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Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment

The main character of the novel Crime and Punishment by Feodor
Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov, is in reality two totally contradicting

personalities. One part of him is the the intellectual. He is cold,

unfeeling and inhumane. He exibits tremendous self-will. It is this

side that enables him to commit the most terrible crime imaginable -

taking another human life. The other part of his personality is warm

and compassionate. This is the side of him that does charitable acts

and fights out against the evil in his society.

The confusion in Raskolnikov s soul is best seen when he tries to

help a girl in the street who has been raped and left to the whims of

anyone who finds her. Raskolnikov tries to protect her from the evil

of the street, gut then stops himself when he is revulsed by the

wickedness of his society. Why did I take it upon myself to interfere?

Was it for me to try to help? Let them eat one another alive - what is

it to me? At one time Raskolnikov is both caring and concerned and yet

he is able to push aside the whole affair by being totally


This is how Raskolnikov is able to commit his crime. His

intellectual side ignores his conscience and is able to commit the

crime in a rational and orderly way. It is his dual character thta

serves as his punishment. ...

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