Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment


Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Themes and Colors
Criminality, Morality, and Guilt Theme Icon
Madness and Intoxication Theme Icon
Coincidence and Free Will Theme Icon
Money and Poverty Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Crime and Punishment, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Family Theme Icon

Relationships between family members, and the formation of families through marriage, are central to the novel. Raskolnikov has a fraught relationship with his mother and sister, whom he recognizes as having made great sacrifices for his own happiness. He feels repulsed by their charity and tries to break off relations with them. But Raskolnikov nevertheless feels protective of his sister, in whom he confides, and of his mother. Apart from an engagement to his landlord’s daughter—a sickly girl who dies before they can be married—Raskolnikov expresses little interest in starting a family of his own.

This is in contrast to others in the novel. Razumikhin, from the first, is taken by Dunya and offers to protect her and her mother. In fact, as Raskolnikov withdraws from his family, Razumikhin appears to take over his duties and, later, marries Dunya, with Raskolnikov’s approval. Raskolnikov’s impieties toward his family are mirrored and opposed by Sonya, who gives everything—her reputation and happiness—in order to provide for Marmeladov, Katerina, and the children. Sonya and Raskolnikov later form a family unit while in exile in Siberia. Luzhin wishes to marry Dunya for practical reasons, and he believes he is doing Dunya an enormous favor. For him, family is a means of beginning a “brilliant” career as a public servant. Svidrigailov, the inveterate womanizer, tries to seduce Dunya; he is the novel’s libertine, satisfied only by new sexual conquests.

Although Raskolnikov’s rehabilitation is only hinted at in the epilogue, it seems clear that Sonya will play a role in his transformation from confused, nihilistic criminal to penitent. In Sonya’s total obedience and generosity Raskolnikov sees an example of Christian love (emphasized by a final reference to the story of Lazarus), which, incidentally, he has had a much harder time recognizing in his own mother and sister. If family is an eternal source of conflict in Dostoevsky’s novels, it is also the only means of escaping one’s loneliness and maintaining one’s sanity.

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Family Quotes in Crime and Punishment

Below you will find the important quotes in Crime and Punishment related to the theme of Family.
Part 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

It is necessary that every man have at least somewhere to go.

Related Characters: Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov (speaker)
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

. . . as he explained, a husband ought to owe nothing to his wife, but it is much better if a wife looks upon her husband as a benefactor.

Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

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

Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

And if we look straight, in all ways—will there be many good people left? No, in that case I’m sure that I, with all my innards, would be worth about as much as one baked onion!

Related Characters: Dmitri Prokofych Razumikhin (speaker)
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

He finally got it!

Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3, Chapter 4 Quotes

Despite her eighteen years, she looked almost like a little girl, much younger than her age . . . and this sometimes even appeared comically in some of her movements.

Related Characters: Sonya Semyonovna Marmeladov
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:
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!

Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4, Chapter 4 Quotes

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave . . . . Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. . . . Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me, . . . and he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth.

Related Characters: Sonya Semyonovna Marmeladov (speaker)
Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 327
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
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 . . . .

Page Number: 425
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
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 Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 520
Explanation and Analysis:
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 Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 551
Explanation and Analysis: