Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky In the novel "Crime and Punishment", by Fyodor Dostoevsky, suffering is an integral part of every character's role. However, the message that Dostoevsky wants to present with the main character, Raskolnikov, is not one of the Christian idea of salvation through suffering. Rather, it appears to me, as if the author never lets his main character suffer mentally throughout the novel, in relation to the crime. His only pain seems to be physical sicknes. Raskolnikov commits a premeditated murder in a state of delirium. He ends up committing a second murder, which he never ever wanted to be responsible for. He kills Lizaveta, an exceedingly innocent person. But does the author ever remind us of the murder at any time in the novel again? Not in the physical sense of the crime itself. The reader doesn't hear about how heavily the murders are weighing on his heart, or how he is tormented by visions of the crime. He doesn't feel the least bit guilty about having committed the crime, only his pride's hurt. He doesn't mention the idea of the pain that might arise from recurrent visions of the crime. Raskolnikov never again recalls the massive amounts of blood everywhere, the look on Lizaveta's face when he brings down the axe on her head. These things clearly show that the crime isn't what might cause him suffering, or pain, it is something else. After Raskolnikov is sent off to Siberia, he doesn't feel remorseful. His feelings haven't changed about his crime. He only feels bad at not being able to live up to his own ideas of greatness. He grows depressed only when he learns of his mother's death. Raskolnikov still hasn't found any reason to feel remorse for his crimes. He doesn't even mind his restricted life in Siberia because it's more comfortable than his home in St. Petersburg. He doesn't view Siberia as suffering, but he does view it as punishment, because he would rather not have to go through seven years in his prison cell. His theory of the extraordinary, and the ordinary is something he has to follow and adhere to . His necessity to suffer is a part of his necessity to fulfill his unknown criteria to be extraordinary. His suffering, if any, is purely superficial. The idea of suffering has to be heartfelt and well-specified. Raskolnikov's suffering is never spoken about, mainly because there is none. He even views his turning himself in as a blunder, because he couldn't take the heat. It is obvious that Raskolnikov never seems to be in a pit of despair from all the suffering he has to face. One might argue that Raskolnikov's illnesses arise from his guilt and remorse for the crimes, but that doesn't appear possible since the character never cites the murder for his sickness. Even though Raskolnikov fell sick immediately after committing the murder, it most likely was not the cause. How could he be struck by guilt five seconds after committing the murder when he hasn't even had a chance to see what events have just occurred? There is not a single instance when Raskolnikov, or the author for that matter, ever cite that the dramatic effect of the murders on Raskolnikov's conscience is the cause of his terrible illness. NOTHING in the novel would even imply that he feels remorse about committing the murders. It is just a silly idea that has been implanted in people's minds and the seed has spread too rapidly, without analyzing it. It is incredibly obvious that all the so-called pain and suffering that Raskolnikov feels is untrue, silly, and backed by no support. It would be incredulously moronic to attempt to view it from another point of understanding. People are entitled to their own opinions but one and one should not be influenced by the beliefs of the majority. Acceptance of a theory without analysis is not scientific.