Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

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Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov Character Analysis

The novel’s protagonist, Raskolnikov murders Lizaveta and the old woman and spends the rest of the book coming to terms with his crime and with the touches of madness that follow. It is never clear exactly why Raskolnikov has committed this crime—he does not even keep the things he has stolen from the old woman—but he has earlier developed a theory of criminality that distinguishes between “ordinary” and “extraordinary” individuals. Specifically, the latter are permitted to “overstep” some of society’s rules in order to create new laws. Raskolnikov is also the character at the center of the novel’s many relationships: his friend Razumikhin, sister Dunya, and mother Pulcheria, all try to support him; and Porfiry the investigator and Svidrigailov the libertine oppose him.

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov Quotes in Crime and Punishment

The Crime and Punishment quotes below are all either spoken by Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov or refer to Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Criminality, Morality, and Guilt Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Crime and Punishment published in 1993.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

Details, details above all! . . . It’s these details that ruin everything always . . .

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

As the novel begins, Raskolnikov, a student who no longer goes to school or attends classes, is having what would now be described as a "mental breakdown." He has trouble accounting for the "details" of his life: the state of his clothing, his personal hygiene, or the cleanliness of his tiny apartment, which is no bigger than a closet. Raksolnikov does not even seem interested in addressing what he understands, dimly, to be the problems in his life. Instead, he can think only of a vague plan to "do something," to make a break with his current life. But this plan necessarily involves other kinds of details and plans.

Thus Crime and Punishment begins "in medias res," with a character who is beginning his mental collapse but who has already been "collapsed," or nearly so, for some time. This means that the novel mostly tracks the bottom of Raskolnikov's slide, and the people he encounters during this period of total dismay and madness. 

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Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

This marriage will not take place as long as I live, and to the devil with Mr. Luzhin!

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker), Avdotya (Dunya) Romanovna Raskolnikov, Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Raskolnikov makes plain his deep opposition to Dunya's potential marriage to Luzhin. Although Luzhin can provide material security for the family, Raskolnikov believes this security comes at too high a price. He states openly that he feels Dunya would have to give up too much of her independence to a man Raskolnikov feels he barely knows. 

But there are perhaps deeper reasons for Raskolnikov's opposition to Luzhin's marriage to Dunya. For Luzhin is, despite everything, a man "of action," a man "in the world." And Rasknolnikov is barely holding on to his tenuous life as a student, and his squalid top-floor apartment. Indeed, Raskolnikov is barely maintaining his grasp on reality itself. Thus he resents Luzhin for wishing to marry into the family, in part because he worries that Dunya will have to give up too much of her freedom, and in part because he feels implicitly that he should be the man providing for his mother and sister in their time of need. 

Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

God . . . but can it be, can it be that I will really take an axe and hit her on the head and smash her skull . . . ?

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker), Alyona Ivanovna (the pawnbroker)
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

This is an important moment of reconsideration in the novel. Raskolnikov initially vows that he will murder and rob his neighbor because he fears for his own financial circumstances, and those of his family. But he also wishes to kill his neighbor because of a desire that is far more difficult to characterize - one that will be, in effect, the deepest mystery and motivating power of the novel. For Raskolnikov kills his neighbors mostly out of a desire to "do something," to "act" in the world, to impose his will upon it and make himself feel that the world is not merely something to which he must bend himself. 

Thus the murders are committed as much for Raskolnikov's sense of self as they are for his material circumstances. After all, material circumstances barely matter to the protagonist - he certainly does not want to become rich by stealing. Instead, he wants a change, he wants to feel empowered and "real" - to feel that he is not just sleepwalking through life. The murders, as horrific as they are, provide this opportunity for him.

Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

If he had ever once managed to analyze and finally decide everything down to the last detail . . . at that point he would most likely have renounced it all as absurd, monstrous, and impossible.

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage is another instance of the relationship between "planning" and "doing," or dreaming of committing an act and actually committing it. The narrator goes to great lengths to describe what's going on in Raskolnikov's mind as he plans his attack. For planning is not exactly the word - he works out some of the details in advance, but others he does not figure on until the act is committed. This, in part, because murder is, for Raskolnikov, itself something more or less inconceivable. 

Thus the narrator argues that Rasknolnikov proceeds in something like a "cloud," knowing only what he'll do next as he's doing it, or about to do it. This has the added benefit of keeping Raskolnikov from worrying too much about the consequences of his intended act, since that act is planned and then more or less immediately followed up by doing. This is an intermediate ground between free will and chance, between premeditated criminality and madness, for Raskolnikov decides to act but leaves a certain amount of the planning and detail constantly "up in the air." 

Part 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

But a sort of absentmindedness, even something like reverie, began gradually to take possession of him: as if he forgot himself at moments . . . and clung to trifles.

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator now goes through the difficulties of actually "committing a crime" according to the plan one sets for oneself. For a crime, like any human event, has ripples far beyond the ability of the human mind to track them. This, despite the suppleness of that mind, or the single-minded drive of the person doing the act.

Thus Raskolnikov finds himself unable to keep track of what he has done, or where he is going. His ability to know where evidence might crop up is, in an instant, demolished - he has trouble focusing for long periods of time on anything at all. And he finds himself utterly paranoid - caught up in desperate anxieties about being caught, anxieties for which he did not plan - indeed for which he could not have planned. Intending to go into this crime as a criminal unlike any other criminal, he finds himself in all the traps a criminal might expect - all the proliferation of evidence, and all the fog of disorientation that goes hand in hand with a life in crime. 

Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

If indeed this whole thing was done consciously and not foolheadedly . . . then how is it that so far you have not even looked into the purse and do not know what you’ve actually gained?

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage is perhaps the first and most serious indication that Raskolnikov has no idea, really, why he committed the crime he committed—for he has not even inventoried the contents of the purse he took from his neighbor! Of course, Rasknolnikov had his doubts, even before commission of the crime, as to his motivations—he knew there was something beyond money that interested him, perhaps a desire to live life fully, or to "make his mark" on the world. But his total ignorance of the items contained in the purse makes clear to him just how profound this lack of interest is.

Additionally, Raskolnikov's attitude indicates that, for him, the crime itself was a way both of courting fate and of altering it, of making sure that his will was dominant over whatever life had "planned" for him. In this way, then, the contents of the purse do not matter at all—they are incidental to the deeper motivation of the crime, which is an assertion of his will against a world that seems largely indifferent to him. 

Part 2, Chapter 6 Quotes

"And what if it was I who killed the old woman and Lizaveta?"

"But can it be?"

"Admit that you believed it! Right? Am I right?"

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker), Alexander Grigorievich Zamyotov (speaker), Alyona Ivanovna (the pawnbroker), Lizaveta Ivanovna
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

In the Crystal Palace tavern Raskolnikov finds Zamyotov, whom he first encountered as a clerk in the police station. Zamyotov finds himself discussing the nature of the murders in Raksolnikov's building with the young man, and he is clearly suspicious of Raskolnikov's story and alibi, which isn't very strong. Zamyotov also cannot help noticing, as many others in the novel notice, that the young man's "illness" seems to increase whenever the crime is brought up. And clearly, as this quotation evidences, Raskolnikov is not well - he has a morbid preoccupation with the crime, despite claiming that he has no connection to it. He barely eats or sleeps, and seems to wander listlessly around the city, waiting to run into someone and talk to them. At this point in the novel, Raskolnikov thus resembles his old friend Marmeladov, but with a twist - for while Marmeladov's "crimes" have to do with his alcoholism and instability, Raskolnikov is now a hardened and guilt-ridden criminal. 

Part 3, Chapter 3 Quotes

What I’m driving at . . . is that your complete recovery now depends chiefly on you yourself. . . . I should like to impress upon you that it is necessary to eliminate the original, so to speak, radical causes that influenced the onset of your ill condition.

Related Characters: Dr. Zossimov (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:

Dr. Zossimov appears genuinely to want to help Raskolnikov, perhaps for Raskolnikov's sake, and certainly for Pulcheria's, who fears desperately for the fate of her son, as does Dunya. Zossimov's encouragement that the young man find the "root cause" of his struggles is, of course, an ironic one. For that root cause could be, on the one hand, whatever drove Raskolnikov to commit the two murders in the first place - that untraceable desire for action and intervention into an unfeeling and hopeless world - but the root cause could also be the guilt that Raskolnikov feels over having committed the murders themselves. Zossimov naturally does not know that Raskolnikov is guilty of these crimes, but perhaps he does sense, at this point in the novel, that the young man has done something, or things, that he regrets. And in order to feel better, Raskolnikov must purge himself of some of the guilt he feels, for the guilt underlies his madness. 

Part 3, Chapter 6 Quotes

. . . only peasants or the most inexperienced novices deny everything outright and all down the line. A man with even a bit of development . . . will certainly try to admit as far as possible all the external and unavoidable facts.

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:

By this point in the novel, Raskolnikov is engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse with Porfiry, the investigator who is charged with determining who exactly killed the two women in the young man's apartment complex. Porfiry asks questions leading enough to cause Raskolnikov to sense that the man is "on his tail." Thus Raskolnikov begins a kind of "reverse psychology," arguing that, had he committed the murders, he would have behaved in one way or another, would have answered in a differently evasive way - would have, in other words, demonstrated through attempted misdirection that he has something to hide.

This is a bluff on Raskolnikov's part, and though it is clever enough - and demonstrative of Raskolnikov's intellect and ability to make an effort even under great emotional pressure - it is not as though Porfiry has not expected that the young man would be an intelligent and deft conversationalist. Porfiry is perhaps more suspicious of Raskolnikov now than ever before. 

Part 4, Chapter 2 Quotes

You’ve all been saying that I was mad . . . and just now I imagined that perhaps I really am mad and was only seeing a ghost!

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker), Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov, Dmitri Prokofych Razumikhin
Page Number: 295
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the novel, Raskolnikov's paranoid psychology begins to fold in on itself. For the young man genuinely does wonder, now, if he is crazy, and if the friends he has known for some time appear to him only as illusions - if he can trust his own senses, his ability to understand whatever is going on around him. Indeed, Raskolnikov feels so divorced from the crimes he has committed that he wonders why it is he has committed them - what possibly could have motivated him, and from where those motivations derived.

Razumikhin, for his part, seems more and more convinced that his friend is guilty, at least of something - that he is somehow implicated in the murder that seems always to pique his interest, to cause him to act as though he has an incredible stain of guilt on his soul. But Razumikhin is afraid to bring this up with his friend, perhaps because he is also worried about upsetting someone who is so clearly in a perilous and unstable mental state. 

Part 4, Chapter 3 Quotes

No, it’s my fault most of all! I was tempted by his money, but I swear, brother—I never imagined he could be such an untrustworthy man!

Related Characters: Avdotya (Dunya) Romanovna Raskolnikov (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, Marfa Petrovna Svidrigailov
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:

Dunya is a counterpoint to Raskolnikov in her total dedication to being truthful, and to helping and serving her mother and brother - to doing all she can to make the lives of those around her easier. Dunya worries that she has sullied the family's name by taking up with Luzhin, who, it turns out, has had an eye on her money, and has not really loved her so much as planned to use Dunya to further his own designs. Dunya fears that this has brought shame on her brother and mother, and her anguish here is not so much her own - as might be expected of a lover jilted in this fashion - but is instead anguish for others.

Raskolnikov also worries about those around him, but his worries are those of a paranoid person - devoid of most relation to reality, and achieving their full effect only in his mind - without much reflection in the outside world. Raskolnikov sees others and thinks of himself; Dunya sees something happen to her and thinks of others. 

Part 4, Chapter 6 Quotes

One little word, Rodion Romanovich, sir; concerning everything else, it’s as God wills, but all the same we’ll have to ask you a thing or two formally, sir . . . so we’ll be seeing each other right enough, sir.

Related Characters: Porfiry Petrovich (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 353
Explanation and Analysis:

Porfiry calls Raskolnikov "sir" not to honor him but to mock him, for Porfiry knows that, at this point, Raskolnikov is in some way involved with the events of the night of the crime, although he cannot necessarily prove this. What he does see, quite clearly, is how upset the thought of the crime makes Raskolnikov, how the young man is destabilized, and how he raves about his life and about the lives of those around him.

Thus Porfiry believes that it is "fated" he will encounter Raskolnikov again - and cause him either to admit to his crimes, or to be forced into admitting them - or else to demonstrate through some other piece of evidence that he is the man who, in fact, has done these horrible deeds. Porfiry's notion of fate, then, is one of "fait accompli" (results that have already occurred or been decided), of the knowledge that, before long, Raskolnikov will be in prison for the murders Porfiry believes (correctly) he has committed. 

Part 5, Chapter 4 Quotes

Nonsense! I simply killed—killed for myself, for myself alone . . . and it was not money above all that I wanted when I killed . . . .

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 419
Explanation and Analysis:

This is avastly important passage in the novel. For Sonya, loving Raskolnikov as she does, wishes to argue on his behalf that there were mitigating circumstances causing him to kill - that Raskolnikov was hungry, that he was not in right mind and that he therefore did not know what he was doing, that he murdered out of a desperation for money and a deep desire simply to stay alive. But to this, Raskolnikov argues point blank that the truth was nothing of the sort. The young man instead claims that he killed "for himself," out of a sense of fulfilling a destiny that was different from that of the university men around him - that Raskolnikov wanted to live beyond the confines of the life that unfurled before him. Sonya, then, attempts to humanize her love interest, whereas the young man desires only to clear his mind and not to make excuses for the murder, not to point to any mitigating circumstances - but to argue exactly why he killed, even if those reasons make no sense to his companion, and instead stem solely from a personal existential crisis.

Part 5, Chapter 5 Quotes

Dunya! This Razumikhin, Dmitri Prokofych, is a very good man . . . He is a practical man, hard-working, honest, and capable of deep love . . . .

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker), Avdotya (Dunya) Romanovna Raskolnikov, Dmitri Prokofych Razumikhin
Page Number: 425
Explanation and Analysis:

By now Raskolnikov has already begin preparing for the future, for a time when he can truly no longer provide for the family, either because he is dead or in prison. (Of course, he has not been providing for the family at all already, and he knows this; but Raskolnikov nevertheless feels it is his duty to designate someone as the family's official "protector" after he is gone.) The arrangement he makes here makes a great deal of sense. Razumikhin is demonstrably in love with Dunya, and he is devoted to Pulcheria as well. He wishes to do all he can to serve Raskolnikov's mother and sister - he is committed to it. In every sense, then, other than the biological one, Razumikhin has become the family member that Dunya and Pulcheria have wanted. He has taken over for Raskolnikov and wishes to do so - and this provides Raskolnikov with a modicum of comfort as he realizes he must confess fully to his crimes. 

Part 6, Chapter 1 Quotes

He’s a political conspirator, he is, for sure, for sure!

Related Characters: Dmitri Prokofych Razumikhin (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 446
Explanation and Analysis:

Razumikhin seeks whatever justification he can find for his friend's behavior. For indeed it would make a great deal more sense if Raskolnikov were to have committed the murders out of a sense of a political cause, as motivates the people in other Dostoevsky novels. If Raskolnikov desired to overthrow the government, or to make some kind of public political point, then the crimes would still appear horrible and deeply upsetting, but at least would somehow be "rational" or comprehensible. 

Of course, Raskolnikov has not done this - he has not killed for any outward reason, he has sought to make the point that he serves no master, and he has no political end. It would be so much easier if that were the case, if Razumikhin could point to a kind of philosophy or set of beliefs that brought on the crime. And this inability to find a reason is perhaps the most upsetting of the outcomes of Raskolnikov's acts. 

Part 6, Chapter 2 Quotes

You’d run away, and come back on your own. It’s impossible for you to do without us.

Related Characters: Porfiry Petrovich (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 461
Explanation and Analysis:

This is one of the climactic scenes in the novel. At this point Porfiry is convinced that Raskolnikov is guilty. He seems to know this intuitively, elementally, but he also notes that there are a great deal of corroborating, circumstantial effects that lead him to the same conclusion. And one of them is Raskolnikov's interactions with those who seek him out, with the investigators who have tasked themselves with finding the murderer. They keep finding Raskolnikov wherever they go - thus Raskolnikov "comes back on his own" out of some need to return to those who intuit he is the one to blame. (In a way fulfilling the trope that murderers always "return to the scene of the crime.")

This sheds further light on the nature of Raskolnikov's guilt. For at this point, he is more interested in expiating that guilt, in turning to a moment when he can serve his punishment, than he is in concealing his crime. For other than his relationship with Sonya, he has very little of his life left to protect. 

Part 6, Chapter 7 Quotes

I’m wicked, I see that . . . but why do they love me so, when I’m unworthy of it!

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker), Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov, Avdotya (Dunya) Romanovna Raskolnikov
Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 520
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Raskolnikov references a belief relating to a fundamentally Christian idea, as it is developed throughout the novel - that of the golden rule, in which others are to be treated the way they would wish to be treated. Dunya and Pulcheria love the young man unconditionally, and they do their best to demonstrate to him this love, despite whatever he might have done or might do in the future. They do this because they wish to be loved by him, because they treat him the way they want to be treated, because they are religious people, and, ultimately, to believe that the world works in this way, with people caring for those who care for them.

Raskolnikov finally seems to understand the unconditional nature of this life, even as he has a hard time understanding what it might mean for him - how they can love him after what he has done. This love, for Raskolnikov, is now only a source of pain for him, and though he understands it better in this scene, he still has a difficult time accepting it. 

Epilogue, Chapter 2 Quotes

At the beginning of their happiness there were moments when they were both ready to look at those seven years as if they were seven days. He did not even know that a new life would not be given him for nothing, that it still had to be dearly bought, to be paid for with a great future deed . . . .

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, Sonya Semyonovna Marmeladov
Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 551
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Dostoevsky discusses another fundamentally Christian idea, that of redemption. The time in the camp is nothing compared to cosmic time - the chain of human existence moving forward and backward from Raskolnikov's and Sonya's time on earth. Thus Raskolnikov, who has found religion during his time away in the penal colony, and who has dedicated his life to living well and to helping Sonya, knows that he must somehow do something "great" in the future to make up for the harm he has caused others. 

He does not know exactly what this deed might be, and in this way the author leaves open the end of the novel for a possible sequel (never written). But Raskolnikov is also ennobled at this thought. For though a great future deed might be a difficult one to achieve, it is also a deed that remains possible - it is an indication of hope. Before, Raskolnikov had no hope, and he committed the murders in part because he felt his life to be without future and without direction. Even though a good deal of hard work lies in front of him, he nevertheless has found that future and that hope, as the author takes pains to make clear. 

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Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov Character Timeline in Crime and Punishment

The timeline below shows where the character Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov appears in Crime and Punishment. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
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A young, impoverished former student, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, leaves his very small apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, and walks outside. It is July... (full context)
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They walk further into the apartment, and Raskolnikov observes the spare, clean furnishings, which he believes are maintained by a woman named Lizaveta.... (full context)
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...Alyona believes is worth a rouble and a half, minus interest accrued on the ring. Raskolnikov is angered but accepts her low offer. Before he leaves, Raskolnikov says he will have... (full context)
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Overcome by anguish and horror at his plans, Raskolnikov leaves the apartment. He decides to enter a tavern, which he never does, and drink... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
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Raskolnikov finds that he now wishes to be in the company of others. For the past... (full context)
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...a man named Lebezyatnikov, whom Marmeladov had asked, in vain, for a loan. Marmeladov tells Raskolnikov that Katerina is of higher birth, the daughter of an officer, and describes himself as... (full context)
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Marmeladov explains his problems more specifically, feeling that Raskolnikov is a “sorrowful” man and therefore might understand. Katerina was educated in a school for... (full context)
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...falsely, of Marmeladov’s important position at the office. Six days previous to his conversation with Raskolnikov, Marmeladov brought home his first salary, and his family situation seemed secure. (full context)
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...a final bottle, which she gave him. Marmeladov drinks the last of that bottle before Raskolnikov and goes on a long rant, claiming that, though he does not deserve pity, he... (full context)
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After Marmeladov’s speech, Raskolnikov agrees to accompany him home. Marmeladov’s family lives in a subdivided corner of Amalia Lippewechsel’s... (full context)
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Frau Lippewechsel arrives, announcing the family must leave the apartment immediately. Raskolnikov leaves unnoticed and places a handful of money from his own pocket on a windowsill.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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Raskolnikov awakes unhappy the next morning in his cramped, dusty, sparely furnished apartment. The building’s maid... (full context)
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Raskolnikov reads the letter. His mother Pulcheria has not written for two months but can now... (full context)
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Pulcheria and Dunya were afraid to inform Raskolnikov of this news, not wanting to burden him, and did not write during the intervening... (full context)
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...to her. Dunya and Pulcheria have agreed in principle to this marriage, arranged speedily, without Raskolnikov’s consent, as Pulcheria goes on to explain. (full context)
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...a matter in the Senate. Both Pulcheria and Dunya hope that Luzhin will take on Raskolnikov as a secretary, with a secret wish that he become partner one day. Luzhin says... (full context)
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Luzhin wishes to meet Raskolnikov in Petersburg; Dunya has already spoken highly of her brother to her fiancé, but he... (full context)
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Dunya has joked to Pulcheria that she is so excited to see Raskolnikov she would marry Luzhin almost for that reason alone. Pulcheria closes her letter with an... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
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Outside, Raskolnikov walks and talks to himself. He decides he will not permit Luzhin to marry Dunya... (full context)
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Raskolnikov goes to on to denounce Luzhin for his penny-pinching behavior, since Pulcheria and Dunya will... (full context)
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Raskolnikov turns his thoughts to Dunya, whose character he believes to be pure and noble. Dunya... (full context)
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Raskolnikov weighs his options. He could repay Dunya and Pulcheria once he has established himself in... (full context)
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On his way to the bench Raskolnikov notices a young woman, no older than sixteen, swaying too and fro in casual clothes.... (full context)
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Raskolnikov gives the police officer twenty kopecks, the last of his money, and tells him to... (full context)
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Raskolnikov remembers that, after reading the letter, he intended to head to the home of his... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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Raskolnikov does not know why exactly he wishes to see his friend—he does not really want... (full context)
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Raskolnikov has a vivid dream, which the narrator attributes to his “morbid” condition. In the dream... (full context)
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Young Raskolnikov rushes toward the peasant and tries to fight him; his father has to pull him... (full context)
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It is nighttime. Raskolnikov enjoys walking through the Haymarket because his rags and poor appearance do not attract people’s... (full context)
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Raskolnikov recognizes that this means the old woman will be alone for one hour tomorrow. Now... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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Raskolnikov later learns that Lizaveta works as a middleman between families who must sell off their... (full context)
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Raskolnikov remembers being shocked at this conversation, because he was thinking along exactly the same lines.... (full context)
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Raskolnikov must now steal an axe. He remarks how sure his plans once seemed, and now... (full context)
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Despite these rational justifications, however, Raskolnikov feels his plan is slipping away from him, even as he resolves more than ever... (full context)
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Raskolnikov climbs the old woman’s staircase unnoticed, past the second floor where there are painters working.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
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Raskolnikov becomes flustered and, hearing the door open, pulls it outward, and the old woman along... (full context)
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...under the woman’s bed and finds a trunk. In the trunk are old clothes, and Raskolnikov begins wiping his hands on the red silk, because red will hide the color of... (full context)
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Lizaveta has arrived and seen her slain sister. Raskolnikov enters and Lizaveta feebly places her left hand in the air, as if to ward... (full context)
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...to stay upstairs, since he suspects foul play, while he runs to get the caretaker. Raskolnikov stands behind the door holding his axe, but Koch becomes impatient with the young man... (full context)
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...coincidentally get into an argument and run out, leaving the apartment they are painting empty. Raskolnikov ducks inside and hides behind a wall while Koch and the young man mount the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
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Raskolnikov awakes slowly, realizing it is two in the morning, and then he remember what he... (full context)
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...and think they are simply something he sleeps with, for comfort. The two leave and Raskolnikov prepares to go to the station, wondering why he has been summoned, and willing, out... (full context)
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Raskolnikov wonders whether he will be able to withstand any form of questioning at the station.... (full context)
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Raskolnikov looks at the young official, the assistant to the police chief, who asks him his... (full context)
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...the piece of paper is a request for payment on a promissory note, signed by Raskolnikov nine months ago, which his landlady has redeemed, forcing Raskolnikov to pay. Raskolnikov dimly recognizes... (full context)
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...at that moment enters and is informed by Ilya (called “Lieutenant Gunpowder” by Nikodim) of Raskolnikov’s situation. The chief is understanding and Raskolnikov explains his current poverty. He adds, further, that... (full context)
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All listen to Raskolnikov’s speech, although the lieutenant ends by saying that Raskolnikov had no need to share such... (full context)
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Raskolnikov signs the paper and feels weak. He overhears the chief and the lieutenant discussing the... (full context)
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Raskolnikov, overhearing this, faints while attempting to leave. He is roused by the men and asked... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
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Raskolnikov worries that a search has already been conducted in his apartment—but none has. He finally... (full context)
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Raskolnikov walks away and recounts the humiliation he experienced that day, airing his problems to the... (full context)
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...up to the fifth floor and knocks, finding him at home. Razumikhin is shocked by Raskolnikov’s appearance, finds him looking physically ill, and believes he is “raving” about things, as though... (full context)
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Raskolnikov says he is not insane, and gets up to leave. Razumikhin, again surprised, offers to... (full context)
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...the sound of the lieutenant thrashing and screaming at his landlady. Nastasya comes upstairs offering Raskolnikov food, and he asks her why the lieutenant has arrived and gotten so angry. Nastasya... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
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Although in a state of near-delirium, Raskolnikov remembers some of what happens next. He senses that numerous people are in the room,... (full context)
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The agent asks Raskolnikov to sign a receipt for 35 roubles sent by his mother. Raskolnikov initially does not... (full context)
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Razumikhin tells how he found Raskolnikov’s lodgings via the government registry. Razumikhin has come to learn of Raskolnikov’s behavior in the... (full context)
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Although the landlady had decided to “chase Raskolnikov out” of the apartment, Razumikhin has convinced her she ought to care for Raskolnikov and... (full context)
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Razumikhin tells Raskolnikov he had been raving in his sleep about scraps of cloth and the interaction with... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
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Zossimov is a young man of 27, well-dressed, with an imperious air. Zossimov examines Raskolnikov and determines that he is getting better, although he should continue to rest and avoid... (full context)
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...say he is defending the house-painters in the case of the old woman and Lizaveta. Raskolnikov is again disturbed at mention of the murder and turns on his sofa to face... (full context)
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...were painting, after having ducked outside during an argument with Mitka (Mitrei), the other painter. Raskolnikov sits up and asks where the earrings were found, realizing they must have fallen from... (full context)
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...building’s courtyard (this is the same squabble drawing the painters out of the apartment, allowing Raskolnikov to enter and hide). Razumikhin argues that their playful fighting is not in keeping with... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
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A new and unknown man walks in, asking for Raskolnikov, who Razumikhin indicates, brusquely, is the man lying on the sofa. The new man is... (full context)
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Razumikhin informs Luzhin of Raskolnikov’s illness. Luzhin worries that conversation might further upset the sick man, but Zossimov says it... (full context)
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...says to Razumikhin that the old lady’s killer must have been one of her clients. Raskolnikov is upset to learn that Porfiry, the investigator, is interviewing the old lady’s clients. Razumikhin... (full context)
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...discuss the murder and other recent crimes in Moscow, among the upper, educated classes. Suddenly Raskolnikov interjects that the pawnbroker’s murder is “in line” with Luzhin’s theory, that self-interest can be... (full context)
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Luzhin argues that his words were misrepresented in Pulcheria’s letter, but Raskolnikov does not permit Luzhin to finish speaking and instead demands that he not use his... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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Raskolnikov quickly dresses in his news clothes, pockets the 25 roubles and change left behind by... (full context)
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Raskolnikov passes through the Haymarket and continues to a building filled with taverns and bars. He... (full context)
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...into a tavern called The Crystal Palace and asks for tea and some old newspapers. Raskolnikov begins reading but is interrupted by Zamyotov, the clerk who is surprised to see the... (full context)
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Raskolnikov jokes with Zamyotov, claiming the latter enjoys many people’s generosity (another hint that Zamyotov can... (full context)
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Zamyotov is perplexed by Raskolnikov’s joking attitude and repeated reference to the murder. He says Raskolnikov must either be crazy... (full context)
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...the murder case. He claims that the criminal did a poor job of things, and Raskolnikov counters that they ought to catch the perpetrator, then. Raskolnikov tells Zamyotov how he would... (full context)
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As he is leaving, Raskolnikov runs into Razumikhin, who chastises him for going out of the house in his condition.... (full context)
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The episode causes Raskolnikov to rethink his initial plan, which he only now realizes fully: that he left the... (full context)
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Raskolnikov says that he wishes to rent the apartment—the workmen are confused because he has come... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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...crushed by the wheels of a wagon, and is lying in the street, mortally wounded. Raskolnikov realizes he knows this man: it is Marmeladov, the drunken former official. Raskolnikov says he... (full context)
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Marmeladov’s wife Katerina has become more crazed since Raskolnikov last visited; she often speaks about her father’s high rank and the squalor of their... (full context)
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...begins fighting with Katerina. Lebezyatnikov is also present (Luzhin’s roommate). The doctor arrives and informs Raskolnikov that there is no hope: Marmeladov will die in short order. A priest is called... (full context)
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Raskolnikov gives Katerina twenty roubles for the funeral. As he is leaving he sees Nikodim the... (full context)
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Raskolnikov heads to Razumikhin’s party. Razumikhin is shocked by Raskolnikov’s frazzled appearance and offers to take... (full context)
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Zossimov feels this way because of Raskolnikov’s recent behavior, especially his strange conversation with Zamyotov, at the Crystal Palace tavern, and Raskolnikov’s... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1
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Raskolnikov awakes and asks his mother and sister to leave, to give him peace and “stop... (full context)
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...tells them his plan: he will walk with them back to their lodgings, check on Raskolnikov, bring them a report of his health, go back to his party and get Zossimov,... (full context)
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...clear, also, that Razumikhin has taken a liking to Dunya, whom, he believes, will make Raskolnikov’s landlady (whom he has been courting) jealous. On his walk back to their lodgings, he... (full context)
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...Razumikhin though she knows he has been on a “binge.” Pulcheria is so worried about Raskolnikov she does not know what to think. Razumikhin has fallen for Dunya, who is a... (full context)
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Zossimov also checks on Raskolnikov and reports, succinctly, that his “illness” is caused mostly by his poverty and by “other... (full context)
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Razumikhin explains that he has been “courting” Raskolnikov’s landlady, mostly to make things easier materially for Raskolnikov. He says that Zossimov might enjoy... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
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Zossimov arrives and chastises Razumikhin for referring again to the murders in Raskolnikov’s presence the previous day. Zossimov believes Raskolnikov suffers from a “monomaniacal” obsession with the crime,... (full context)
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Pulcheria asks Razumikhin more questions about Raskolnikov’s condition. Razumikhin replies that he is “not a hypochondriac, just inhumanly cold and callous.” Dunya... (full context)
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Razumikhin recounts Raskolnikov’s reaction to Luzhin the previous day. Unlike the night before, Razumikhin refuses to speak badly... (full context)
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Luzhin reports that he saw Raskolnikov the day before at Marmeladov’s (Luzhin lives in the same apartment building), and that Raskolnikov... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3
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The three find Raskolnikov and Zossimov, who declares Raskolnikov “well.” The latter appears cleaned and more presentable, though there... (full context)
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Pulcheria reiterates her concerns about her son’s health and Raskolnikov appears to explain his behavior, as Dunya recognizes, as if by rote. Raskolnikov refers both... (full context)
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Pulcheria wonders if Raskolnikov’s condition doesn’t derive from the squalor of his apartment. Raskolnikov repeats to his sister, with... (full context)
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His anger passes, however, and Raskolnikov tells his sister to marry whomever she wishes. Raskolnikov reads Luzhin’s recent letter and corrects... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4
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Sonya arrives at Raskolnikov's apartment, abashedly, and Raskolnikov realizes that her arrival in the room seems to indicate that... (full context)
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Outside, Pulcheria tells Dunya that Raskolnikov appears quite ill. Pulcheria believes that Sonya might be at the root of her son’s... (full context)
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Sonya thanks Raskolnikov again for his kindness. Raskolnikov promises to visit Sonya, which makes her nervous because she... (full context)
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Walking to Porfiry’s, Razumikhin is curious about when Raskolnikov pawned items at the old crone’s, and seems reassured to note that his friend’s ravings... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5
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Raskolnikov and Razumikhin enter Porfiry’s office laughing, lending, in Raskolnikov’s mind, a “natural” air to his... (full context)
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Porfiry reveals that he has been waiting for Raskolnikov; two pawned items with his name on them were recovered from the apartment. Raskolnikov is... (full context)
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Raskolnikov fears that Porfiry has learned, also, of his visit to the pawnbroker’s apartment after the... (full context)
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The article describes the psychology of a person committing a crime, and derives from Raskolnikov’s studies as a law student. Porfiry is struck in particular by the end, which argues,... (full context)
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Porfiry asks whether Raskolnikov believes in God, the New Testament, and in particular the story of Lazarus, who is... (full context)
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Raskolnikov also separates suffering and guilt from the ability to commit a crime, arguing that even... (full context)
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Razumikhin asks whether Raskolnikov considers himself an extraordinary person permitted to commit crimes—only half seriously. Raskolnikov says that, if... (full context)
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Porfiry has a final question for Raskolnikov before the latter leaves: he asks if Raskolnikov saw the painters on the day of... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6
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Raskolnikov leaves quite angrily, and can’t believe he has betrayed some part of his lie to... (full context)
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Raskolnikov argues that, had he committed the crime, he would have admitted to seeing the painters,... (full context)
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Raskolnikov runs after the man, a “tradesman,” who tells Raskolnikov that he is a murderer and... (full context)
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Raskolnikov curses himself for not being a Great Man after all. He was able to kill,... (full context)
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...have gathered to observe him, and wakes up to find a man in the room. Raskolnikov pretends he is still sleeping but eventually wakes; Svidrigailov introduces himself and says he knew... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
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...Dunya, arguing that his behavior toward her was based only on genuine respect and affection. Raskolnikov tells Svidrigailov he has heard rumors he killed his wife Marfa. Svidrigailov replies that his... (full context)
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Raskolnikov wishes to go but finds he somewhat enjoys talking to Svidrigailov. Raskolnikov admits that Svidrigailov... (full context)
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Svidrigailov asks Raskolnikov if he believes in ghosts. Svidrigailov says that sometimes he senses Marfa’s presence. Raskolnikov does... (full context)
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...might be something like a bathhouse where one waits, complete with spiders in the corners. Raskolnikov thinks that Svidrigailov is insane. Raskolnikov becomes upset, finally, and asks Svidrigailov his business. The... (full context)
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Svidrigailov wishes for Raskolnikov to arrange a meeting with Dunya, whereby he can convince her not to marry Luzhin... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2
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Raskolnikov meets with Razumikhin and tells him the man leaving his apartment was Svidrigailov. Raskolnikov hopes... (full context)
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Raskolnikov announces that Svidrigailov has already paid him a visit and that Marfa left Dunya three... (full context)
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...claims that it is unfair for him to be placed on the “same level” as Raskolnikov, whom he considers young and rude. Luzhin argues Raskolnikov has misrepresented his opinions regarding marriage... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
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Luzhin is most shocked that Pulcheria, Dunya, and Raskolnikov do not view him as a benefactor and protector. He worries about Svidrigailov, whom he... (full context)
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Raskolnikov tells his mother and sister of Svidrigailov’s offer of ten thousand roubles. Dunya fears Svidrigailov’s... (full context)
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As Razumikhin, Dunya, and Pulcheria make their plans, Raskolnikov says he must go, and adds, ominously, that it's not as though they are “saying... (full context)
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As they stand in the hallway, Raskolnikov tells Razumikhin not to leave his family, and they stare into each other’s eyes. “The... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 4
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Raskolnikov heads to Sonya’s apartment, in the home of Kapernaumov the tailor. He knocks and she... (full context)
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When Raskolnikov accuses Katerina of having beaten Sonya, Sonya says that she loves her stepmother and recognizes... (full context)
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Raskolnikov tells Sonya that consumption will eventually kill Katerina, and that Polenka might also be forced... (full context)
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Raskolnikov thinks to himself that Sonya has only three options: to kill herself, to go insane,... (full context)
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...Jews assembled believe that Jesus is the son of God. Sonya trembles upon finishing, and Raskolnikov tells her that today he left his mother and sister. (full context)
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Raskolnikov tells her, too, that they are on “the same path,” and that they must have... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 5
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Raskolnikov visits Porfiry at his office; though he realizes he hates him, he knows that he... (full context)
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Raskolnikov becomes flustered. He asks that Porfiry either ask him direct questions or let him go.... (full context)
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...simply to bother that man, to stay on his trail and get into his mind. Raskolnikov recognizes that Porfiry is speaking about his involvement in the murders, but doing so with... (full context)
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Porfiry begins to make more specific references to Raskolnikov’s behavior, mentioning the fainting incident in the police station and Raskolnikov’s playful “confession” to Zamyotov... (full context)
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Porfiry gets Raskolnikov to admit that his actions, including the visit to the apartment after the murder, were... (full context)
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Yet Porfiry insists that he does not suspect Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov does not believe him, and begs Porfiry either to accuse him or let him... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 6
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...confesses to the murder, saying the other painter Mitka had nothing to do with it. Raskolnikov tells Porfiry, with a smile, that Porfiry must not have expected this outcome; Porfiry retorts... (full context)
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Raskolnikov apologizes to Porfiry for losing his temper earlier, says he must be going to Marmeladov’s... (full context)
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As Raskolnikov leaves to go to the funeral, he runs into the “man from the under the... (full context)
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The tradesman then admits that he was the “surprise” Porfiry was going to spring on Raskolnikov; he was instructed to wait behind the partition and emerge later, but Nikolai beat him... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 1
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...Dunya and Pulcheria. He returns to his apartment and learns that he, along with Lebezyatnikov, Raskolnikov, and Amalia the landlord, have been invited to Marmeladov’s funeral banquet. Luzhin has a certain... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 2
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Raskolnikov arrives and Katerina thanks him for coming and claims he is destined for an esteemed... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 3
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...seen as a gracious man, capable of forgiveness. Luzhin declares this is not true, but Raskolnikov speaks up and agrees with Lebezyatnikov’s assertions, claiming Luzhin has been dishonest with his family... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 4
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...he has murdered Lizaveta. Sonya thanks him for defending her earlier, at the feast, and Raskolnikov goes on to ask a strange hypothetical question: would Sonya kill Luzhin in order to... (full context)
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Raskolnikov repeats his desire to tell Sonya who murdered Lizaveta. He says that the murderer aimed... (full context)
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Sonya promises to follow Raskolnikov wherever he goes. When Raskolnikov begins to explain why he killed the pawnbroker, Sonya wishes... (full context)
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Raskolnikov explains his new thoughts regarding the murder, namely, that he is not a Napoleon after... (full context)
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Raskolnikov explains once more this theory of power, of extraordinary individuals, in a final attempt to... (full context)
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Raskolnikov counters that he would confess only to men on earth, the police, and not to... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 5
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Raskolnikov goes back to his apartment, where Dunya arrives, saying she has spoken to Razumikhin and... (full context)
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Svidrigailov pulls Raskolnikov aside to say he will provide for Katerina’s funeral and for the family after her... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 1
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Raskolnikov passes the next several days in a “fog.” He worries about Svidrigailov and meets with... (full context)
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Razumikhin visits him in his apartment to ask whether Raskolnikov is mad, and why he has abandoned his mother and sister. His mother complains that... (full context)
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Raskolnikov tells Razumikhin he has spoken highly of him to his sister, and has said Razumikhin... (full context)
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Razumikhin leaves, believing that Raskolnikov has been involved in a political intrigue and is hiding his activities to escape detection.... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 2
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Porfiry begins by talking about his cigarettes and by apologizing to Raskolnikov for the “ungentlemanly” tone of their last meeting. Porfiry begins, in his characteristically circuitous way,... (full context)
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...be a religious schismatic, or unorthodox believer, and a young man prone to exaggeration. Finally, Raskolnikov asks who killed the two if not Nikolai. Porfiry responds, matter-of-factly: “Why, you did.” (full context)
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Raskolnikov feebly denies Porfiry’s charge and blames it all on the investigator’s psychological games. Porfiry says... (full context)
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Porfiry says that Raskolnikov will have his sentenced reduced if he confesses. Raskolnikov responds that he doesn’t want a... (full context)
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Raskolnikov listens and then, seeing he is not under arrest at the moment, gets up to... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 3
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Raskolnikov hurries to Svidrigailov’s and worries that the latter has already seen Porfiry. Raskolnikov wonders whether... (full context)
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Raskolnikov passes through the Haymarket and sees Svidrigailov seated in a tavern; the latter attempts to... (full context)
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Svidrigailov replies that, though Raskolnikov has been in a daze for the past 48 hours, Svidrigailov actually suggested this as... (full context)
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Raskolnikov says that, if Svidrigailov believes he has power over him, Svidrigailov might be surprised to... (full context)
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...wine quite slowly, but it has “gone to his head” and he becomes inebriated. When Raskolnikov asks in jest whether Svidrigailov would ever consider shooting himself, to allay his boredom, Svidrigailov... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 4
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...money out of a desire to help Dunya, who was supporting both her mother and Raskolnikov. (full context)
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...does not wish to see those friends anymore—drunks and layabouts as they are. He accuses Raskolnikov of being a “Schiller,” or a young romantic, a man of ideals in a world... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 5
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Raskolnikov states his certainty that Svidrigailov still has designs on Dunya, which he plans to block.... (full context)
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Raskolnikov walks passed Dunya in the night, not recognizing her; Dunya has come to meet with... (full context)
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Svidrigailov insists, however, that he knows the truth, and that he heard Raskolnikov spill out his soul to Sonya over the course of two nights. Dunya has a... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 6
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...visit Sonya, who is at home. He gives Sonya 3,000 roubles and says that, for Raskolnikov, there are only two options: suicide or confession and exile. Svidrigailov vows that he is... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 7
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Raskolnikov pays a visit to his mother, who is now staying with Dunya in a better... (full context)
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Pulcheria does not understand what is happening but recognizes that Raskolnikov is in a dire situation. She crosses him and blesses him before he leaves, asking... (full context)
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Dunya says that his suffering will “wash away” some part of the guilt. Raskolnikov says that the act itself wasn’t really a crime, since the pawnbroker was a vile... (full context)
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Raskolnikov says that he has never been less clear why his actions are a crime, whereas... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 8
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Raskolnikov visits Sonya, who has been waiting for him all day. She worries that a fear... (full context)
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The people around him believe he is merely drunk. Raskolnikov walks to the police station and realizes he wishes to confess to Gunpowder, the loud... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 1
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The Epilogue opens in Siberia, where Raskolnikov has been sent to a prison camp one and a half years after the crime.... (full context)
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Raskolnikov’s confession of guilt causes him to receive a lighter sentence. It is also revealed that,... (full context)
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...had “powerful enemies,” perhaps connected to a political intrigue. But slowly Pulcheria stops talking about Raskolnikov at all . . . only to say, in later days, that he is a... (full context)
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Raskolnikov and Sonya left for Siberia together, and Razumikhin married Dunya; Razumikhin hopes to raise enough... (full context)
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Raskolnikov only learns of his mother’s death much later. Sonya has maintained a correspondence with Petersburg,... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 2
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Raskolnikov is in fact ill, perhaps from overwork and the new climate and conditions. He wonders... (full context)
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...prisoners, but they love Sonya, whom they consider a saint, and eventually grow to tolerate Raskolnikov. When he is in the sick-room, recovering, he has a dream that a new plague... (full context)
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Raskolnikov hears that Sonya is sick and worries about her health, but it is only a... (full context)
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...his confinement of seven years is, in truth, not so long. The narrator reveals that Raskolnikov’s rehabilitation will take some time, and that it will in fact be quite difficult. But... (full context)