Comparison of Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov in Crime and Punishment

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Comparison of Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov in Crime and Punishment

In his book Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky explores the paths of two men, Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov. These two men encompass many similar problems and obstacles throughout their lives. Both commit murders and are faced with the long and mentally excruciating journey of seeking redemption. They also share many characteristics of their personalities. The reason that the outcomes of their lives are so drastically different is due to the fact that they have completely different perspectives on life.

Raskolnikov is obsessed with his “superman theory”. He is constantly trying to prove that he is part of the 10% of extraordinary people in the world. He wants to become an eminent figure such as Napoleon. At first he believed that the murders he committed would make him part of this elite class. Once he realized that he had made mistakes during the crime he began to question his theory. After much frustration he decided to go to the scene of the crime. This gave him a rush that made him feel invincible. He believed that this would prove if, or if not he was “super”. Once he realized that he wasn’t part of this class, he suffered a mental breakdown. This pushed him to confess his crime to Sonya. She helped him rationalize his crime and admit his guilt. The outcome of this conversation was that it helped him admit his fate.

Svidrigailov contains many similar traits of that of a “superman”. Due to his egoc...
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