Svidrigalov vs. Raskolnikov
Throughout most of the novel, Crime and Punishment the characters Svidrigalov and Raskolnikov show a constant parallelism in their actions, but show diverseness between their physiological minds. Before diving into the inner unconscious of these two characters’ minds, let’s analyze their common actions.
The biggest commonness in their actions is that they both commit murder. Svidrigalov kills his wealthy wife, while Raskolnikov kills the pawnbroker and her sister, Alyona and Lizaveta Ivanovna. The second alikeness between the two of them is that they both intend to use the money they gained from the murders and present it to the greater good. For example, Svidrigalov gave most of the money from the inheritance of his dead wife to Sonya and the Marmeadov orphans, Dunya, and the family of his fifteen year old fiancé. Though Raskolnikov did not use any of the money he stole, his intent was to give all of the money he gained from killing the pawnbroker and spread it to the lower class that lost their possessions to her. They both know how in common they really are, that they both committed murder, however neither one truly confronts it until after Svidrigailov overhears Raskolnikov actually admitting to committing his murders. “Really? Well didn’t I tell you we had a certain something in common, ah? (Dostoevesky 282-283)”
Now looking at the differences between the physiological minds of Raskolnikov and Svidrigalov we can interpret they are exact opposites of each other. Svidrogailov acts on impulse. He unconsciously has no sense of right or wrong, he only does good and bad based on what he has learned from the people around him. This is why he has the ability to “play it cool” throughout the novel against all the superstations of him murdering his wife. This is also the reason why he got away with murder in the first place.
If we look at Raskolnikov and his subconscious mind we can see that he is the reverse. Rasolnikov feels...