Salvation Through Human Suffering in Crime and Punishment

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Salvation Through Human Suffering in Crime and Punishment “All men must suffer, and salvation can not be obtained unless this suffering is present” (Boland, p.4). All of the characters in the novel experience some sort of internal or external suffering. The main character, Raskolnikov, must grow and realize this in order to overcome his conflicts and reach the salvation of peace within. Dostoevsky’s concentration and focus is on why suffering must exist and how this suffering can be conquered. This is found to be true because in the six sections of the novel, only one is focused on the crime, and the remaining five are concentrated on Raskolnikov’s journey to overcome his suffering. This is the beginning of the punishment. By pinpointing the punishment, the internal and external conflicts that happen within the novel show Raskolnikov’s own philosophy of his quest for salvation. Raskolnikov, or Rodya, justifies his actions with his extraordinary man theory. His theory states that, “a suggestion that there are certain persons who can”… “that is, not precisely are able to, but have a perfect right to commit breaches of morality and crimes, and that the law is not for them” (p. 254). Rodya wanted to prove that he was extraordinary, that he could commit a crime such as murder, but since he did it for the betterment of society, he would feel no sympathy or regret for his crime. Rodya killed Alyona Ivanonva because she represented evil in society, and he believed he was doing the world a favor. Rodya overhears a student talking, “Of course she doesn’t deserve to live. But that’s nature isn’t it? Won’t one little crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?” (p. 69). These comments make the crime seem even more justifiable. Rodya... ... middle of paper ... ...ecause they allow us to identify with the two different personalities. After Rodya confesses his crimes he is sentenced to eight years at a Siberian prison. In prison he then starts to find his salvation. While he is in prison his mother dies and she never knows of her son’s fate this being her salvation from the suffering of worrying about her son. Also in prison Rodya is attacked by another inmate and is hospitalized. When Rodya wakes Sonia is there. He finds his salvation in Sonia. She has stayed by his side and proved she loved him. Rodya had to suffer because of his actions of murder and through his suffering he found love and support through Sonia who was his salvation. All the characters in the novel went through some type of human suffering and most found their salvation. The salvation was not always something glorious but it always came and ended a story.
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