The Haymarket recurs throughout the novel. A seedy part of St. Petersburg, it is filled with taverns and vendors of cheap wares, and serves as a gathering-place for prostitutes, gamblers, and criminals. Raskolnikov often finds himself in the Haymarket, especially when he sets out walking with no given destination in mind. Sonya works in this area as a prostitute, and many of Raskolnikov’s chance encounters take place here. It is near the Haymarket that he overhears Lizaveta telling two vendors when she will be out of the old woman’s apartment; it is also near the Haymarket that Raskolnikov spots Svidrigailov, much later, in a tavern, only to realize that Svidrigailov told him two days earlier to meet in exactly that spot. In this sense the Haymarket represents a location of “eternal return”: a place where Raskolnikov seems fated to go, and where important events inevitably happen. The disorder and criminality of the Haymarket are an external representation of the chaos and madness overtaking Raskolnikov’s mind.
Haymarket Symbol Timeline in Crime and Punishment
The timeline below shows where the symbol Haymarket appears in Crime and Punishment. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 6
...exactly the same lines. He later attributes this overheard conversation to fate. After leaving the Haymarket, he returns to his room and sleeps heavily the entire night. He is awoken by... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
...by Razumikhin after the clothing purchases, and slips outside unnoticed. On his way to the Haymarket he spots a young girl of fifteen singing and accompanied by an organ-grinder. He gives... (full context)
Part 6, Chapter 3
Part 6, Chapter 8