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Literary Techniques Used by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Crime and Punishment Essay

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A Study of the literary techniques used by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in
Crime and Punishment to convey the downfall and subsequent rise of
the main character.

"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is the story of a young
student Raskolnikov and his need to murder an old woman to prove one
of his many philosophies. The book begins with the murder, but the
primary focus is on his reasoning and reactions before and after the
act.

It is set in St Petersburg where the main character, Raskolnikov,
appears to be an ex-student living, in poverty, a life of lethargy.
However, it soon emerges that he, despite the physical nature of his
situation, has a very active mind. To reveal whether he is of a
special "breed" of humans, he finds it necessary to kill, and the
unfortunate subjects of his experiment are an old pawnbroker and her
sister. After the murders, Raskolnikov is subject to a series of
mental and emotional changes, eventually leading to his confession
and, later, his arrest, trial and eight-year prison sentence.

It was both this interesting plot and the philosophical nature of
Dostoyevsky's writing, which initially attracted me to this book. It
also features many themes and characters, as well as an effective
setting. As a result, I will examine the literary techniques used in
"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky to convey the downfall
and subsequent rise of the main character, Raskolnikov. I will begin
by looking at how the setting formed Raskolnikov's character, and then
discuss the structure and other characters of the novel.

The setting plays a primary role in forming Raskolnikov's character.
In mid-19th century Russia, an oppressive rule is a result of the
Romanov monarchy and this in...


... middle of paper ...


...ition to being important in portraying Raskolnikov's changing
personality. By making such dissimilarity between the two ways that
the two characters affect Raskolnikov, we are able to see his downfall
and subsequent rise much more clearly.

Dostoyevsky's writing in this book is such that the characters and
setting around the main subject, Raskolnikov, are used with powerful
consequences. The setting is both symbolic and has a power that
affects all whom reside there, most notably Raskolnikov. An effective
Structure is also used to show changes to the plot's direction and
Raskolnikov's character. To add to this, the author's word choice and
imagery are often extremely descriptive, and enhance the impact at
every stage of Raskolnikov's changing fortunes and character. All of
these features aid in the portrayal of Raskolnikov's downfall and
subsequent rise.


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