Suffering in Crime and Punishment


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, that is. 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 feels 
bad at not being able to living 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 takes 
Siberia as his punishment, because of how annoying it is to go through 
all these formalities, and ridicularities that it entails. Yet, he 
actually feels more comfortable in Siberia than in his home in St. 
Petersburg. It's more comfortable, and has better living conditions 
than his own home. But he isn't free to do whatever he likes. But this 
does not contradict what I've said before. 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. Even Raskolnikov 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 from the effect of the murder.

 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. In fact, 
Raskolnikov fell immediately sick after committing the murder. How 
could he 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 the dramatic effect of the murders on 
Raskolnikov's conscience for 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 analization.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 the beliefs of the at error majority should not overbear 
the beliefs of the correct minority. Acceptance of a theory without 
analysis of it is ignorance.

Quotes: Search by Author