Crime and Punishment Summary and Analysis
Part Five, Chapters 1-5
Luzhin has told his roommate, Andrei Semyonovich Lebezyatnikov, about the disastrous meeting with the Raskolnikovs. He is increasingly irritated by the loss, and decides that he was a fool not to give the ladies some money, because then they would have been more beholden to him and would not have thrown him off so easily.
At Mrs. Lippewechsel's, Luzhin learns that he has been invited to the Marmeladovs' memorial meal, and that Rodya will be there as well. This gives him an idea. . .
Lebezyatnikov, Luzhin's former ward, is a young progressivist, involved with a number of ideological groups whose names scare Luzhin. Because he fears the vague phenomenon of "exposure," he has tried to curry favor with Lebezyatnikov in order to protect himself. Though it does not take him long to see Lebezyatnikov's triteness, he is not discouraged.
Lebezyatnikov has a soft heart but a presumptuous way of speaking, and is somewhat stupid. He has begun to find Luzhin difficult to live with. He tends to proselytize about his favorite causes, and Luzhin has of late begun to ignore him.
Luzhin sits at the table, counting the money he has received from cashing some bank notes that morning. He ignores Lebezyatnikov's discourse on the establishment of "communes," while the poor Lebezyatnikov tries not to notice the staggering amount of money Luzhin is counting.
In the middle of Lebezyatnikov's stream, Luzhin interrupts to ask about the memorial meal. He pretends not to remember that he was invited, and tells Lebezyatnikov that he won't go anyway. Lebezyatnikov concurs, and Luzhin taunts him about having beaten Katerina Ivanovna, which Lebezyatnikov vehemently denies, saying that she had attacked him. Luzhin mocks him, saying that the incident belies Lebezyatnikov's so-called convictions about the equality of men and women (an issue known at that time as "the woman question").
Luzhin asks him about Sonya. Lebezyatnikov replies self-importantly that Sonya's situation is, in his opinion, "the most normal condition for a woman," and that he sees Sonya's prostitution as "an energetic and embodied protest against the social order." Luzhin points out that Lebezyatnikov, according to what he has heard, was the one who drove Sonya out of the house. Lebezyatnikov flares up again at Luzhin's mockery, saying that it was not at all like that and that he is trying to get Sonya to join a commune. Luzhin suggests that Lebezyatnikov's interest in "developing" Sonya is not merely intellectual; Lebezyatnikov protests and despairs of Luzhin's ever understanding, saying that she is a wonderful person with a beautiful nature, and that Luzhin does not know her at all. (Which, of course, he does not.)
Luzhin has finished counting his money, and some of it is left on the table for some reason. He asks Lebezyatnikov to ask Sonya to come in so he can speak with her. Lebezyatnikov is surprised, but he brings her in.
Luzhin hastens to seat her with cheery friendliness. Lebezyatnikov is about to leave, but Luzhin stops and asks him to stay, especially if Raskolnikov is there, which he is. Luzhin then sits back down and addresses Sonya, and asks her to convey his regrets to Katerina Ivanovna. Sonya, nervous, jumps up to go and do so, but he sits her down again to continue. (During the following exchange she jumps up again, and he once more asks her to be seated.) He expresses his pity for their destitute and desperate situation, and saying that he believes giving money to Katerina Ivanovna herself would not be prudent, he presents Sonya with a 10-rouble bill. She blushes, murmurs some thanks, and escapes as soon as possible.
Lebezyatnikov, who has been pacing or at the window for this entire time, then approaches Luzhin with praise for his "noble . . . that is, I mean to say, humane" act. He then launches into one of his favorite themes again: the unnecessity of legal marriage. Luzhin chuckles but is not really listening; eventually Lebezyatnikov notices that Luzhin is rubbing his hands with excitement and has his mind on something. This Lebezyatnikov later remembers . . .
It is characteristic of Luzhin that he only reproaches his own stinginess because it has set him in poor stead with Dunya and her mother. Comically, he rails at himself for this parsimony, saying, "There wasn't even any calculation in it!", revealing that perhaps some of his other tactics with regard to the ladies did involve "calculation." When he reflects that his only intention was to "get them to see [him] as their Providence," he belies himself almost immediately. In this last hope, he has failed utterly where Razumikhin has specifically succeeded. Ultimately compassion and caring win out over rhetoric.
The rather stupid but kind-hearted Lebezyatnikov is another vehicle through which Dostoevsky exposes his own ideas regarding the new "progressive ideas" in vogue at the time among young intellectuals (or pseudo-intellectuals). The rejection of Russian tradition in which these are grounded results in a clear cruelty and moral poverty. There are hints that Lebezyatnikov does not really believe what he says. He does not necessarily practice what he preaches, which is where his stupidity truly lies; his treatment of Katerina Ivanovna and Sonya, as pointed out by Luzhin, does not hold with his ostensible subscription to ideas of the equality of women (even in violence) and "free love." In a more positive sense, his true inclinations come through especially in his reaction to Luzhin's donation to the Marmeladovs. He at first calls it "noble" but then catches himself, and corrects it to "humane," which is more in keeping with his supposed doctrines.
Lebezyatnikov also declares that the best human activities are the most "useful." He rejects the word "noble" (though, with typical Dostoevskian comedy, he immediately goes on to use the word when he says, "What is noble is whatever is useful for mankind"). This quibbling over terminology reveals the depths to which science has attempted to purge emotion: "usefulness" is prioritized and valued over "nobility" or "magnanimity." Again Dostoevsky is attacking this theoretic coldness.
It is not quite clear why Katerina Ivanovna has decided to throw away so much money on such a relatively lavish memorial meal, but it is likely that she wants to demonstrate to all the tenants (and especially her landlady) her own superiority in terms of upbringing and behavior. It also seems that her mind has been affected by her illness, which has crippled her capacity to judge.
She does get some help in preparation, notably from Amalia Ivanovna, her landlady, and a little Polish tenant. Despite her best efforts, however, almost no one comes to the funeral, and a rather motley crew shows up for the meal. She seizes upon Raskolnikov, who misses the funeral but shows up in time for the meal, as the most respectable and well-educated of the lot, and sitting him beside her, proceeds to pour a stream of commentary and criticism into his ear the entire time.
Sonya shows up after her meeting with Luzhin, and conveys his regrets to her mother loudly enough for everyone to hear, knowing that this will mollify her stepmother. Sonya then sits down next to Raskolnikov, but avoids looking at him or speaking to him for the duration of the meal.
Everyone seems to anticipate that the meal is going to end badly. A drunken guest and Katerina Ivanovna taunt one another, coming close to a scene, but the guest backs off out of respect for her widowhood. Amalia Ivanovna, insulted at the haughty superiority with which Katerina Ivanovna treats her, tries to defuse the atmosphere with a story. Katerina Ivanovna mocks her.
Then she starts to talk about her plans for the future, which rest on a pension she expects to receive from Marmeladov's status as a civil servant. As she prattles on and mentions Sonya, someone snorts, and she defensively launches into great praise of Sonya's goodness and commendable qualities. She bursts into tears suddenly, then tries to end the meal and serve tea. Amalia Ivanovna tries to make a well-intentioned suggestion with regard to Katerina Ivanovna's envisioned future school for girls, but the exhausted and upset woman snaps at her, and they begin to argue. The situation deteriorates rapidly, ending with Amalia Ivanovna ordering the family out of the apartment and insulting Sonya. Katerina Ivanovna is about to attack Amalia Ivanovna when suddenly Luzhin enters.
There is a strong undercurrent of reproach for what Dostoevsky might call people's "downtrodden morality." Coldly selfish, completely lacking in pity, they skip the funeral but show up for the meal.
Katerina Ivanovna, as Dostoevsky points out, is herself not morally downtrodden. Like Raskolnikov, she is intense, bifurcated, defying logic in herself despite how she prides herself on her intellect and education. She is truly losing her mind, as well, through consumption and its physical effects on her brain.
Her emphasis on breeding is a sort of pathetic grasping at the last shreds of her respectability and pride. She has even outlined a neat little plan to put some of her invited guestsnotably, those who look down on her and Sonyain their places: she would magnanimously invite them so "they would see that Katerina Ivanovna was accustomed to quite a different lot in life. This was to be explained to them without fail at the table, as was the governorship of her late papa, and along with that an indirect remark would be made about there being no point in turning away from meetings . . ." Unfortunately, these particular guests do not show up (as, perhaps, should have been expected), increasing her irritation at the inferiority of those who do.
Her sensitive pride also lends itself to hyperbole or exaggeration of the good qualities in her friends. She describes Rodya as someone who "as everyone knew, was preparing to occupy a professor's chair at the local university in two years' time," though she barely knows him and clearly does not know that he has not been studying for lack of funds. Similarly, she claims that Luzhin was a great friend of her father's. Dostoevsky writes that she does this as the highest form of praise, but it may also possibly be a sign of brain damage and a result of her extraordinary pride. Its effect is both comic and pathetic.
The episode with Sonya may indicate Katerina Ivanovna's great internal bleeding (suffering) for the wrongs inflicted upon her family by circumstance. She staunchly defends Sonya against the mocking laughter at the table, and praises her good qualities for all to hear, before bursting into tears. These tears could betray a sense of guilt on Katerina Ivanovna's part for her role in Sonya's prostitution; we know both how she berated the girl and bullied her until she obeyed, and how she wept and kissed Sonya's feet afterwards. The poor woman seems forever abused by circumstance.
Katerina Ivanovna spends the entire meal mocking everyone else. (Dostoevsky does, too!) Everyone senses it will end badly, but much of this is due to Katerina Ivanovna herself.
Katerina Ivanovna throws herself on Luzhin for protection, citing his supposed relationship with her father. He brushes her aside, mentioning that he never knew her father, and demands to speak with Sonya.
Katerina Ivanovna is astonished. Everyone else quiets down as well, hushed by the man's manner and bearing. Rodya watches. Lebezyatnikov comes through the door and watches, with an expression of not being able to quite understand something.
Luzhin tells Sonya that he has lost a 100-rouble bill, and that its disappearance coincided with her visit. The room falls silent. Sonya is shocked and can barely say that she knows nothing of it. Sternly, Luzhin tells her to think again, and recounts his tale precisely, citing Lebezyatnikov as a witness. Once more he asks her where the money is.
Sonya, terrified, insists she does not know. She pulls the 10 roubles out of her pocket and holds it out to him. He does not take it but asks once more about the 100 roubles. Sonya looks around; the entire room, the world seems ranged against her. Luzhin asks Amalia Ivanovna to call the police.
Katerina Ivanovna finally recovers enough to defend Sonya. She rushes to her, admonishing her for taking the 10 roubles, and snatches the bill, crumples it up and throws it at Luzhin, hitting him in the eye. Luzhin shouts at her. She shouts back that Sonya would never take his money, and that since she had gone nowhere in between Luzhin's meeting and the memorial meal, she would theoretically have the money on her, so why not search her if they suspect her.
Luzhin is somewhat intimidated, and mutters something about not wanting to search a woman, being a man. Katerina Ivanovna turns out Sonya's pockets with frenzied jerks. To her surprise as well as everyone else's, a 100-rouble bill flies out of her pocket and lands at Luzhin's feet. He picks it up and shows it to everyone. Amidst the uproar, Sonya cries that she is innocent and weeps; Katerina Ivanovna rushes to her and holds her.
Katerina Ivanovna's cries and her desperate situation seem to move everyone to pity, even Luzhin. He then magnanimously forgives Sonya and announces that he will not press charges. He exchanges burning glances with Rodya. The Marmeladov family weeps hysterically.
Suddenly, a voice from the door says, "How vile!"
It is Lebezyatnikov. He steps forward and accuses Luzhin of slander. It turns out that he had been watching Luzhin carefully and had seen him slip the bill into Sonya's pocket as she was leaving. Luzhin, enraged, tries to discredit him by asking why he would do such a thing. Lebezyatnikov retorts that he does not know, but he definitely saw it.
Despite this lack of motive, people seem to believe Lebezyatnikov. It is not long before Rodya interrupts the conversation with an explanation of Luzhin's behavior. He tells the company how Luzhin had been engaged to his sister and then lost her; and that Luzhin had slandered Raskolnikov as well as Sonya to Dunya and her mother. He explains that if Luzhin were able to prove Sonya a thief, he would hopefully be able to win back the graces of Dunya and her mother, while discrediting Rodya to his own family. Rodya also mentions that Luzhin seems to suspect a relationship between Rodya and Sonya, and so by sullying her reputation Luzhin would exact some sort of personal revenge on Rodya.
Everyone is impressed, and Lebezyatnikov backs Rodya up delightedly, mentioning Luzhin's unusual queries about Sonya and about Rodya's presence at the funeral meal.
Luzhin finds himself in a rather awkward and potentially dangerous position, as people start to crowd threateningly around him. He worms his way out insolently, accusing everyone of slander, and exchanges words with Lebezyatnikov on the way. The drunken guest hurls a glass at him, but it hits Amalia Ivanovna. Luzhin escapes and is out of the house within half an hour. Sonya, overcome, succumbs to hysterics, and runs out to go home. Amalia Ivanovna angrily kicks the Marmeladovs out.
Katerina Ivanovna, desperate, rushes out to find justice, leaving the children crying and huddled in a corner as Amalia Ivanovna storms about throwing things on the floor. Raskolnikov heads for Sonya's.
Upon his entrance, Luzhin is implored by Katerina Ivanovna to help them, in the name of his friendship with her father; he brushes her aside, reminding her that he never knew her father. This astonishes Katerina Ivanovna. "Having once invented this bread and salt, she now believed in it religiously." Her belief in her own stories may, again, be a sign of brain damage. But if these stories are created to bolster her pride, this firm belief may be a self-defense mechanism.
Luzhin's terrible accusations against Sonya terrify her, but she only exclaims "Oh, Lord!" on seeing Raskolnikov's eyes. She probably thinks he believes the accusations against her. We know that he has little reason to think well of Luzhin and no reason to think ill of her, so this is unlikely, but his eyes are only described as "fiery," and given that everyone else is staring at Sonya with "stern, mocking, hateful faces," it is not surprising that she should assume Rodya is staring at her with the same look. The fact that her reaction is linked to him signifies how strongly she feels about him.
In a technique used frequently throughout this novel, Katerina Ivanovna repeats Rodya's words about Sonya's little finger being worth more than the people around her. (Rodya had earlier said it to Luzhin, during the disastrous meeting with Dunya.) Dostoevsky uses this repetition again and again, specifically placing words and phrases into other people's mouths, drawing complex parallels between the lives of his characters.
Luzhin's pretense of magnanimity when the 100 roubles is found in Sonya's pocket is quite characteristic, especially in the light of his thoughts regarding marriage. Feeling secure and above her, he is able to make himself look good by pretending to be merciful and compassionate to her situation. We know that in reality he has no feelings of the kind, not only because it turns out he has framed her with a vile purpose, but because in a previous chapter he spoke of her with no compassion whatsoever, teasing Lebezyatnikov about her.
Rodya oddly sounds like a lawyer in a criminal case, with his use of such terms as "proving," "witnesses," and his detailed account of the facts. He had, as noted in a previous chapter (Part 4, Chapter 5), been studying to be a lawyer. This is exceedingly ironic in some sense--that he who had been studying the law deliberately and horrifically transgressed it. Yet it also makes sense, if we consider that Rodya is essentially obsessed with questions of crime.
There is a wonderful contrast between Dostoevsky's comedy and the shrieking and shouting and fury of the speakers in the argument. Lebezyatnikov, in particular, provides comedy without realizing it. He keeps referencing his "convictions": he does not drink, because it is against his "convictions"; he is ready to swear an oath in court regarding what he saw, even though it is against his "convictions"; and so on and so forth. He manages to work in some of these convictions, as though by rote, into his argument, to great comic effect. In the end, Lebezyatnikov's regret about Luzhin is that he had wasted so much time and energy trying to explain to him his ideas.
Rodya heads for Sonya's place, elated at his defense at her yet troubled at the impending confession of his crime. On her doorstep he suddenly asks himself whether he has to tell her, but even as he asks it he knows he must tell her and without any delay.
He enters to find Sonya waiting for him. She thanks him, but he immediately reminds her that the whole situation had "rested on [her] 'social position and its accompanying habits'." She begs him not to talk to her as he had the previous day, then quickly asks about her family. When he tells her what has happened, she leaps up to go, but he bitterly and peevishly complains that she should spend some time with him instead of rushing off to find them. Reluctantly and indecisively, she sits down.
He asks her: if she had known Luzhin's plan beforehand, and that Katerina Ivanovna would die and the family be destroyed if it had succeeded, would she judge it better for Luzhin or Katerina Ivanovna to die? Somehow Sonya has suspected he would ask "something like that," but she refuses to answer a question about an impossible situation. He presses her until she cries out, "Can it be that you came only to torment me?"
She bursts into tears. He is silent for a while. When he speaks again, his voice is changed, and he says that he had said what he did because he had been seeking forgiveness. He is startled and frightened by a sudden feeling of hatred for her; he looks at her, and the love in her face banishes what he had thought was hatred. He knows that the time has come.
He gets up and sits on the bed. Sonya, touched by his obvious suffering, sits down by him. At last he starts to tell her in detail about the murders of Alyona Ivanovna and Lizaveta. She still does not understand. Finally, he looks deeply into her eyes, and she reads the horrible truth.
She is terrified, but once she establishes the truth, it seems to her that she had anticipated it exactly all along. He begs her not to torment him. Suddenly she falls on her knees and embraces him. He is surprised and incredulous; but when, still holding him, she exclaims at how unhappy he is, his soul softens and two tears roll down his cheeks.
Hopefully he asks her whether she will ever leave him; she says she will not. But when she says she will "go to hard labor" with him, his aspect suddenly changes. Maybe, he tells her, he doesn't want to go to hard labor.
Startled, Sonya draws back and looks at him, and seems to see his other half: the murderer. Trying to make sense of it, she asks him what his reasons were.
First he tells her that he did it in order to rob. But it soon becomes clear that this is not the only reason. Finally he tells her that he "wanted to become a Napoleon," and explains the theory which drove him to murder; yet he still tries to give a justification through his poverty for the action. This does not ring true, and without much prompting from Sonya he finally comes out with a bitter truth: he was not completely unable to support himself--he could have if he had tried and worked like Razumikhin--but he "turned spiteful" and did not wish to give lessons. He instead, as he tells her, shut himself up in his room with his morbid thoughts and his theories about power waiting to be taken, and he killed because he "wanted to dare," wanted to find out whether he was a "louse" or a great man.
Sonya is horrified, of course, and can't seem to get past the fact that he killed. Rodya questions whether he really killed, and tells her that he killed himself, not the old woman. In despair, he asks her what he should do.
Suddenly excited, Sonya jumps up and orders him to stand up. He does so. She tells him to go to the crossroads, bow, kiss the ground, bow to the whole world and confess his crime.
Rodya is not enthusiastic about turning himself in. He resists her entreaties and insists that he will fight. He knows, however, that they will imprison him, and he asks her to visit him in jail, which she promises to do. They sit there in silence, and Rodya suddenly feels how oppressive her love is. He tells her not to visit him, but she does not reply. After a while, she asks him if he has a cross to wear. He does not. She offers him her cypress one, saying she has Lizaveta's brass one, and he is about to take it, but draws back. He tells her he will take it later.
There is a knock on the door, and Lebezyatnikov comes in.
Rodya must confess to Sonya. Like a selfish child, he demands her attention, but only to torment her by asking her the answer to his main question regarding crime. Sonya points out that such questions are "empty" and useless. Here she hits on a truth that Rodya hasn't seen: that he is wasting his time thinking about such things, and that he would not require such questions if he had faith. Through her faith, Sonya is stronger than Rodion.
Raskolnikov's exclamation "I killed myself, not the old crone!"reintroduces the theme of death through sin and shows that he feels he has lost his life through his sin, which is a distinctive religious idea. Sonya's answer: "Accept suffering and redeem yourself by it." She is, more clearly than ever, a Christ-figure. Rodya tells her, "That's why I came, because I'm wicked." He seeks salvation, coming to Sonya for help and seeking to shift his burden onto her. Jesus came to save sinners, by taking upon himself the burdens of mankind.
When at last he tells her, he again manages to avoid saying it in words. Instead, just as he had "told" Razumikhin, he conveys the truth to Sonya through a piercing look. Strangely, he seems to see Lizaveta in her face, recalling the last moment as he was bearing down on her with the axe. Indeed, the moment he realizes that he must confess to Sonya now, he seems to have a flashback to the moment when he stood behind Alyona Ivanovna with the axe, knowing that he must just go ahead and do it. Frequently, Raskolnikov has experienced such flashbacks to the murder: he keeps being reminded in his present life of moments from the crime, equating the feelings of then and now.
Sonya is his "mother-confessor," ready to listen with compassion but also sternly and inexorably pushing him toward the truth. His reasons unfold like the petals of a rose, growing ever more complex and internal. At each step "that's not it," and Raskolnikovperhaps admiring her instincttells her he is lying. Undaunted, she keeps pushing him to really come out with his reason for killing. In the end he tells her: he did it because he wanted to know if he were greata Napoleon, a leader entitled to disregard the rules.
His connection to Sonya is marked by his topsy-turvy feelings toward her and his characteristic bifurcation. He thinks he feels hatred for her, suddenly, and looks up at her quickly, but "he had mistaken one feeling for another. All it meant was that the moment had come." He comes, cowardly and selfish, to torment her, and yet he begs her not to torment him once he has confessed his crime. Though he confesses the act, he does not express repentance. With sharp incisiveness, he explains, "They expend people by the million themselves, and what's more they consider it a virtue. They're cheats and scoundrels, Sonya!" (Cf. "Monsieur Verdoux," a film by Charlie Chaplin where he makes the same point at the end.)
This lack of sincere repentance engenders an incredible stoppage of the scene after Sonya exclaims she will go to hard labor with him. He smiles arrogantly and hatefully, and says, somehow dangerously, "But maybe I don't want to go to hard labor, Sonya." This moment is remarkably rendered. Sonya, who has been sobbing and pouring out her devotion to him in torrents, suddenly stops. For the first time she hears and glimpses Rodya's other self. Sonya, completely innocent, can't understand him. Yet she dismisses the idea of madness, knowing that there must be something else.
The end is significant: he can't quite take her love (which represents Jesus' love). It is somehow oppressive; but if he were in a different state of mind, we know her love would be liberating. Yet the troubled Rodya is not yet able to accept this. Crushed by his complicated torment, he doesn't want (literally and figuratively) to bear his cross just yet. He still lacks humility; in the end, this arrogance may be his greatest sin and downfall, just as Luzhin's pride and arrogance was his.
Lebezyatnikov makes the awful announcement that Katerina Ivanovna has gone mad. Sonya runs off. Rodya goes back to his own room. He feels very lonely and that he might end up hating Sonya. It occurs to him that perhaps hard labor wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.
Suddenly Dunya comes in. She sits down and tells him that Razumikhin told her all about how Rodya is under suspicion for the murders. She apologizes for having reproached him before and tells him to call on her if he ever needs help. As she gets up to go, Rodya tells her that Razumikhin is a very good man . . . She feels somewhat alarmed at his tone, which sounds like he is leaving her forever. She leaves, upset. Rodya has come close to embracing her tightly and telling her the truth, but thinks she would not have been able to handle it.
He goes out and wanders aimlessly. Lebezyatnikov sees him, and rushes up to tell him that Katerina Ivanovna has taken her children into the streets with her. They hurry off to find them.
They find the Marmeladovs surrounded by a crowd of curious spectators. Katerina Ivanovna is trying to make her children dance and sing, and rushes back and forth between yelling at them and trying to attract the sympathy of better-dressed onlookers. The poor children are dressed in a poor version of street singers' costumes, and are terrified. Sonya has been following Katerina Ivanovna, begging her to go back, but Katerina Ivanovna refuses. Raskolnikov also tries to persuade her to stop, but she does not listen.
A policeman approaches at the same time as an older official. The official hands Katerina Ivanovna a 3-rouble bill; she thanks him ceremoniously and starts to explain their story. The policeman tells her she must stop because she has no permit and she is stirring people up. She protests. The official tries to calm her. Suddenly Kolya and Lenya, the two youngest children, start to run away. Katerina Ivanovna breaks off, and tries to run after them, but falls.
People rush around her. She is bleeding, not because of an external wound but because she is in the last stages of her consumption. With the help of the older official, they take her to Sonya's apartment. To his surprise, Rodya sees that Svidrigailov has come in. They send for a doctor and a priest.
Katerina Ivanovna's bleeding stops and she sits up. She apologizes to Sonya and hands the children to her care. She falls into delirium and dies.
Svidrigailov approaches Rodion and asks for a word. He tells Rodya that he will pay the funeral expenses, place the children in respectable orphanages, settle 1,500 roubles on each of them, and help Sonya as well. Rodya cannot understand why. Svidrigailov replies, quoting what Rodya had said to Sonya during his confession to her. Rodya, in great fear, asks him how he knows; he replies that he is living just next door, and laughs that they will become close after all.
After Sonya rushes out to find Katerina Ivanovna, Lebezyatnikov engages in some theoretical discussion with Raskolnikov, further emphasizing Dostoevsky's argument against hyperrationalism. Quite seriously, he informs Rodya that "in Paris serious experiments have already been performed with regard to the possibility of curing mad people by working through logical conviction alone." Lebezyatnikov's professed faith lies in logic and reason over emotion, as we have seen before, to the point of ridiculousness. He tells Rodya that he tried to explain to Katerina Ivanovna, in defiance of "the little knobs" that have probably emerged in her brain due to consumption, that she has nothing to worry about, "but she wouldn't listen." Lebezyatnikov is harmless, but his very stupidity exposes the absurdity of overemphasis on logic and dismissal of compassion.
Rodya returns to his room, feeling lonelier than he ever has in his life. His next thought is that he might eventually grow to hate Sonya, especially after having upset her so. The fact that these two thoughts or feelings follow one another seems to indicate that his loneliness is related to Sonya. Perhaps he feels abandoned by her because she has run off to her family; more likely, he senses that her reaction to his confession springs from a deep faith which he can neither understand nor share. Yet when Dunya offers Rodya her whole life if he needs it (self-sacrifice again), he does not confide in her. He doubts "her kind" can take it, though he knows Sonya can. As if on cue, a breath of fresh air floats through his window.
The death of Katerina Ivanovna, after ceaseless misery and strain, is horribly drawn out. Her exclamation, "The nag's been overdriven," quite clearly and suddenly posits Katerina Ivanovna as the mare in Rodya's dream. In the dream, the mare is whipped, and her cartload increased. She kicks, only to incur more whipping, then beating with first a wooden shaft and then an iron crowbar, until at last she dies. The whole time, the crowd has been egging him on; now, suddenly, they are sickened. Katerina Ivanovna's life has been similar. She has endured the misery of marrying an alcoholic husband, and watching her children starve and her stepdaughter prostitute herself; her "cartload" has increased with his death and her own illness; and at every step of the way, she has been challenged and taunted. Even at her husband's funeral meal, the guests try to get a rise out of her. Like the mare, she kicks, fighting until the end. But in the end, she, too, dies under "too much strain."
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