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Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment Essay

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Fyodor Dostoevsky, like most authors, had a distinct way of conveying his message in his novel. In the case of Crime and Punishment Dostoevsky employs irregular plot pacing to develop the character of the protagonist, Raskolnikov, who undergoes quite a journey. Sounds like most books right? A man going through a journey and undergoing a transformation. The unique thing that has captivated many readers is a murder occurring in the early stages of the novel as opposed to being the climax towards the end of the novel. No, this novel focuses on what happens after the murder, an insight into a murderer’s mind. In order to accomplish this daunting task, Dostoevsky had to employ some special aspect to the structure of the novel. Thus, Crime and Punishment’s unique structure enhances the meaning and character development of the novel; specifically the irregular plot pacing and placement of the murder at the beginning of the novel allows the reader to further understand and even appreciate Raskolnikov’s attempt at redemption and the transformation he undergoes thanks to Sonya.
The plot pacing we are referring to in Crime and Punishment is the relative time (real time like years, days, weeks…etc.) it takes for events to take place compared to the amount of pages and at which speed Dostoevsky unfolds these aforementioned events. By examining the amount of pages and speed at which they unfold, the reader can discover the importance of certain events and what Dostoevsky is highlighting throughout the novel and eventually decipher what Dostoevsky wants the reader to take away from reading Crime and Punishment.
The method of irregular plot pacing is evident from the very beginning of the novel. We see the character of Raskolnikov before his t...


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...cknowledges, “Seven years, only seven years!”(802) and the seven years of punishment was just the beginning of their happiness. At the beginning of their happiness at some moments they were both ready to look on those seven years as though they were seven days.” The plot pace is quick, because Raskolnikov has been liberated despite being imprisoned. He can move on with his life.
The irregular plot pace of a medium pace at the beginning, a slow pace in the middle, and the fast pace at the end functions as a parallel to the mindset and chaos in Raskolnikov’s life which is what Dostoevsky was trying to achieve through the irregular plot pacing and placement of the murder at the beginning.



Works Cited

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. "Crime and Punishment." Crime and Punishment. Gutenburg, 28 Mar. 2006. Web. 5 Feb. 2014. .


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