Crime and Consequence

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Fyodor Dostoevskys novel Offense and Treatment is one of the the majority of memorable and substantial fictional works of all time. It relates to the mental, emotional, mental, and physical struggles of several citizens of nineteenth-century St . Petersburg. Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, about whom the novel is definitely centered, commits a atrocious double ax murder in order to justify a theory he has hypothesized, but he later understands how wrong his activities were and must confess and seek out redemption pertaining to his transgressions. Certain individuals are also placed into his life-people who happen to be wrestling based on a problems, yet all talk about a need to become extricated from other lives of sin. Properly chosen symbols interwoven through the entire novel echo and magnify the bad thing and requirement of redemption in the lives of Raskolnikov great acquaintances. Dostoevskys masterful and generous use of symbolism-most especially with the color yellow, water, and insects-emphasizes the topics of Crime and Consequence and the problems of it is characters.

Quite a few references are created to the color yellowish, a shade which is a symbol of the moral, physical, and mental corrosion of those in its presence. It can be introduced quite early in the work, exactly where it is observed that the yellow dusty wall-paper peeling off the walls gave it a wretchedly shabby appearance (Dostoevsky 23). This kind of setting makes a tone which matches Raskolnikovs mood that morning-bilious, peevish, and irritable (23). In addition, it hints at the decay that Raskolnikov has already been experiencing. His landladys stalwart, Nastasya, paperwork this once she delivers him some tea and after that exclaims that he will spend away if perhaps he will not drink that (23). She actually is, of course , just addressing a physical type of decay (at least consciously), nevertheless , Raskolnikovs deterioration is of a wider scope. That begins even before he makes a decision to devote the homicide of Alyona Ivanovna, the disagreeable pawnbroker, and her sister Lizaveta. The tough itself, however , causes him to fall under a delirium that intensifies his corrosion, exhibited by his failure to maintain composure when summoned to the authorities station (on the totally unrelated demand that this individual owes back again rent). His tension develops throughout his stay in the authorities office, and he finally faints. If he comes to, somebody offers him a dirty stemless glass filled with yellow water (Dostoevsky 89). The presence of the color yellow-colored, again, indicates the presence of decay, and Raskolnikovs fainting episode shows that he is beginning to drop his proper grip on state of mind.

However , Raskolnikov is not the only personality suffering from corrosion. Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, a friend whom Raskolnikov met in a bar, problems with an alcohol dependency. He tells Raskolnikov that he beverages in order to increase his sufferings (12), which usually he, like many other Russians of his day, feels will business lead him to salvation. His lack of understanding in just how true salvation is found displays moral rot. Later, once Marmeladov is placed dying after being by accident run over with a horse and carriage, a yellow bruise-left by the horse hoof crushing him, forms over his heart. Below again is a blatant indication of his moral and spiritual decay. In addition , Marmeladovs daughter Sonya suffers from the effects of her dads spiritual decay. His drinking habit leaves his relatives destitute, as well as the only way Sonya provides for her consumptive stepmother and three youthful stepsiblings is through prostitution. In that time, all prostitutes were required to register with the state and carried a yellow greeting card as a form of identification. Sonyas yellow credit card represents her physical destruction. Decay also touches Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigaylov, an acquaintance of Raskolnikovs who also engages in a lifestyle of naughtiness and self-indulgence. When he inspections into a hotel-the night before he commits committing suicide, unable to bear the reality of his hopeless life virtually any longer-he notices that the wall-paper was filthy and fadedalthough its unique color (yellow) could still be guessed at, it was quite impossible to create out it is pattern (Dostoevsky 426). The yellow picture surrounding Svidrigaylov mirrors his spiritual fatality and indeed the physical death that will soon surround him. Dostoevsky also contains numerous additional, more delicate appearances with the color yellowish, which demonstrate decay inside the lives of more minimal characters. Philip Petrovich Luzhin, for example , is attempting to get married to Raskolnikovs young sister-simply as they knows that she is going to be grateful to him for posting his funds with her and her destitute as well as will as a result serve him hand and foot. Throughout the funeral dinner that Marmeladovs wife throw in her husbands honor, Sonya notices that Luzhin is wearing a thicker, heavy, and very beautiful rare metal ring using a yellow natural stone on the midsection finger of these [left] side (315). The truth that this sign of fatality and decay pervades the novel demonstrates nearly every character is captured in some destructive vice.

The characters in Crime and Punishment whom refuse redemption also shy away from its symbol, water, however , those who wish to be redeemed happen to be fascinated by it.

Water holds the terror of death for the dodgy Svidrigaylov, who have confirms his depravity by thinking, Under no circumstances in my life could I stand normal water, not even over a landscape painting. Water, instead of being an tool of life, becomes to get him a hateful, avenging menace during the last hours of his lifestyle (Gibian 529).

Svidrigaylovs aversion to water is definitely severe and truly extreme, and in truth he feels cold with the mere considered the riv Neva (Gibian 529). It truly is thus incredibly ironic that he selects a cold, raining evening while the night in which he will have his your life. As he walks, looking for a suited place to blast himself (and indeed strolling toward the little Neva), a thick milky mist protects the city (Dostoevsky 432). Intended for Svidrigaylov, drinking water is rather than being a positive forcethe suitable setting intended for the taking of his own life (Gibian 530).

Raskolnikov, as opposed, seemed to be drawn to water==as he was later attracted to confession and redemption. Could the killing, he has a daydream by which he is in an oasis in Egypt, water from a stream which in turn flowed babbling beside him, clear and cool, jogging marvelously bright and blue over the coloured stones (Dostoevsky 58). This shows that Raskolnikov is feeling the need for payoff even before he commits the transgression (also hinted simply by his vehement renunciation of his strategies after a dream in which a well used mare was brutally defeated and killed). After the tough, Raskolnikov is tormented having a dream through which Ilya Petrovich (the mind police clerk) is beating his landlady. This fantasy symbolizes his fear of being caught-and right after he awakens, he requests Nastasya for any drink. Your woman returns using a white earthenware mug packed with water (99). The presence of drinking water immediately after his premonition penalized caught signifies his anxious need to concede before he’s found. Raskolnikov later contemplates suicide simply by drowning after watching a woman attempt to drown herself in the river Neva, however , he then decides that its disgustingwaterno good (145). The fact that he spurns the water right now reveals that he also spurns the thought of confession and redemption at this point. The fight is certainly not lost with Raskolnikov, even so (Gibian 530). In the last scene from the novel, Raskolnikov is doing work at the riverbank where they will calcined gypsum (Dostoevsky 462), and he gazes throughout the river on the nomads, desiring their freedom. In this instance normal water symbolizes liberation-and when Sonya later appointments him, his heart keeps endless springs of your life for her (463). Water is actually an unabashedly positive mark for Raskolnikov, because he provides sought and received redemption.

The insolvent flats by which many of St Petersburgs occupants live tend to be infested with trapped lures, spiders, and other insects-and Dostoevsky uses these kinds of insects as tiny emblems of the ethical and spiritual traps in which Raskolnikov and others include fallen. During his third dream, Raskolnikov attempts to beat Alyona, however , rather than dying, she simply expands smaller and smaller, even while laughing at him. In the mean time, a fly is humming plaintively in the window (235). The confined fly is reflecting Raskolnikov, who may be trapped in numerous ways. He is ensnared in his Extraordinary Gentleman theory (which stipulates that some incredible men will be born with the right to overstep legal limitations if it is intended for the general very good of mankind) which has failed abysmally-represented simply by his inability to kill Alyona-and likewise by his terror in being trapped. Svidrigaylov is another character whose perverse actions have captured him-so much that he envisions the afterlife while only one very little room, something similar to a bath-house in the countrywith spiders atlanta divorce attorneys corner, and that is the whole of eternity (245). He recognizes no way to produce himself other than by suicide-and the morning that he kills himself, this individual wakes up to determine newly woke up flies grouped on the unmarked veal (431), an obvious meaning to his own feelings of entrapment. Raskolnikov later on compares him self to a index as well, saying that he lurked in the spot like a index (352) and that like a spider, [I] spent the rest of my life capturing everybody inside my web and sucking the life-blood out of them (Dostoevsky 354). This kind of comparison can be ironic, since Svidrigaylov has recently described his spidery perpetuity (Matlaw 608). Raskolnikovs utilization of the index image, then simply, indicates again, and justifies Svidrigaylovs state, that there is something in common among us’ (608). Indeed, the two characters feel trapped inside their sinful lives of moral decay. The difference between them, of course , is definitely how they try to extricate themselves-Raskolnikov chooses to confess his sin, and Svidrigaylov chooses to end his life. Throughout the images of spiders and flies, Dostoevsky links those two characters together and reveals how they include both been trapped by choices they may have made.

The countless objects employed as icons in Criminal offenses and Treatment lead visitors to a greater understanding of both growth of the characters as well as the themes offered throughout the function. [Dostoevskys] deft use of symbolism gives his novel added power and effectiveness (Gibian 543), as it unites numerous characters and links them with the styles of moral rot, suffering, entrapment in types sins, and redemption through confession. These symbols will be most important in this they hook up Raskolnikov to characters that mirror regions of his character and parts of his psychological struggles. These images and connections strengthen the many heroes and themes in the minds of viewers, making Criminal offenses and Abuse among the most stimulating and unforgettable works of literature today.


Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Nortons Critical Copy. Ed. George Gibian. New York: W. T. Norton, 1989.

Gibian, George. Classic Symbolism in Crime and Punishment. Criminal offenses and Consequence. Nortons Critical Edition. Male impotence. George Gibian. New York: T. W. Norton Company, 1989, 526-543.

Matlaw, Rob E.. Repeated Imagery in Crime and Punishment. Crime and Consequence. Nortons Crucial Edition. Ed. George Gibian. New York: T. W. Norton Company, 1989, 606-609.

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