Crime and Punishment

The Intentions of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment 12th Grade

The character of Raskolnikov is an interesting one in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. A failed visualization of the Ubermensch initially, there is leagues more depth to the character, not only in a psychological way but in the context of his own creation and purpose in the narrative. By looking at how Raskolnikov's psychosis develops in Crime and Punishment, the reader can see that he begins to betray his own Marxist ideals. This is important because Crime and Punishment is not just a riveting crime novel, it's also a personal statement by author Fyodor Dostoevsky about the failure of Marxism itself and how religious redemption and reform is what Russia truly needs in order to see a prosperous future.

Raskolnikov is established as a character with many mental flaws even before he commits his crime. The novel begins with vivid descriptions of how much Raskolnikov suffers "in isolation", setting the stage for his character and actions and allows us to get inside his head immediately. The reader is assaulted with gross details about his surroundings and can infer that a disturbed individual like Raskolnikov is a product of his disturbed surroundings. In Dostoevsky's vision of St. Petersburg, "The heat in the street was...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 861 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6526 literature essays, 1773 sample college application essays, 268 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in