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Analysis of Dostoevsky´s Crime and Punishment

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In Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, the murder of the pawnbroker bears little significance when compared to the 'punishment' that Raskolnikov endures. The murder is the direct result of Raskolnikov's Ubermensch theory. Though it takes a while for Raskolnikov to realize the profound mistake in his theory and in his logic, his tedious yet prolific journey eventually leads him to redemption. Suffering, guilt and societal alienation prompt Raskolnikov to reject his Ubermensch theory and ultimately achieve redemption. Through Raskolnikov's character, Dostoevsky reveals that the psychological punishment inflicted by an unethical action is more effective in leading to self-realization than any physical punishment.
Raskolnikov's internal conflict between reason and conscience results in his alienation from society. In the beginning, Raskolnikov relies entirely on logic and reason. He also believes that his theory will sound completely logical to those with a, "broad and completely independent mind" (Dostoevsky 459). It is this firm conviction in his logic and his theory that prompts him to commit the murder for the 'common good of the society'. It is also the same conviction that sets him apart from society since he considers himself to be superior or "extra-ordinary" like 'Napoleon or Mahomet' comapred to the "ordinary" people. Commenting on the relation between the ordinary and the extra-ordinary and thereby explaining the reason for his own alienation, he remarks that the common people, "even despise [them], as reactionary and incapable of elevated thinking" (222). Therefore, according to Raskolnikov, the ordinary people fail to succumb to the superiority of these "extra-ordinary" men since they do not even recognize the capabilities...

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...he murder to save humanity. As Porfiry had foreshadowed, the psychological ramifications of a crime subject one to more torture than physical imprisonment.
Though man consists of both an ethical side and an unethical side, it is only when the former prevails over the latter does life become meaningful. Raskolnikov's grueling attempt to acheive redemption finally proves fruitful. Becoming one with his conscience allows him to connect to his ethical side and finally delve into the sea of humanity that he strove to save. His self realization ends his inner turmoil and confinement, allowing him to finally become a free man. Though he is physically imprisoned in Siberia, he becomes menatlly liberated not only of his self- isolation from conscience but also his suppressed guilt. Accepting responsibility for one's past actions helps one lead a successful life in the future.
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