Fate in Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Essay

Fate in Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Essay

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Throughout history, people have relied on fate as the reason for their misfortune. Whether they let it decide their actions or run their life, fate has been the excuse for many to make bad decisions. In Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Raskolnikov blames the majority of his crime on the instances of fate leading up to the murder of Alyona Ivanovna. Through Raskolnikov’s reliance on fate, readers are able to see Dostoyevsky’s negative stance on the concept of fate. Dostoyevsky does not approve of the use of fate as the determining factor for any logical decision. Dostoyevsky makes it clear that Raskolnikov’s use of fate to justify his actions can only result in a negative outcome.
Although it shouldn’t, fate plays an integral role in the decisions many people make. Raskolnikov is clearly part of this “many people” as he decides to kill the old pawnbroker solely based on a conversation he overheard in a diner that solidified his own morbid thoughts. Despite having “doubts” about committing the murder after having a dark dream that depicted a horse getting beaten, Raskolnikov chose to go through with his idea after coincidentally hearing a conversation. He wondered to himself “why had he chanced to hit upon such talk…precisely now, when inside his own head there had just been engendered…precisely those very same thoughts?” (Dostoyevsky 81) As well as this conversation, Raskolnikov felt driven by the force of fate when he found an axe that would allow him to kill the pawnbroker. He believed that since he had this stroke of good fortune, he was meant to go through with his original idea of murder. Raskolnikov uses the idea of fate to make his important decisions. Because fate is the driving force that mak...


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... pawnbroker, he continues to blame fate over and over again. Dostoyevsky writes all of these instances of fate before Raskolnikov’s crime to allow Raskolnikov to feel as if he was driven by some force of unknown nature. Dostoyevsky clearly disapproves of fate, and hopes that readers are able to see past its deception.
Dostoyevsky’s blatant distrust of fate is shown through the way Raskolnikov justifies his crime, and his subsequent punishment for it. Following the idea of fate rather than ones own good judgement can lead, and does lead in Raskolnikov’s case, to unfortunate outcomes. Many people continue to justify their heinous actions by placing the blame on fate. Fate is a façade some choose to wear, and it is a disease some choose to catch. Fate makes it seem as if there is only one choice, but in reality, humans are always in control of their actions.


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