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Religious Influences in the Path for Redemption in Crime and Punishment Essay

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With the prominent focus in Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky being the path for redemption and the search for hope, a connection can be made with the religious influences throughout the novel. Such religious influences throughout the Christian faith can most prominently be seen in how the characters such as Raskolnikov develop. Needing a vessel to communicate and push these religious influences onto a struggling and tormented Raskolnikov, Dostoevsky uses Sonia’s character to contrast religious perspectives and offer a beacon of hope to Raskolnikov. Through understanding religious symbolism, relationships with other characters, and a character’s path to seek redemption, one can gain insight into Raskolnikov’s development and path for personal growth in Crime and Punishment.
Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment goes beyond just deriving his religious influences from his interactions with other characters, but rather it begins with delving into the religious symbolism that plays a prominent role in his interactions along the way. The most simplistic religious symbol in Crime and Punishment is the confession of or the redemption for one’s sins. Raskolnikov most prominently develops his character over the ideology of the sinner. Although when asked does he believe in god and Raskolnikov admits he does, he appears to live his life without the usual construct of a religious man (304). Raskolnikov traps himself in a life with a mortal sin that governs his internal conflict for most of the novel. Stricken with the discomfort of this sin, Raskolnikov eventually unknowingly seeks redemption for this mortal sin. The very action of committing a sin has a different meaning to Raskolnikov as the novel progresses. Before committ...


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...g. Sonia, being the second major character that acts as Raskolnikov’s religious mentor, brings together the religious ideas of a Christian seeking her out her own form of hope and contrasts them with Raskolnikov, a struggling character and fellow sinner. These religious elements throughout Crime and Punishment intertwined with one another leaving the reader to see Raskolnikov’s path to redemption not only as a hero’s journey, but also as a religious rebirth. In all, the religious impact throughout the novel brought a perspective to how Raskolnikov’s character developed as well as how Dostoyevsky intertwined religious meaning into his theme of a lost man trying to find meaning in a life of solitude but instead finding it in in the midst of love.



Works Cited

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Constance Garnett. Modern Library Edition, 1994. Print.


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