Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Raskolnikov awakes and asks his mother and sister to leave, to give him peace and “stop tormenting him.” Both are reluctant to do so. They say they know Luzhin has visited that day; Raskolnikov tells Dunya he does not approve of the marriage and wishes that his sister break off the relationship. Dunya says that Raskolnikov “has no right” to forbid her. Razumikhin escorts both out of the room, hoping to smooth things over while Raskolnikov continues his recovery.
Raskolnikov’s immediate reaction to the presence of his mother and sister is one of anger and resentment. He fears most of all that they pity his circumstances, and he does not desire their pity. Dunya, although she loves her brother, refuses to listen to his request that she not marry Luzhin—she argues that she wishes to marry him for her own reasons, and not for Raskolnikov’s benefit.
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Razumikhin, in his drunkenness, calls Luzhin a “scoundrel” for providing the two with such poor lodgings; he offers them his unreserved help and support. He holds both tightly as he 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, send Zossimov to check on Raskolnikov, then report again to Dunya and Pulcheria.
Razumikhin takes command of the situation. Where Raskolnikov is tired and unwilling even to speak to his mother and sister, Razumikhin is warm and devoted—he appears to love Dunya and Pulcheria although he barely knows them. Razumikhin’s resentment toward Luzhin seems to indicate he has already developed an attraction to Dunya.
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It is 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 tells them that, although he is drunk, he loves them a great deal. Razumikhin also lets slip that Zossimov fears Raskolnikov might be mentally unstable.
Razumikhin’s continued mention of Zossimov’s diagnosis—that Raskolnikov is mentally ill—indicates that Razumikhin himself fears this to be the case. He tells Dunya and Pulcheria in the hopes that they might disprove this conjecture and argue that Raskolnikov is sane.
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Razumikhin complains, confusedly, to Pulcheria and Dunya of the argument he had at his apartment, with those who preach “the new ways” (not dissimilar from Luzhin’s previous arguments at Raskolnikov’s). Pulcheria seems not to understand; Dunya agrees somewhat but mostly wishes to change the subject. Razumikhin repeats that Luzhin is a scoundrel, though he immediately regrets his behavior.
Another reference to “the new liberal ideas.” Razumikhin is not so much distrustful of feminine equality and democratic government as he is wary of those who espouse these ideals, since they seem to be the most autocratic and least generous of all. Razumikhin resents the philosophical hypocrisy of men like Luzhin, who preach reform but continue to subjugate women.
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Razumikhin deposits the two at their apartment. Dunya appears to like 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 remarkable beauty with a gentle, intelligent nature. Razumikhin checks on Raskolnikov, who is sleeping, and reports this news to Dunya and Pulcheria.
Dunya appears to be everything Raskolnikov is not. She cares deeply for others, and her face exudes a calm, beauty, and patience wholly foreign to Raskolnikov, whose paleness and quick temper unsettle even those who are closest to him.
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Zossimov also checks on Raskolnikov and reports, succinctly, that his “illness” is caused mostly by his poverty and by “other circumstances” of environment. He says that his previous comments on Raskolnikov’s madness have been exaggerated—he believes the condition will pass. Zossimov remarks to Razumikhin, outside, that Dunya is a “ravishing” beauty; Razumikhin, still drunk, rushes at him and pronounces her too fine and lovely a woman to be talked of by such a philanderer as Zossimov.
An explanation for Raskolnikov’s illness—or at least an attempted explanation. Raskolnikov, in Zossimov’s opinion, is not so much insane as subjected to the horrid circumstances of his life, including the squalor of his apartment, his lack of employment, and his poor diet.
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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 doing the same—this would allow Razumikhin to pursue Dunya. The two part, with Razumikhin asking the doctor to check on Raskolnikov once again later on.
Razumikhin’s relationship with the landlady is no longer useful to him or to Raskolnikov, and Razumikhin now has his sights set on Dunya, with whom he has fallen very quickly in love.
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