Raskolnikov meets with Razumikhin and tells him the man leaving his apartment was Svidrigailov. Raskolnikov hopes that Razumikhin also saw him; he is worried he has been having hallucinations. Razumikhin reports of a dinner he had with Porfiry and Zamyotov; he was unable to bring up their suspicions about Raskolnikov’s involvement in the murder, but he remarks that, since Raskolnikov is obviously not the killer, they have nothing to fear. Raskolnikov worries what Razumikhin will think of him when he learns the truth.
Raskolnikov here indicates that he himself occasionally doubts his own sanity. Svidrigailov’s appearance is so strange, and so disturbing to Raskolnikov, that Raskolnikov worries it did not take place at all. Razumikhin says aloud once again that, surely, Raskolnikov could not have committed the murders—it is clear, at this point, that Razumikhin is beginning to doubt his friend’s innocence, though he wants to believe, against all hope, that Raskolnikov remains innocent.
They run into Luzhin as they enter Pulcheria and Dunya’s quarters. They all discuss, briefly, Marfa’s death, and Dunya learns that Svidrigailov has come to Petersburg. Luzhin says that Svidrigailov is a depraved man, that he hopes he has no further interaction with Dunya, and that Marfa might have gotten him acquitted of a serious crime against a young girl in addition to paying off his debts before their marriage. Dunya says that this and another mysterious death, of Svidrigailov’s servant Filipp, were apparent suicides. Luzhin hints that Dunya is justifying Svidrigailov’s actions.
Further reference to Svidrigailov’s previous crimes. Marfa’s death, though apparently linked to Svidrigailov, seems accidental enough; the others rumors are shadowier still, and again nothing can be proved. According to Raskolnikov’s way of seeing things, Svidrigailov truly is an extraordinary man, at least in his ability to become embroiled in criminal situations and emerge scot-free.
Raskolnikov announces that Svidrigailov has already paid him a visit and that Marfa left Dunya three thousand roubles. Pulcheria is very pleased. Luzhin gets up to leave but is stayed by Dunya, who reminds him he has something to tell them. Luzhin begins saying he cannot countenance Raskolnikov’s rude behavior of the previous day. Dunya orders that Luzhin and Raskolnikov forgive each other, otherwise she will have to choose between brother and fiancé.
Dunya does not believe that Luzhin has put her in a fair position. Her loyalty both to her brother and to her future husband are absolute. In the face of extreme difficulty and misfortune, Dunya retains a personal nobility and dignity that astonishes Raskolnikov and causes Razumikhin to fall even more deeply in love with her.
Luzhin 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 and poverty; Pulcheria counters that Luzhin has lied about Raskolnikov’s actions the night of Marmeladov’s death, for he gave the roubles not to Sonya but to Katerina. Raskolnikov reports that Sonya, too, is not so fallen and depraved a person—he has even invited her, earlier, to sit with his family in his quarters.
Luzhin’s superciliousness and tendency to lie are revealed. Raskolnikov really did give the money to Katerina, not to Sonya; Luzhin could only have insisted otherwise in order to tarnish Raskolnikov’s name by linking it with the name of a known prostitute, a “fallen woman.” Raskolnikov’s defense of Sonya marks an important shift for him, an acknowledgment of her goodness that will lead him, later, to confess his guilt to her.
Luzhin grows angry when Pulcheria tells him that they have moved to Petersburg and abandoned all to meet him, and that they are, in fact, under his power. Pulcheria hints that Luzhin wishes things to be this way after all—he wishes to have control of Dunya and her mother. When Luzhin then implies that Dunya is receptive to Svidrigailov’s offers, she kicks him out the apartment, effectively ending their engagement on the spot. Yet he still believes, inwardly, that there is a chance to repair their relationship.
The end of Dunya’s and Luzhin’s engagement is greeted differently by both parties. Dunya moves on immediately, and begins to depend more and more on Razumikhin’s help and advice, especially as regards Raskolnikov. Luzhin, on the other hand, believes he will be able to win back Dunya, and that the Raskolnikov family ought to view him as their savior, not their antagonist.