Guilt, Suffering, Confession and Redemption in Crime and Punishment

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Guilt, Suffering, Confession and Redemption in Crime and Punishment "You keep lying!" screamed Raskolnikov, no longer able to restrain himself. "You're lying, you damned clown!" And he flung himself on Porfiry, who retired to the doorway, but without a trace of panic. "I understand everything, everything!" He approached Porfiry. "You're lying and taunting me so Ill give myself away-" "You can't give yourself away any more than you have already, Rodion Romanovich, old man. Why, you've gone into a state. Don't shout, I'll call my men, sir!" (Dostoyevsky, 34) No humane person with any values is able to commit a heinous crime without some feeling of guilt or remorse afterwards. Slowly, this guilt festers and eats away at one's conscience until the point of escape, reached by confession, thus leading to salvation. Throughout Dostoyevsky's Crime and. Punishment the main character, Raskolnikov is stricken with guilt and suffering that eventually lead to his confession and redemption motivated by many forces. Crime and Punishment is the story of a young "intellect", Raskolnikov, who develops a superman theory. In his hypothesis, he felt that certain men were extraordinary and could commit unethical acts without punishment or a guilty conscience. In his case, he wanted to rid the earth of a parasite through the vicious slaying of an old pawnbroker, Alyona, and her sister, Lizaveta, in order to gain money so that he could continue his studies and to see if he was truly extraordinary. Was he truly the Napoleon that he thought he was? Could he walk over people with no regard for their feelings or sufferings as Napoleon had? (Literary Criticism, 68) "He is obviously no superman or Napoleon, but didn't get enough fre... ... middle of paper ... ...ut its overwhelming power and the fact that it made such a painful impression on readers that those with strong nerves fell ill and those with weak nerves had to give up reading it. (Kjetsaa, 183) Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Modern Critical Interpretations. New York, New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. New York, New York: New American Library, Inc., 1968. Gale Research Co. Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism. Detroit, MI 1984, Vol. 7. Kjetsaa, Geir. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, A Writer's Life. New York, New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1987, Magill, Frank. Masterplots. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1976. Terras, Victor. Handbook of Russian Literature. New Haven, CT; Yale University Press, 1985. Timoney, John. Speech on Crime and Punishment. Mt. Holyoke College, November 10, 1994.

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