance and suffering Jesus Christ embodied.

Sonya does not suffer to fulfill a self-possessive ideal, but rather sacrifices her desires and dreams for the chance to maintain a level of hope and existence for her family. After his encounter with Marmelodov in the tavern,...

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