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Group Reads Archive - 2012 > Crime and Punishment: Part II- Feb. 18-25

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver PART II

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER VI

CHAPTER VII


message 2: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
I see the threads are very silent. Here are some questions to get things start:

Why does Raskolnikov’s attempt to get rid of the stolen goods?

Is Raskolnikov’s main concern with being caught or has he begun to worry about atoning for the crime?

What role does Razumikhin play in understanding Raskolnikov's character?


“a feeling akin to that of a dead man upon suddenly receiving his pardon.” But can Raskolnikov experience peace with donating money to the Marmeladovs?



P.S. ONLY if you comment on something beyond these chapters, please warn others with ***spoilers included**** or use the formatting tips in Goodreads, (some html is ok)


message 3: by MountainAshleah (last edited Feb 20, 2012 12:27PM) (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) "Is Raskolnikov’s main concern with being caught or has he begun to worry about atoning for the crime?" His concern with being caught is a symptom of his tremendous guilt complex. It is almost as if he wants to get caught . . . the guilt manifesting itself in failing physical health, bizarre conversations, bizarre behavior, his reading into everything everyone says as an indictment of his own guilt . . . and wanting it to be as such. Truly this study of a guilty conscience is extraordinary. I can think of no other work like it during that time frame--please someone correct me--


message 4: by E.P. (new)

E.P. Rose (eprose) | 2 comments Here's something to consider. When I first read Crime and Punishment, I was a teenager and I loved it for its dark and gloomy Russian soul. But, when I re-read it last year, (decades on) I marvelled at how brilliantly, scathingly, darkly comic the book is. This was a revelation, that Crime and Punishment is a gloriously vicious satire - and incredibly enjoyable as such.


MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) There were funny moments, but are you suggesting the entire book is satirical? I don't think I've heard that one before. Certainly the murder scene has black comedy elements in R's complete ineptitude.


message 6: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
MountainShelby wrote: ""Is Raskolnikov’s main concern with being caught or has he begun to worry about atoning for the crime?" His concern with being caught is a symptom of his tremendous guilt complex. It is almost as i..."

I can't think of a one either. Only thing comes even remotely closer is Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. There Arthur Dimmesdale's character suffers from mysterious distress (reader only finds later what..) Through the story his psychological anguish deepens, and he invents new torturing for himself and an "A" burned into his chest for adultery.

One thing is I can't still get the motive behind his crime. In part 2 he almost confesses his crime twice, he wanted to get rid of the stolen goods soon after so why did it in the first place.

I find Razumikhin's character really interesting. He is a kind, caring man who would even help an ungrateful friend. He is cheerful and relaxed unlike Raskolnikov. His charity is different than Raskolnikov's donating money to Marmeladovs. Razumikhin, like his friend, is a poor student, but he manages to support himself without even contemplating. I'm wondering if the motive behind the killing is Raskolnikov's intellectual pride? which Razumikhin clearly doesn't have.

If anyone knows the meaning of these two names let us know.


E.P. wrote: "Here's something to consider. When I first read Crime and Punishment, I was a teenager and I loved it for its dark and gloomy Russian soul. But, when I re-read it last year, (decades on) I marvelle..."

Really, satire? Never thought of that. With what I've read so far I can't see it. Not yet. I'll keep it noted.


message 7: by Bera (last edited Feb 20, 2012 11:53PM) (new)

Bera | 7 comments Here's my take, and I think Dostoevski asks this same question in other works as well: "If there is no God (or rather, a God who is a moral being and made us such, as well), then morality is purely a human fiction, and if one really and truly recognizes it as such, he should be able to change it or even dispense with it and suffer no ill effects. As Ivan says in Brothers Karamazov, "If there is no God, everything is possible (that is, "permissible"). So the murder Raskolnikov chooses to commit is intentionally senseless and motiveless because it is an experiment to see whether, believing there is no such God, one really can do anything and not be bothered by it. The rest of the book is Dostoevski's answer. I think Doestoevski means to show that an objective and transcendent moral order is woven into the very fabric of existence, and as such, cannot be violated without also doing violence to our inmost being, our essential self.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Bera wrote: "Here's my take, and I think Dostoevski asks this same question in other works as well: "If there is no God (or rather, a God who is a moral being and made us such, as well), then morality is purely..."

I never thought there were religious connotations on this one before. Silly of me, because the novel after all is a process of atoning.

I think the novel is not realistic, but symbolic, and portrays the conflict of different ideas on the
battlefield of man himself; not historical, individual man, but man in all times and places.
The goal is to measure the relative merits of the ideas, rather than to portray their effect
upon individual people.


message 9: by dely (last edited Feb 21, 2012 04:26AM) (new)

dely | 340 comments If I don't remember wrong Raskolnikov thought also that he was intellectually superior to other people, he thought that such a person was able to decide what is right and what is wrong and act accordingly without remorse. The old woman was an usurar (a moneylender without a heart) and for Raskolnikov she was a bad person and so it was right, in his opinion, to kill such a bad person. He was sure it was something right that he did not think he would have remorses of conscience, and that what he did was wrong.

I agree also with Bera, it could be like with Ivan in Brothers Karamazov. But also there, at the end Ivan understands that what he thinks is wrong.


message 10: by Tarun (new)

Tarun | 19 comments I think in the opening chapter itself,young Raskolnikov is convincing and clarifying himself about the rightness of murdering a cunning old pawn broker.His arrogance places himself above every other person and he assumes himself above the ethics of the society(alike Napoleon).
And his half-hearted attempt to murder, he takes it as a challenge to himself to prove that he is someone who controls himself and is not frightened by the trifles involved.Moreover he is also trying his best to convince himself that he has chosen the woman only because she is old and very cruel and cunning and not because he wants to steal money from her.

But there is another angle that one can look this upon from .What strongly struck me at the moment was that Raskolnikov was justifying his plan of attempt to murder by deriving a theory of being superior to others and in that way hiding from his inner conscious his real motive of greed for money that he wanted to steal from the woman after murdering her.He wanted to commit the crime (muredering and stealing) and also be absolutely convinced internally that he had a very superior reason of doing so.


message 11: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
Tarun wrote: "His arrogance places himself above every other person and he assumes himself above the ethics of the society(alike Napoleon)...."

I've heard that - Raskolnikov's Napoleon complex. So far I only thought it resulted from his intellectual pride. Perhaps a combination of both then.


message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 21, 2012 08:14AM) (new)

Really, so it's all his fault? I thought it's more a social document addressing the evils of the time. As I said earlier a symbolic work. I think I talked about this earlier the dream about the killing of the overburdened horse (Part I). I always thought Dostoevsky used it to give an idea of Raskolnikov's true motivation for the murder to the unhappiness of his childhood.

It also lends itself better than any other to the view that it is an attack on the evils of capitalist
society-- poverty, recognition of birth or class rather than ability, etc.


message 13: by MountainAshleah (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) Amalie wrote: "MountainShelby wrote: ""Is Raskolnikov’s main concern with being caught or has he begun to worry about atoning for the crime?" His concern with being caught is a symptom of his tremendous guilt com..."

Your comment made me think that in The Scarlet Letter (the most influential book in my life) Dimmesdale has all the inward suffering and guilt and Chillingworth the outward maliciousness. Raskolnikov combines the two . . .


message 14: by MountainAshleah (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) Bera wrote: "Here's my take, and I think Dostoevski asks this same question in other works as well: "If there is no God (or rather, a God who is a moral being and made us such, as well), then morality is purely..."

Great comment. R. first rationalizes the theft/murder because he will give alms to the poor or something to that effect--I can't recall. But truly even he realizes the murder is without motive. How he handles the goods from the theft is brilliant on D's part . . .


message 15: by MountainAshleah (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) dely wrote: "If I don't remember wrong Raskolnikov thought also that he was intellectually superior to other people, he thought that such a person was able to decide what is right and what is wrong and act acco..."

Yes, i agree--I had forgotten his intellectual superiority and how he excuses himself--or attempts to.


message 16: by Bera (last edited Feb 22, 2012 01:48AM) (new)

Bera | 7 comments Several of you pointed out R's thinking of himself as intellectually superior to, and therefore not bound by, the rules that govern the unenlightened "little people." I had forgotten about that. I agree, and believe this has always been the most seductive and insidious of pitfalls. And when such people acquire positions of power, watch out. Fortunately, in R's life, another power is at work.


message 17: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Yes, this is a main point for me. Does he truly believe the rules don't apply to him? Or is he justifying his actions a la utilitarianism, consequentialism? Were those schools even around when D wrote the book? Is that what he's commenting on? I'm interesting in seeing how this all plays out in R's mind and life.


message 18: by Bera (new)

Bera | 7 comments The Wiki article on utilitarianism references Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)as two notable proponents, and Dostoevski lived from 1821 – February 9, 1881, so it does appear that these ideas were fermenting while D was writing.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Amalie wrote: "MIf anyone knows the meaning of these two names let us know. ..."

Raskolnikov /raskol/ means a schism, or split; "raskolnik" is "one who splits" or "dissenter"; the verb raskalyvat' means "to cleave", "to chop","to crack","to split" or "to break"

Razumikhin /razum / means rationality, mind, intelligence


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