The Two Personalities Of Raskolnikov In Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment

582 words - 2 pages

The Two Personalities of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment

Raskolnikov, the main character of the novel Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky, actually possesses two completely contradicting personalities. One part of him is intellectual: cold, unfeeling, inhumane, and exhibiting tremendous self-will. It is this side of him 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 side of him  does charitable acts and fights 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 whoever may find her. Raskolnikov tries to protect her from the evil of the street, but then stops himself when he is repulsed 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? ***IF THIS IS A QUOTE, IT SHOULD BE PLACED IN QUOTATION MARKS*** At one time, Raskolnikov is both caring and concerned, yet he is able to push aside the whole affair by being utterly indifferent.

    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 that serves as his punishment. One side of him is able to commit the murders, so the other must bear the punishment. He is tortured by the cruelty in mankind, and yet he himself is able to repeat it.

    Ralkolnokove justifies his crime through a...

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