Crime and Punishment
When you think of the word superman, what comes to mind? Is it a hero with a cape and superpowers? Well according to Raskolnikov his idea of a superman does not include a cape and is not very heroic. Raskolnikov came up with a theory that there are ordinary people and there are extraordinary people. In the novel Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov believes that he is not an ordinary person, but a superman. Throughout Crime and Punishment this theory of a superior man is put to the test with Raskolnikov believing that he is a superman, but eventually being proven wrong.
Raskolnikov’s theory of an extraordinary man is defined into two types of people: ordinary and extraordinary. He believes ordinary people, on one hand, just take up most of the population, meaning they are inferior. The extraordinary people on the other hand, like himself, are superior humans who have the right to break the law under certain circumstances in order to benefit humanity:
The only difference is that I don't contend that extraordinary people are always bound to commit breaches of morals, as you call it. In fact, I doubt whether such an argument could be published. I simply hinted that an ‘extraordinary’ man has the right…that is not an official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience to overstep…certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for the practical fulfillment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit to the whole of humanity). (260)
He also believes that an extraordinary man has the right to commit murder if the act will result in benefits to the less fortunate. The idea of a superior man came into the mind of Raskolnikov when making a living was impossible without violating the law. The alternative was either a person dies because he wants his reputation to remain flawless, or he breaks the law. He wrote an article about his theory and sent it to the Periodical Review; his article was called “On Crime”. In...