crime and punishment Essay

964 WordsMar 4, 20094 Pages
In order to stimulate turning points in Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky uses coincidence and irony to create opportunities for Raskolnikov to make decisions. In the beginning coincidence, fate, and chance encounters are tools used to provide Raskolnikov with opportunities to make choices that will define him throughout the book, while irony is used later in order to display the repercussions of his decisions. Raskolnikov is able to complete his murder without being seen due to a series of coincidental events. As a result of his actions he makes other people suffer. He is then consumed by the ramifications of his action and surrounded by suffering people trying to assuage his illness consequently creating an ironic atmosphere. Many coincidences occur in order to allow Raskolnikov and other character to evolve. This is demonstrated when Raskolnikov couldn’t get the ax from the kitchen but was able to steal and return the janitor’s ax. The fact that Raskolnikov’s success relied on coincidence establishes that he isn’t the “extraordinary man” he thought he was. His late realization of this fact causes him to confess. While fleeing after committing his purge, he dropped a pair of earrings. This evidence allows the detectives to have a scapegoat and gives Raskolnikov more time to suffer and consequently confess as a result of not being an “extraordinary” man. His idea of “ordinary” and “extraordinary” men, as explained in his essay On Crime, conveniently explains his motives for the murder. After writing the essay he was coincidently provided an opportunity to apply his Napoleonic ideology. If he hadn’t committed this murder he wouldn’t have realized the flaw in his theory or the weakness in himself. Other coincidences allow insight into the true motives of characters. Because Luzhin, by chance, lives in the same building as Katherine Ivanovna, he has the opportunity

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