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Book Review Crime And Punishment

  • Submitted by: emjei123
  • on October 2, 2011
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 700 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Book Review Crime And Punishment" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Raskolnikov's "hypochondria" is talked about in half a dozen or so places in the novel. Thanks to the world of pop psychology, we think of hypochondriacs as people who constantly think they are sick and dying, even when they're perfectly healthy. Raskolnikov seems to be actually sick when he's sick, so it's confusing that everybody says he's a hypochondriac.

That's because the pop psychology use of the word wasn't around in Dostoevsky's time. See, the Hypochondriumare regions of the abdomen. People used to believe that gloominess and melancholy in humans came from problems in those regions – so a real "hypochondriac" is just an extremely gloomy, even morbid person.

This was considered a physical, medical condition capable of causing someone who had it to commit acts they might normally not commit. So, this goes to the "temporary insanity" defense that keeps Raskolnikov from getting a heavier sentence. Not that he would ever use that excuse. It's just what everybody else says.

In any case, the Epilogue suggests that Raskolnikov gets "cured" of his hypochondria after his long stay in the prison hospital. That's why he's finally able to feel love for Sonia.

Good Citizen and Avenger of Justice

Let's look at Raskolnikov's "good deeds." He might be a bit of a bungler, but he tries to help people. He's completely devoted to the Marmeladov family and tries to help them any way he can. He helps Razumihin stop drinking and helps him get together with Dounia. He properly judges the characters of Svidrigaïlov and Luzhin and (sort of) assists in thwarting their dastardly plans. He (sort of) helps that abused drunk girl in the park. And, as we learn in the epilogue, when he was a student he gave away most of his money to another student who was in a bad way, and "rescued two little children from a house on fire and was burnt in doing so" (Epilogue.1.4)....

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