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Essay/Term paper: Suffering in crime and punishment

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Dostoyevsky

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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


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. 

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