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Fyodor Dostoyevsky Collection > Crime and Punishment Section 5 - Spoilers

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message 1: by Cindy (last edited May 04, 2014 07:54AM) (new)

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


message 2: by MK (last edited Jun 02, 2014 12:25PM) (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 12:43PM) (new)

Section 5: Chapters 27-31 and Spoilers definitely allowed! :-)

He's come undone --

Part 5 Quotable:

[Raskolnikov] had to tell her [Sonia] who had killed Lizaveta. He knew the terrible suffering it would be to him and, as it were, brushed away the thought of it.

Questions to ponder:

1. Why does Raskolnikov choose Sonia to confess to and why does she continue to love him even after the confession?

2. Are you surprised at the “duality” of Raskomikov’s character that has been revealed so far in the novel? (We are given some foreshadowing of this in his childhood dream about the horse; Part 1, Chapter 5.)


message 4: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments . Why does Raskolnikov choose Sonia to confess to and why does she continue to love him even after the confession?

I think R chooses Sonia because he can somewhat relate to her. By being a prostitute, she has been ostracized by society. R knows that once he's discovered as the murderer, he will also be reviled. R maybe thinks of Sonia as someone as damaged as he is.

I think Sonia continues to care for R even after his confession because she's used to the people she loves disappointing her, and doing awful things (such as her father spending all the money on drink, and the stepmother more or less forcing her into prostitution). I think too that Sonia wants to save him just like she tries to save her father and stepfather. Sonia also feels like she's worthless, so when R makes his confession she maybe feels more of a kinship with him, since he's no longer the wonderful savior in her eyes.


message 5: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments 2. Are you surprised at the “duality” of Raskomikov’s character that has been revealed so far in the novel? (We are given some foreshadowing of this in his childhood dream about the horse; Part 1, Chapter 5.)

Yes! I'm getting close to the end of the book and I still can't fully figure R out. He's an interesting character. The meaning of his name really is apt!


message 6: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments What did you guys think of the reason R gave Sonia for killing the old woman? It sounds like he basically killed her because he wanted to prove to himself that he could?


message 7: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I thought that the discussion between Luzhin and Lebeziatnikov about communes and the "progressive" idealogy was interesting. My Russian history is almost non-existent, but wasn't the Revolution in the early 1900s? So even back in the time in which the book was written there must have been a communist underground taking hold.

I might do a bit of googling about the time the book is set in....


message 8: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Okay, I found this on Schmoop about the time it's set in:

"In 1861, as a result of reforms by Tsar Alexander II of Russia, some twenty three million serfs (Russian peasants owned by landowners) were emancipated. While this was a beautiful thing, it constituted a major restructuring of Russian society and was therefore the cause of much chaos and turmoil.

At that time, St. Petersburg was the capitol of Russia and a major economic center. Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment focuses on some of the grimmer aspects of St. Petersburg in the 1860s."

By the way, I don't recommend looking up more on schmoop unless you don't mind spoilers. I'm pretty sure I accidentally just read a huge spoiler pertaining to the ending:-(.


message 9: by Kelly B (new)

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I also found this, about where the characters live:

"St. Petersburg is the "big" setting of the novel, but the smaller spaces are interesting, too. Take Raskolnikov's room as an example. It's small, grimy, and depressing, and is even blamed for his awful psychological state. With the exception of Porfiry, everybody we meet lives in terribly cramped places. The problem is obviously most acute in terms of families. Nobody has space to breathe or move, not to speak of privacy. The homes in the novel are places of violence, abuse, and chaos.

Most of the novel is set during the summer. We are constantly told that it's hot and stuffy to an unreasonable degree. This aspect of setting certainly contributes to the "powder-keg" feeling we get while we are reading, as if everything is on the verge of some huge explosion."


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Kelly wrote: "Okay, I found this on Schmoop about the time it's set in:

"In 1861, as a result of reforms by Tsar Alexander II of Russia, some twenty three million serfs (Russian peasants owned by landowners) we..."



Thanks for posting that information Kelly!! :-)

Doing research about a book before finishing is always tricky. I have accidentally read some spoilers myself and ruined the anticipation of the ending of a few novels.


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

Your observations about the small living spaces in St Petersburg were very interesting. I even got the sense that the pawn broker's "lodging" was not very large--rather smaller than I expected when RR was in there and committed the murders.


message 12: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Tuttle | 7 comments Kelly, I like the way you said it. "This aspect of setting certainly contributes to the 'powder-keg' feeling we get while we are reading, as if everything is on the verge of some huge explosion." I felt nervous throughout most of the book due to the setting and suspenseful interactions between the characters.


message 13: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Tuttle | 7 comments I think Raskolnikov choose Sonia to confess to because he felt like only she would understand ignoble deeds done for noble reasons. Sonia lived an ignoble life to help support her stepmother and siblings. Raskolnikov was an ax murderer for reasons he, at some point at least, felt were noble. Dounia, his mother, and any other character represented more danger of condemnation and betrayal in his or her reaction. In addition if Sonia told, her word would not have as much weight as someone who lived an honorable and chaste life.


message 14: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9189 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 15: by Cynda (last edited May 09, 2019 08:25PM) (new)

Cynda | 2499 comments When RR tries to confess his guilt to Porfiry, Porfiry does not let RR confess. The guilt is eating up RR. So he braves up to confessing to his love Sonia. By confessing to Sonia, RR will receive sone forgiveness and some direction that love can give. Now RR is better able to pay any consequences that will help set him free.


message 16: by Cynda (last edited May 09, 2019 09:05PM) (new)

Cynda | 2499 comments Now I am excited. The end of the novel seems to be on the horizon and then fades. The tension remains high.


message 17: by Matt (new)

Matt (mmullerm) | 720 comments I’m still slowly making my way through a re-read of C&P. The beginning of part 5 at Marmeladov’s funeral dinner is comical.

I loved this line in Part 5, chapter 2 (speaking of the deceased Marmeladov):
”Yes, he was fond of drink, he was fond of it, he did drink!” shouted the commissariat clerk, gulping down his twelfth glass of vodka.

The entire scene is very funny and Marmeladov’s wife is shown to be so pathetic. She constantly touts her father’s high standing and how honorable her husband was, even though he was a major alcoholic, and we know the family hasn’t paid their rent regularly in months, if not years. They live practically in poverty due to his excessive drinking and because of him not taking care of his family like he should have been.

I think all this with the Marmeladov’s was put into the story so Dostoevsky could poke fun at Raskolnikov and make him look like a big dummy. We get to see that Rodion’s charity is as misplaced as his confidence in himself in committing the “perfect crime”. Katerina Ivanovna wastes the 25 rubles that Rasklonikov had given to her with this ridiculous dinner that only the bums and “moochers” show up to. No respectable person even bothers to show up!

I just got to the part (chapter 3) where Luzhin shows up (very late of course) to the funeral dinner. This is fixing to be a throw down...


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