Dostoevsky was made aware of the problems with Nihilistic ideas while he was exiled in Siberia. Crime and Punishment was Dostoevsky’s first attempt at a psychological analysis of a person’s inner struggles to rationalize this radicalism. Raskolnikov represents that intelligentsia and is being used by Dostoevsky to portray and warn against succumbing to these ideals. Dostoevsky uses Raskolnikov’s life to illustrate the implications and applications of this Nihilist to the public and then expands upon it in Demons.
Raskolnikov’s article “On Crime” offers insight to the inner workings of his brain. Porfiry, a police inspector, calls out Raskolnikov for the shortcomings in his article, contesting that the argument presented was not one that was thought out completely and underdeveloped. It could be inferred that the viewpoints of Raskolnikov are a reflection on the “new word” that has plagued his thoughts for so long.
“That men are in general divided by a law of nature into two categories, inferior (ordinary) . . . and men who have the gift or talent to utter a new word. . . . The second category all transgress the law. . . . for the most part they seek in very varied ways the destruction of the present for the sake of the better.”
Another aspect of this thought is the question of Raskolnikov’s belief in God. Raskolnikov engaged Porfiry in a debate rather than shy away from the question like many would assume a Nihilist to do. Raskolnikov uses th...
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...capacity to withstand tribulations can be seen through these two novels as well.
The novels were meant to serve a positive role as well. The readers were meant to decipher hope from the story due to the propensity to do good that existed in the story. The attacks on the Nihilistic were systematic by Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky had the hope that the institutions that wrote against would manage to destroy themselves and therefore save Russia from being consumed with devastating ideals. The readers are to let the hearts guide them to God in order to protect the same from the Nihilistic principles that include negative traits such as hate.
As a result of Dostoevsky’s diligence and commitment to making this effort effective the special things about Russia that are good and dear to the heart were saved. The faith in the common man is surprising and a typical of Dostoevsky.
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