✧・゚: *✧・゚:* my review of a timeless tale *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Recently, I read Crime And Punishment; by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I found the storyline extremely interesting and so far really enjoy this book. I believe I feel this way because of how immersive this work of literature is. The characters so far are extremely well-established in the story, and all have a clear purpose in the narrative. I also really enjoy how much the setting impacts what is being done in the story, and adds depth to all of the symbolism in the text.

The protagonist is a young man named Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. His story is set in Russia specifically St.Petersburg, Russia. The significance of the original 1860s Russian setting is that the plot is able to immerse the reader in specific locations relevant to the characters, such as the Kokushkin Bridge in St Petersburg Raskolnikov is seen on reflecting on his life when he was a student, after committing the murders. The significance of the setting shifting from Raskolnikov’s apartment to  Kokushkin Bridge in St Petersburg is to show the mindset that the protagonist was in after he committed his crimes. First, when Raskolnikov was at his apartment after he murdered the pawnbroker and her daughter; he had to figure out where to dispose of any obvious evidence, so he took a walk along Sadovaya Street, as well as Rimsky Korsakoff street (all actual locations) in order to get to the spot where he hides the evidence under a large rock in a courtyard along the way. After he hid everything, he decides to walk “the long way” and go home, stopping at the Kokushkin Bridge to reflect in his exhausted and delirious state of mind.

Raskolnikov faces certain forces and pressures. Being in debt to his landlady for his rent, he meets these forces and pressures by deciding to “commit the perfect crime” and kill a pawnbroker and steal her money to avoid having to pay for it himself. You can see this early in the story on pages 1-82.

The plot picks up on a frantic note when investigators begin examining Raskolinov’s crime. This might leave a reader feeling of rising tension, and suspense. Due to the disoriented state-of-mind that the protagonist is in- it keeps the reader on edge since his instability could lead him to reveal something about the murders he committed at any time, as well as inevitably getting tracked down by investigators if he isn’t too careful.

The story climaxes when Raskolnikov confesses to Sonia (the daughter of a tavern attender he met in the beginning of the story) about his crimes and his fondness of her. In (part VI) chapter VIII the text states; “When he went into Sonia’s room, it was already getting dark. All day Sonia had been waiting for him in terrible anxiety. Dounia had been waiting with her. She had come to her that morning, remembering Svidrigaïlov’s words that Sonia knew. We will not describe the conversation and tears of the two girls, and how friendly they became. Dounia gained one comfort at least from that interview, that her brother would not be alone. He had gone to her, Sonia, first with his confession; he had gone to her for human fellowship when he needed it; she would go with him wherever fate might send him… Raskolnikov refused the water with his hand, and softly and brokenly, but distinctly said: “It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta with an axe and robbed them.” Ilya Petrovitch opened his mouth. People ran up on all sides. Raskolnikov repeated his statement.” This statement from the text shows how Raskolnikov confesses to all of his crimes.

The falling action ultimately resolves the conflict. As Raskolnikov remains imprisoned in Siberia, where he serves for eight years for the murders (since he confessed), he realizes that he loves Sonia. It’s  mainly a man vs. self, as well as a man vs. society type of conflict that’s driving this story. The story is mostly focused on how Raskolnikov has to emotionally deal with the crimes that he committed, ultimately for his own benefit; while the other characters are self-sacrificing for others- a stark contrast to his character, making his journey reflect a man vs. self conflict. The plot also often refers to Raskolnikov’s sense of societal isolation, before the murders take place, as well as when he ends up imprisoned in Siberia, making it a man vs. society conflict. In conclusion, the story of Raskolnikov ends up atoning for his crimes, imprisoned in Siberia; where he ironically remains in isolation.

*✧・Thanks for reading! I just wanted to add this note for those who were wondering about the image in this document. The picture I included is from a panel in the manga series “Bungou Stray Dogs” (文豪ストレイドッグス, Bungō Sutorei Doggusu) by Kafka Asagiri, depicting a character from the series based off of the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (As an avid reader of the manga series I thought it was only fitting to include a picture of him in my essay)- :> If you’re interested in manga about characters based off of famous writers I’d definitely recommend reading it! (this is the link to their official website- but its in Japanese so I apologize for it being difficult to read- https://promo.kadokawa.co.jp/bungo/).

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Small Analysis of Dostoevsky’s Classic, Crime And Punishment by Katarina is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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