Crime and Punishment Essay

357 WordsJun 6, 20122 Pages
Crime and Punishment Thesis Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is a story about a very troubled man, Raskolnikov. Dostoevsky shows Raskolnikov to be a man of questionable psychological and ethical integrity as he explores Raskolnikov’s mind. Dostoevsky uses Raskolnikov and his ideas to paint an intriguing picture on the nature of morality. The pivotal point of the book is when Raskolnikov murders an old pawnbroker. Raskolnikov isolates himself from society, for he thinks of others as inferior and comes up with his personal philosophy. Raskolnikov believes himself to be extraordinary and therefore above the moral values that govern humanity. His mindset of superiority alienates him from the rest of society. And in order to establish the truth of his superiority, he plots and executes the murder of the pawnbroker. He justifies it based on his idea: there are certain extraordinary people who have the potential to do great things for mankind and who are justified in committing vicious acts to further their cause. He is able to coldly rationalize throughout committing the murder and the following aftermath of the murder as well. However, Raskolnikov’s inability to suppress his feelings of guilt over the murder proves his ‘superman’ theory as false. Even though the feelings of tormenting guilt rise, he resists admitting to being mediocre and tries to maintain that the murders were justified. Raskolnikov’s superior mindset gives him the superman theory and when he test it he is struck with a dilemma, he finds out that his hypothesis was false. Raskolnikov’s pride and sense of superiority separates himself mentally from the rest of society. His theory that extraordinary beings like he can be justified from atrocious acts are put to actual practice to validate his hypothesis. Overhearing a random conversation in a tavern between a student and an officer, Raskolnikov

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