Crime & Punishment Essay
May 23, 2012 Dostoyevsky in his novel, Crime and Punishment, introduces the reader to the main character, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. Throughout the entire novel, Rodion suffers; he suffers mentally, physically, and emotionally. Often, he is the very reason why he suffers.
Rodion believes that mankind is naturally separated into extraordinary and ordinary men. It is soon revealed that he has an inner struggle with this theory of his and fears that it may not apply to him. Rodion’s flawed philosophy leads him to his own suffering. His philosophy leads straight to his isolation. His isolation is the cause of his deteriorated mental and physical state. The effects of his mental state cause his own suffering.
Extraordinary men have the right to commit crimes because the law was not written for them. As long as the execution of this man’s idea demands going around obstacles of the law he is permitted by his inner right. The genuinely great men are criminals by nature. They have to go around the law to create a new and better law for which the ordinary men will later praise them.
The extraordinary men have a moral responsibility not to consent to remain in the “common ruck” (250). If they have these amazing ideas they are bound to letting them be known and not letting something as insignificant as the law stand in their way. Raskolnikov believes that he is an extraordinary man so he uses the natural right that he believes he has. He uses this right to kill the pawnbroker. He sees himself in a way that allows him to murder for the sake of revolutionizing the world. While spending all his time convincing himself that he belongs in this category of men, he has no opportunity to communicate with or be apart of the outside world.
Raskolnikov believes that he is better than those around him which is the first cause of his isolation. Raskolnikov stays so isolated because of his mental state; he feels immense guilt after committing the murders. When first coming across this character it is clear that something is wrong. When reading that "...he had been tense and irritable, in a state resembling acute depression" it validates any suspicion one might have as to the kind of mindset that he has (1).
Another way to describe this kind of mindset would be unstable. The depressionlike state that he is experiencing has much to do with the struggle going on inside of himself. He is wavering between confidence in his plan to murder the old hag and doubt as to whether he can really do it.
In the beginning of the novel Raskolnikov shows his fixation on this "project." He has been fixated on this for months and it seems to be all that he thinks about. He alienates all other people and only spends his time talking to himself. Even though Raskolnikov has spent countless hours planning the perfect crime, he does not plan on the negative mental and physical reactions.
Raskolnikov’s thoughts have not ever seemed normal but after the murder when he says things like “green faces” it is odd even for him. Based on knowing his thoughts and what he actually