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Fyodor Dostoyevsky Collection > Crime and Punishment Section 2 - Spoilers

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message 1: by Cindy (last edited May 04, 2014 07:55AM) (new)

Cindy Brown (beautygoodbook) Thank You Lisa for being our discussion leader for this book.


message 2: by MK (last edited Jun 02, 2014 12:26PM) (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment was chosen from monthly nominations as our June 2014 Old School Classic Group Read. I hope you will join the conversation! Please take care to limit SPOILERS to appropriate threads, so so as to not to give away any plot points prematurely! :)

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message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited May 10, 2014 11:46AM) (new)

Section 2: Chapters 8-14 and Spoilers definitely allowed! :-)

The plot thickens, there are traces of blood, perhaps something very bad has transpired --

Part 2 Quotable:

“All right”, Raskolnikov began, “this is what I would have done.” Again he brought his face close to Zamiotov’s (or Zametov’s) face; again he looked at him steadily; and again he spoke in a whisper. This time Zamiotov actually shuddered.

Questions to ponder:

1. What is Raskolnikov’s motivation for playing games with detective Zamiotov (or Zametov) and why does he continually have the urge to stick his tongue out during his pseudo confession??

2. Do you believe the detective suspects Raskolnikov at this juncture or is he just playing along?

3. Why does Raskolnikov give Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov the twenty roubles that had been given to him by his mother and sister?


message 4: by Caity (new)

Caity (caityf) Okay, I am only at the end of chapter 10, I think, so I can't answer the questions, but I wanted to ask the group what they thought about a few things before I forget:

I asked in the previous thread about the horse dream. Now, here he is on the bridge and he is lashed by a horse whip. Then he goes home and is described as an overworked horse. ("Undressing, and quiering like ab overdriiven horse, he lay down on the sofa...")

Thoughts? (I'm bad at symbolism) This may be obvious to you all, but I'm thinking that it's supposed to be a fear of dying like that horse in his dream - beaten down by society and viewed as a THING not a person (possibly an existentiialist thing), and dying uncared for.

Then I've noticed so far that he's made a lot of references to the Neva. RR seems to gravitate to the Neva. Now maybe this is because of the location of his home, etc. but do you think there's anything significant about that? A water/rebirth/cleansing thing or am I reading too much into that?

Also, I've noticed that there are many times where he mentions not being in the mood to be "seen" by another person and then later, he regrets seeing his friend in person - why did he go there? Originally, after reading about Dounia, he had wanted to see his friend to get work. Then his friend offers him work translating and even gives him an advance, and he turns it down.

Has anyone else noticed that he has something against money? He gives it away, then he regrets it. Like the man in the bar, the girl who is drunk on the street (well he gave it to the policeman), then he rejects the job from his friend, then a strange woman gives him money and he tosses it into the river.

Could all of this be related to his sister's situation? He hates money and yet knows that it is a necessity so he curses himself for giving it away. Yet he feels no remorse for abandoning the loot he took after the murder, or anything handed out to him.

So, to wrap it up:

What's up with the horse references and the river?
What do you think about his not wanting to be around people suddenly and then literally not wanting to be seen? His sudden hatred for all those he sees?
What's up with his love/hate relationship around money? Does it make him feel like the workhorse? Or does he despise how it drives people's lives and he hates that he needs it? Or does he simply not care about money?

Maybe the answers to these questions will show themselves as I continue to read, but I was curious about anyone else's thoughts too.


message 5: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments 1. What is Raskolnikov’s motivation for playing games with detective Zamiotov (or Zametov) and why does he continually have the urge to stick his tongue out during his pseudo confession??

I couldn't get over how foolish R was to say all that to the detective! I think the guilt is getting the best of him. It seems like he wants to be caught. It also seems like he's mocking the detective and his other friends: he's practically confessed to the murders, yet they still don't seem to realize he's the killer (although I do think a few of them are starting to suspect him).

The urge to stick out his tongue seems to go hand in hand with his urge to confess. I think R feels he'll be caught, and at times just wants to get it over with.


message 6: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments 2. Do you believe the detective suspects Raskolnikov at this juncture or is he just playing along?

I think the detective either suspects R, or thinks he's mentally unbalanced.


message 7: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments 3. Why does Raskolnikov give Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov the twenty roubles that had been given to him by his mother and sister?

R seems to want to sabotage his own life. Although he needs money badly (and his mother and sister certainly don't have any to spare), he gives it away. Maybe too he feels by doing a good deed and giving others his money, it will partially make up for murdering for money. I think he also feels guilty for taking the money from his mother and sister.


message 8: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments What's up with the horse references and the river?


I just finished part two (don't read any further if you don't want spoilers;-).

In addition to the horse references you mentioned, there's also Marmaladov's death by being trampled under a horse! Perhaps R feels that life is like the horses in the story: either society beats the horse down(like in the dream), or the horse beats down society(when M is trampled).


message 9: by Kelly B (last edited Jun 15, 2014 12:31PM) (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments What do you think about his not wanting to be around people suddenly and then literally not wanting to be seen? His sudden hatred for all those he sees?

I think he's very lonely and wants companionship, but at the same time feels so guilty and shameful for where is life has ended up that he feels inferior to his friends and family. It's like he feels he's not worthy of their attentions. Even before the murders he is avoiding everyone except the servant woman.


message 10: by Kelly B (last edited Jun 15, 2014 12:35PM) (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments What's up with his love/hate relationship around money? Does it make him feel like the workhorse? Or does he despise how it drives people's lives and he hates that he needs it? Or does he simply not care about money?

I think he despises how it drive people's lives and that he needs it. I think he also feels guilty how he has been getting his own money: either handouts or murder. He feels inferior to those with more money than him and better prospects.


message 11: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments More of R's true colors are showing in section two. He appears to have been a bum and mooch for several years now. I got the impression that he'd never paid his rent, but rather took advantage of the landlady by promising to marry her daughter.

He seems so foolish, taking many chances and almost begging to be caught. I couldn't believe he was dumb enough to show up at the scene of the crime, and to keep asking/talking about the murders. Then he forgets/blocks out that his sister and mother will be showing up any time to see him. He seems to want the worst case scenario to happen to him.


message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 15, 2014 02:29PM) (new)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raskol

Perhaps it is helpful to keep in mind that "Raskol" actually refers to a split or schism. Before I realized the meaning of his name, I thought he was possibly exhibiting the characteristics of a multiple personality. It seems his name was chosen with great care by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

What a great discussion about this section!! Thanks to readers for posting your opinions!!


message 13: by Lesley (last edited Jun 17, 2014 03:22PM) (new)

Lesley | 46 comments I'm also wondering about the references to horses. I also think it is symbolism but for what I don't yet know. I'm also wondering if in his early life he was involved/witnessed something horrific involving a horse (maybe a pet horse, but then I don't know if he grew up in the country?) Do we know anything about RR's father? I may have missed that bit.

I think his attitude to people and money may show his continued descent into madness. I think he revealed the murder to the detective as he was feeling guilty at the time, but I don't know why he would go back the scene of the crime. Is this something some criminals do?


message 14: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I'm also wondering about the references to horses. I also think it is symbolism but for what I don't yet know. I'm also wondering if in his early life he was involved/witnessed something horrific involving a horse (maybe a pet horse, but then I don't know if he grew up in the country?) Do we know anything about RR's father? I may have missed that bit.

That's a good point about the father. He really hasn't been mentioned much at all, except in a dream. I don't think it's been said how he died, even.


message 15: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I think his attitude to people and money may show his continued descent into madness. I think he revealed the murder to the detective as he was feeling guilty at the time, but I don't know why he would go back the scene of the crime. Is this something some criminals do?

I've heard it is common for criminals to return to the scene of the crime, but I have no idea if that's true or not.

In R's case, I think he went back to the flat because he was so nervous about getting caught that he wanted to tempt fate. I think too he was curious, not just about how the flat would look but how he himself would react to it.


message 16: by Caity (last edited Jun 18, 2014 07:03AM) (new)

Caity (caityf) I finally finished the second part.

I will answer the questions but first wanted to add to Kelly's response - I have heard of people re-living their crimes and stuff. But the weird thing is, he wanted to turn himself in. But then he found himself at the house. Then he was ringing the bell over and over and getting a total thrill out of it - remembering when he had been hiding and the bell kept ringing.

It's like he goes back and forth from deciding that he wants to end it all, die, etc. or turn himself in, but it doesn't seem out of guilt or stress, or he feels very clever about having pulled it off. Which is why I think that he gets all crazy with the detective, asking him about the crime and practically telling him that he did it.

Oh and he was very distressed at the flat being redecorated and the wallpaper being changed. I think he went there wanting to re-live it. It's like, he wanted to turn himself in but instead went to go and relive it, but was upset that he couldn't. So there's something there about him wanting to feel something... it's just not clear what.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Lesley wrote: "I'm also wondering about the references to horses. I also think it is symbolism but for what I don't yet know. I'm also wondering if in his early life he was involved/witnessed something horrific i..."

I was not quite certain how to interpret the meaning of the horse dream myself. R experiences the same type of reaction to the helplessness of the horse, as he does to Marmeladov's situation. R seems conflicted, as part of him wants to help (or rescue) the horse and Marmeladov's family and part of him chooses to be judgmental. Throughout the story, R seems to have similar extreme and conflicted reactions to events.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments 1. What is Raskolnikov’s motivation for playing games with detective Zamiotov (or Zametov) and why does he continually have the urge to stick his tongue out during his pseudo confession??

This may sound a little silly, but perhaps I have seen to many crime or police dramas/movies. Also, perhaps Dostoevsky has some actual insight into the criminal mind. I think that RRs motivation for entering into these "games" with a law enforcement official is arrogance and a sense of superiority, that he is smarter than they are and that they are not very intelligent. He feels that his intellect is superior. I don't know if this feeling of superiority is because of his class? Surely he has not prior experience to lead him to conclude that law enforcement officials are not very smart. Therefore, I say again that it is arrogance/superiority.

2. Do you believe the detective suspects Raskolnikov at this juncture or is he just playing along?

I believe that an experienced detective is used to criminals or people who commit crimes who think that they are smarter than the police. Therefore, I think at this juncture, RR has called himself to the attention of law enforcement where he otherwise would have gone unnoticed by them (police) and they would have had no reason to ever think he is suspicious.

3. Why does Raskolnikov give Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov the twenty roubles that had been given to him by his mother and sister?

I don't know why RR is so offhand and disregards the money's that his mother and sister send him. Does it make him feel superior to give away his loved one's money that they scraped to send to him by giving it to someone whom he feels is worse off?


message 19: by Lesley (last edited Jun 19, 2014 02:23PM) (new)

Lesley | 46 comments I agree that he feels a sense of superiority, particularly when it comes to money. He didn't make many sacrifices to give away his mother's money. He still has his dingy room and some cash when he pawns his next family heirloom. I don't think his reasoning is all that charitable. Superiority, moral high-ground ..?


message 20: by Janet (new)

Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 852 comments When thinking about why he gives away his mother's money I had thoughts that he was already beginning to have doubts about his own superiority because he was having so many problems stemming from the murders. He thought that as a superior being he would be able to cope better than he was able to. Thus, when giving money to someone in worse straights than he was it helped to reinforce his feeling of self worth and, in his mind, superiority.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments @Janet

That's very interesting. I was very disturbed that he was being supported by his very poor mother, who borrowed money against her very small income on his behalf, then carelessly squandered it. He never seemed the least bit thankful.


message 22: by Janet (new)

Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 852 comments He never did seem thankful. I think that his mother had spoiled him to the point that he thought he deserved the money and that spoiling also led him to the feeling he had that he was a superior being who "could murder someone for the greater good". His mother did him a great disservice by not holding him up to a higher standard and making him responsible for himself.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments @Janet

I think there is truth in what you say about RR as "spoilt" by his mother. His mother seemed to feel that it was also ok for his sister to get in debt in order to support him as well. Dounia, the sister wound up borrowing against her future salary ( 100 rubles, I think) from her then new employer as a governess. Then when the dastardly man of the house sexually harassed her, she couldn't walk away as soon as she would have liked.

However, I realize in some cultures and time periods, the son is more important or more valued than a daughter. That certainly seemed the case where the mother was concerned.


message 24: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments When thinking about why he gives away his mother's money I had thoughts that he was already beginning to have doubts about his own superiority because he was having so many problems stemming from the murders. He thought that as a superior being he would be able to cope better than he was able to. Thus, when giving money to someone in worse straights than he was it helped to reinforce his feeling of self worth and, in his mind, superiority.

Good point! That makes sense. It probably made him feel superior too just to even see other people in worse predicaments than himself.


message 25: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments That's very interesting. I was very disturbed that he was being supported by his very poor mother, who borrowed money against her very small income on his behalf, then carelessly squandered it. He never seemed the least bit thankful.

That bothered me too. I wonder if the author put that in to show how R really didn't have much of a conscience about anything. Murder, taking advantage of his mother, being very selfish and self-centered....R thought that anything he did was okay since he was superior to the rest of society.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments RRR was certainly self-centered. I agree.


message 27: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9268 comments Mod
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is our 2019 2nd Quarter Long Read for the group. The group previously read the book in 2014.

This is one of seven Spoiler Threads

Reading schedule:

April 1 - 15: Part One

April 16 - 30: Part Two

May 1 - 15: Part Three

May 16- 31: Part Four

June 1 - 15: Part Five

June 16 - 30: Part Six & Epilogue

Book as a Whole

Film versions of the book.

Previous thread on translations


message 28: by Terry (new)

Terry | 1392 comments Since I started a bit early, I already have a comment on Part One. I already find the protagonist to be a vile character with very little in his personality to redeem himself. I wonder if the author will change my mind by the end of the book.


message 29: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9268 comments Mod
Almost ready to move onto the next section of the book?


message 30: by Matt (new)

Matt (mmullerm) | 758 comments Just finished Part 2 of Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky was ahead of his time in describing bipolar disorder. We see Raskolnikov’s joy of life and living, then a few pages later, he’s ready to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge. His extreme mood swings are like a roller coaster.

Raskolnikov’s self-destructive behavior is also interesting to witness as a reader. It’s almost seems like a cry for help, but does he truly want to change? He returns to the scene of the crime, and he privately resolves to go to the police, clear his conscience, and turn himself in, but he keeps getting sidetracked. I’m of the opinion that when the dust settles he absolutely had no remorse for what he did.

On to part 3. His sister and mother arrive at the end of part 2, and Rodion is going to have to deal with Dunya’s engagement to Luzhin.


message 31: by Cynda (last edited Apr 21, 2019 09:34PM) (new)

Cynda | 2569 comments It is so easy to attribute 21st-century terminology to 19th-century experience. It is our experience. It is what we understand. It is not what the characters in 19th century understand. It would not have been what Dostoevsky understood.

Dostoevsky understood human nature. Generalization: When people convince themselves to act out on desires that have to rhyme or reason then comes the guilt, shame, remorse, a need to confess. Specifics: This what RR is doing and fighting against, both. Both when unconscious and conscious.

Dostoevsky understood this human natire because he was human, yes, but more particularly because he informally and intently studied human nature of criminals while himself in prison.

LINK


message 32: by Cynda (last edited Apr 24, 2019 12:40AM) (new)

Cynda | 2569 comments End of Chaprt 6
Porter on street talking about Raskolnikov:
No need to get mixed up in that. . . .A crook, sure as fate! Asking for trouble, clear enough, but if you get mixed up in it, you'll never get out again.

This quote seems to sum up what RR's friends, most particularly Zossimov, seem to be thinking,


message 33: by Terry (new)

Terry | 1392 comments I am making progress on the second part. Is Dostoevsky making excuses for RR by describing his fevers and delirium following the murders? Is it a kind of a “by reason of insanity” type of logic? If so, I don’t buy it. Clearly this is a disturbed individual, whether he is manic depressive or not (understanding that this is modern type off diagnosis). But, so far, it does not make him any more sympathetic to me. He brutally committed murder and shows no remorse fevered or not.


message 34: by Cynda (last edited Apr 24, 2019 01:01AM) (new)

Cynda | 2569 comments Terry, I don't think Dostoevsky is making excuses. I think he is describing. Whenever a person does something that goes against their value system--such as murdering someone for no solid reason such as self-defense--then the mind, body, and spirit sicken. It is just how we humans with our consciences work. Often we call this sickness an emotional breakdown or a spiritual collapse. Nineteenth-century folk may have used terms such as distressed mind or tormented soul. . . . I thinking about other terms that might have been used. Others here might remember other terms.

My developing sympathy for RR comes from watching the torment he is living with. Even when asleep, RR experiences torment. He is a tormented soul.


message 35: by Pamela (last edited Apr 24, 2019 05:34AM) (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) | 265 comments Cynda wrote: "Terry, I don't think Dostoevsky is making excuses. I think he is describing..."

I agree, Cynda, and that description is what I am finding fascinating. We are seeing the stages of RR's mental processes, and their impact on his physical wellbeing. The crime is exhausting him, physically and mentally, and affecting his reactions to everyday events - he has to revisit the scene of the crime, talk about it etc. He can't let it lie. It's an amazing feat of literary ability by Dostoevsky to show this.

Terry, I do not find RR a sympathetic character either, though I am hoping he will develop and show remorse as events progress. I think Dostoevsky is leaving it up to the reader to decide how they feel about RR.


message 36: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2372 comments Well, I certainly don't like him! But I'm enjoying the book :)


message 37: by Cynda (last edited Apr 26, 2019 03:32PM) (new)

Cynda | 2569 comments It's the strangest thing isn't Terris.
I want the friends to stop being in denial, to tell Rodia that his self-torment is tormenting them, and to tell him to go to the police. Tell some truths. But then there would be no novel. Hmmmm.


message 38: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2372 comments Cynda wrote: "It's the strangest thing isn't Terris.
I want the friends to stop being in denial, to tell Rodia that his self-torment is tormenting them, and to tell him to go to the police. Tell some truths. But..."


Yes! The whole thing seems so ridiculous -- but without the "ridiculousness" there would be no book! ;)
I can't wait to see how it ends! I should finish on Monday!! :)


message 39: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 2569 comments Terris, I may too be finishing in Monday. I am now deep into Book 3. Hope to see you and others there soon :-)


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