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Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment

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  1. Crime and Punishment Compare and contrast Svidrigailov with Raskolnikov-- How are they paralleled and opposed? How does Svidrigailov fit into the extraordinary man theory? Why does Svidrigailov commit suicide? Decide how you feel about his character.

  2. Svidrigailov • Obsessed with Dounia • Believed to have murdered his wife, but claims otherwise • A paedophile: dreams of a five year old harlot • Engaged to a near 16 year old girl • Tells Raskolnikov that he would place Katerina Ivanovna’s children in an orphanage and set up a trust fund of 1 500 roubles each after Katerina died so Sonia did not have to look after them • When he locks Dounia in his room with him, he chooses to let her go when she refuses his love • Commits suicide by shooting himself in the head the day after Dounia refuses his love at his lodgings in St. Petersburg

  3. Raskolnikov • Murders Alyona and Lizaveta Ivanovna and robs them • Becomes delirious and reaches the brink of insanity because of his conscience • Wrote an article on crime stating that there were people who had to obey the law, and people who believed themselves to be extraordinary and could rise above the law for a certain purpose • Falls in love with Sonia • Confesses his crime and is sentenced to 8 years in Siberia

  4. Comparison • Svidrigailov and Raskolnikov both love Dounia, in different ways • They both share the same view of ordinary and extraordinary people • They both kill: Raskolnikov murders the Ivanovnas, Svidrigailov is believed to have murdered his wife, and he kills himself • They both do good deeds in the end: Raskolnikov confesses while Svidrigailov releases Dounia instead of abusing her • Neither person can handle guilt: Raskolnikov nearly goes insane from his guilt of murder, and Svidrigailov sees the ghost of his wife three times and has a perverted dream about a five year old girl and wakes up in a panic before shooting himself

  5. Contrast • Svidrigailov dies while Raskolnikov survives • Svidrigailov is more of a Napoleon (Extraordinary person) and Raskolnikov an ordinary person • Raskolnikov has better morals: he gives money to the Marmeladov family to pay for Semyon Marmeladov’s funeral, donates money to the poor, helps Sonia get out of her prostitution, helps Dounia and his mother see what Luzhin is really like and helps clear Sonia’s name when Luzhin tries to frame her for theft. Svidrigailov pays for Katerina’s children to go to an orphanage and gives them a trust fund for when they are older, and lets Dounia go when he realizes that she does no love him.

  6. Svidrigailov’s Connection to the Napoleon Theory • I think Svidrigailov is more of a Napoleon as he does many acts that are against the law or immoral. Firstly, he murders his wife, though he denies it. He is engaged to a girl of the age of 16, despite his own age. He also dreams of flirtatious and harlot-like 5 year old girls. After his dream, he commits suicide.

  7. Why Svidrigailov Commits Suicide • Svidrigailov commits suicide due to his love for Dounia. After he lets her go, and after a few detours, he spends the night in restless dreams and nightmares, and thinks of Dounia. I think his dream about the five year old girl also contributes to the reason behind his suicide. Once he wakes, he leaves and commits suicide

  8. What I Think of Svidrigailov • I have mixed feelings about Svidrigailov. On the plus side, he gives Katerina’s children a new home and a trust fund for each of them, and he releases Dounia instead of abusing her. On the minus side, he is engaged to a 16 year old girl, he has dirty dreams about a 5 year old girl, and he murdered his wife to be with Dounia. Although Svidrigailov does some good deeds, I do not think he is ever redeemed.