Comparison of Major Characters in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT AND THE STRANGER

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Crime And Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky and The Stranger by Albert Camus are novels from different time periods with asimilar context and influence, but the authors are contemplating, as almost all literature does, the same unanswerable questions both presented by, and a result of, the human condition. Death, and its relevance to life are important themes in these two indispensable works of literature . Significant characters in both works are affected by the death of those around them. The use of guns in the two literary works is significant to how the authors see death; as potentially avoidable or inevitable. This detail is a good basis for a comparison of the works’ treatment of death and its significance. Guns are given different roles. In Crime and Punishment guns are inanimate and are not personified as they are in The Stranger. In Crime and Punishment, a gun is central to a scene in Part VI Chapter V. Svidrigaylov, a rich, middle aged man and Dunya, Raskolnikov’s sister engage in a battle of words and minds. Dunya is presented as Svid’s prey but in reality she has as firm control of him emotionally as he does socially as a result of his knowledge of Raskolinov’s crime. Svid is in love with Dunya and either refuses or is unable to come to terms with the idea that she will not come to love him if they are married. Svid recognizes Dunya’s hatred of him when she attempts to shoot him during this scene. Svid probably killed his wife in order to move to St. Petersburg in an attempt to be with her. It is only after Dunya attempts to kill him that he understands that a life with Dunya is impossible, saying with a surprised tone, “So you do not love me.” She conveys this through her use of a gun. But if Dunya had killed him, it is clear that she would have blamed herself, and not the gun as Mersault did after he shot the Arab. This is

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