Crime and Punishment

“Crime and Punishment” is a novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1866. The story revolves around the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg.

Raskolnikov, who is sickly, dressed in rags, short on money, and talks to himself, is contemplating committing an awful crime. He plans to kill an old pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, to get money and to test a theory of his. He believes that superior humans are allowed to transgress conventional morality to achieve something greater.

After committing the murder, he also ends up killing the pawnbroker’s sister, Lizaveta, who walks in unexpectedly. Raskolnikov then struggles with guilt, paranoia, and alienation, while also being pursued by the intelligent and meticulous detective Porfiry.

Throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions with his theory, but he is tormented by his guilt. He seeks redemption and finally confesses to the crime. The novel delves deep into the psychology of the criminal mind and explores the theme of redemption through suffering.

The story also features a host of other characters, including Raskolnikov’s sister Dunya, his friend Razumikhin, the drunk Marmeladov and his daughter Sonya, who is forced into prostitution, and the sinister Svidrigailov.

“Crime and Punishment” is a profound and philosophical exploration of crime, justice, and the human capacity for redemption.

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