Check out my Crime and Punishment book summary and review that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book. Crime and Punishment is a novel written by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. First published in a magazine called The Russian Messenger , it appeared in a twelve-month issue in 1866 and was later published as a book. 

Crime and Punishment

Along withLev Tolstoy 's War and Peace , the novel is considered one of Russia's best-known and most influentialnovels . Crime and Punishment focuses on Raskolnikov , a penniless student who devises a plan to kill and rob a hated pawnbroker in order to solve his financial problems and at the same time rid the world of her wickedness. 

Somewhat symptomatic of megalomania , Raskolnikov considers himself a particularly clever man, similar to Napoleon . As an extraordinary person, he feels justified in his decision to kill, because he exists outside the moral limits that affect "ordinary" people . self, encouraging). 

However, immediately after his crime, Raskolnikov falls ill and is disturbed by the memory of his actions. Crime and Punishment depicts Raskolnikov's growing awareness of his crime and his growing desire to confess. Moreover, Raskolnikov's attempts to protect his sister, Dunja, from unsuspecting suitors, as well as his unexpected love for a moneyless prostitute , show that Raskolnikov longs for salvation.

Crime and Punishment Book Summary :

The novel depicts the murder of a miserly old pawnbroker and her younger sister by a penniless student in St. Petersburg named Raskolnikov, and the emotional, mental, and physical results that follow.

After falling ill with a fever and lying in bed for days, Raskolnikov is overcome by paranoia and begins to imagine that everyone he meets suspects him of murder; the knowledge of the murder sometimes drives him mad. But, in the meantime, he falls in love with a prostitute. Dostoevsky uses this connection as an allegory of God's love for fallen humanity - and for the saving power of that love - but only after Raskolnikov confesses to the murder and is sent to prison in Siberia .

In addition to Raskolnikov's fate, the novel, with its long and varied set of characters, deals with topics including charity , family life , atheism , alcoholism , and revolutionary activity , with high criticism by Dostoevsky of Russian society in his day. Although Dostoevsky rejected socialism , the novel is also likely to criticize capitalism , which was penetrating the Russian Empire at the time .

Raskolnikov believed that he was a "superman" and that he could justly commit an act considered by society to be hateful - the killing of a pawnbroker - if that would lead to him doing more good. Scattered throughout the novel are examples. He repeatedly mentions Napoleon , thinking that with the much blood he shed, he had done good. Raskolnikov believed that he could cross that moral line by killing the pawnbroker, taking her money, and using it to do good. 

He argued that if Isaac Newton or Johannes Keplerhad to kill one or even a hundred people to enlighten humanity, the result would justify the action. So the death of the pawnbroker's sister brought him into moral existential confusion. He never regrets the death of the pawnbroker herself in the novel.

The real punishment for Raskolnikov is not the forced labor camp, but the torture he suffers throughout the novel. This torment manifests itself in the aforementioned paranoia, in addition to his gradual realization that he is not "superhuman" because he fails to endure what he has done. His confession to the prostitute, yielding to the police, is a way to stop his suffering.

Read More: The Heart of Darkness book summary and review

Crime and Punishment Book Review:

Raskolnikov's behavior throughout the novel can also be found in other works by Dostoevsky, such as Letters from the Underground and The Karamazov Brothers (his behavior is most similar to that of Ivan Karamazov from The Karamazov Brothers).). He causes himself suffering by killing the pawnbroker, and by living so poor in spite of his ability to do a good job. 

Razumikhin is in the same situation as Raskolnikov and lived much better, and when Razumikhin offered to find him a job, Raskolknikov refused; he informed the police that he was the killer, even though the police had no evidence of this. 

He constantly tries to reach and defy the limits of what he can and cannot do (throughout the book he always measures his own fear, mentally trying to argue it away), and he often interprets his immorality (alluding to his irrationality and paranoia ) justifiably as a transcendent consciousness and a rejection of rationality and logic.

This is a common theme in existentialism ; It is quite interesting that Friedrich Nietzsche , in Twilight of the Idols , praised Dostoevsky's works in spite of the theism in it: Dostoevsky, the only psychologist , from whom I had anything to learn; he was one of the happiest of my life, even more so than my discovery of Stendhal ... Walter Kaufmann considered Dostoevsky's works the inspiration for Franz Kafka 's The Metamorphosis. 

Dostoevsky also uses Sophia to show how only faith in God can cure human depravity, which is where Dostoevsky differs from many other existentialists. Although this particular philosophy is unique to Dostoevsky, due to its emphasis on Christianity and existentialism (whether Dostoevsky was a true existentialist is debated), similar themes can be seen in the works of Jean-Paul Sartre , Albert Camus , Hermann Hesse and Franz Kafka.

The novel alludes to New Testament stories , including the story of Lazarus , whose death and resurrection parallel Raskolnikov's spiritual death and rebirth; and the book of Revelation , reflected in a dream Raskolnikov experiences of a nihilistic plague that is becoming a world-wide epidemic.

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