Raskolnikov's Desire for Isolation in Crime and Punishment

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From the very first page of Crime and Punishment, there is an air of isolation. The novel opens to Raskolnikov leaving his apartment. While on his way out, he is in hopes of not meeting his landlady, who may demand payment for his long overdue rent. From here, it becomes evident early on that Raskolnikov does not truly wish to be in the company of others. He isolates himself from society. This is shown in Part II, Chapter II when Raskolnikov seeks out his friend, Razumikin. He goes to Razumikin’s apartment for no clear, apparent reason. Upon the beginning of a conversation, Razumikin points out that Raskolnikov is ill; Raskolnikov becomes angry with himself for initiating a meeting and storms out of the apartment. Solitude becomes a clear theme in the novel, particularly after Raskolnikov goes to his mother and sister telling them that he may not see them again. Crime and Punishment is narrated in third person, omnisciently from Raskolnikov’s point of view. “Raskolnikov smiled again. He realized all at once what the point was and where he was being led; he remembered his article. He decided to accept this challenge.” The city of St. Petersburg is portrayed as overcrowded, poor, dirty, and odorous and serves as quite an appropriate setting for the story. During this time, very few were living comfortably. The setting shows the external struggles the citizens and characters faced, but also extends to tie in the many internal struggles of the characters. Before, but particularly after the murders, Raskolnikov was experiencing a time of unrest and both physical and psychological discomfort. After the murders took place, Raskolnikov was thrown into a guilt-ridden delirium. His mind was in a chaotic state much like the ... ... middle of paper ... ...tory concludes. The epilogue tells of Raskolnikov’s trial and relatively light sentence of eight years hard labor in Siberia. Razumikin and Raskolnikov’s sister, Dunya, get married. Despite his confession, Raskolnikov still shows no sign of remorse at the prison camp and the other prisoners dislike him. After becoming ill, Raskolnikov finally realizes that he loves Sonya, who accompanied him to Siberia. He even begins reading the Bible which she left with him. The book ends rather happily considering the overall mood of the storyline. It is in my opinion that the epilogue makes for a nice, but rather unrealistic conclusion in comparison with the entirety of the novel. The epilogue makes attempts to tie up all loose strings of the novel. During the story, Raskolnikov shows little to no interest in God, and it is hard to believe that he would find faith.
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