Crime And Punishment Essay

508 WordsDec 2, 20083 Pages
In Crime and Punishment, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is painted to be both an immoral and moral person throughout the book and the moral ambiguity seen in his character is a crucial element in proving the idea that human beings are a complex mix of good and evil, which is one of the novel’s main themes. Raskolnikov’s more “evil” side is obvious all through Crime and Punishment. Firstly, the murder itself is a clear representation of his immorality. Someone who is considered a “good” person by society would never commit such a heinous crime. Furthermore, his reasons and justifications for murdering the pawn broker lead the reader to believe rather strongly that Raskolnikov is indeed a “bad” person. He had no true reason to kill Alyona Ivanovna except to see whether or not he had the guts to do it. However, he tried to justify his crime with the idea that “it wasn’t a human being [he] killed. It was a principle!” (p.274) Moreover, his Napoleonic mindset led him to believe that he was superior to both people like Alyona, whom he considered a hindrance to society, and to the average person. Therefore, according to his logic, he had the right to do as he pleased. This furthers the reader’s opinion of Raskolnikov as an immoral person. However, there are also reasons throughout the novel, especially towards the end, for the audience to view Raskolnikov as a moral man who may have committed some sins, but deserves forgiveness for he is truly a good person at heart. First and foremost of these reasons is Raskolnikov clearly shows remorse for his actions. His confession and frequent fainting spells are emissions of guilt and guilt is only felt by those who know what they did was wrong, and if someone knows that the sin they committed was immoral, they must have morals to begin with. Moreover, in Christianity, the cross represents Christ’s death as propitiation

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