Raskolnikov’s inability to hide his guilt shines through in his actions. When trying to defend his innocence against Porfiry he utters childish defenses. His suffering has consumed him and “he ran out of breath, nearly choking” (541) as the conversation traversed into uncomfortable matters. The connotation here of “choking” reveals how deeply Raskolnikov’s inner pain has bore into him and the effect of it weighing down his lungs. Furthermore, his refusal of this opportunity given by Porfiry to take his punishment clearly demonstrates how Raskolnikov’s every action is now affected directly by his airflow. Logically he should realize his game is up, yet his pride and brain’s suffocation are so high he cannot comprehend sensibly. He sputters out his sentences, pausing, and gasping. On a deeper level his brain function is also affected by the oxygen flow. This is clearly conveyed by his callous behavior and lack of thought to his future endeavors. His desire to avoid discipline is dimming as he realizes his time to receive punishment is approaching.
Preceding his nerve-rattling last conversation with Porfiry, Raskolnikov seems to be lost and disoriented. Ter...
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...s well. However this journey does not involve physical death. It involves going to the police bureau he once feared and confessing his crime. Although he lacks breath and feels faint he is at last able to recount the details in entirety and his self-inflicted suffering ends to be followed by formal punishment, or “a clearly defined air”.
Coming to terms with past mistakes and accepting their consequences is an agonizing process. Admitting fault for former missteps can seem titanic. Prideful characters such as Svidrigailov or Raskolnikov find this burdensome. However, in the end, choosing to embark on the journey of acceptance becomes necessary if one chooses to commit wickedness, an act that man must succumb to at some point. In Crime and Punishment this journey also allows the character’s suffocating mask to fall allowing them to breathe once more.
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