Crime & Punishment vs. Native Son (Compare and Contrast)

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Crime & Punishment vs. Native Son The books Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Native Son by Richard Wright are novels that are comparable and contrastable in many ways. Crime & Punishment explores the psychology of a “superior” murderer named Raskolnikov, while Native Son explores the psychology of a young black murderer named Bigger who is considered inferior by society. In Crime & Punishment, Raskolnikov planned his crime, whereas in Native Son, Bigger unexpectedly killed out of fear. Finally, the authors of the two novels portray two very distinct themes, which also added to the dissimilarity between the two novels. Although these novels may seem distinctly polar from each other, there are in fact many similarities between them. For example, the setting and the environment in each book significantly affect the main characters. Also, both of the main characters have love interests in which they confide their crimes, the main characters in both novels are suspected by a private investigator, the main characters let others take on the blame for their crime, and finally, both of the main characters understand life at the conclusion of both novels. The first major distinction between Crime & Punishment and Native Son was the mentality and psychology of the main characters. In Crime & Punishment, Raskolnikov’s mentality on why he killed the pawnbroker was shown through a periodical in which one of his essays was published. In the periodical, Raskolnikov argues that “the extraordinary…have the right to commit all kinds of crimes and transgress the laws in all kinds of ways” (Dostoyevsky 249). Raskolnikov murdered the pawnbroker because he was extraordinary, and he needed her money to carry out his plans to better the slum called St. Petersburg. Contrastingly, in Native Son, Bigger Thomas murders Mary Dalton out of fear. His mentality shows that he

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