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Crime and Punishment

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Hello everyone,


After reading Dostojevski's Crime and Punishment a question has been "haunting" me. I have been asking whether this question was even relevant to the understanding of the book. But I am a criminology student and asking questions is often the first thing I do when reading books. I don't think anyone but Dostojevski could give me the right answer, but unfortunately he is not among us anymore.. So I am asking you, fellow readers, what your answer is to the question I am about to ask.




When Raskolnikov commits the first murder, the second woman (the sister if I remember well) enters the house and Raskolnikov killed her too. So my question is: what if the second woman hadn't interrupted? Would Raskolnikov have had the same "mental breakdown" after he only committed the first murder?


I agree that on the one hand this question is irrelevant, because it's just the way it happend and the way it could happen to anyone committing a murder, but on the other hand I think it is a very relevant question. I will try to give you my answer. Raskolnikov felt repulsion and hatred towards the old lady, he thought she was a useless, less of a human being. So maybe, if he only killed her, he wouldn't feel any guilt or regret. Of course, I am not saying that this perspective is true, but it is plausible. And by writing this I feel like I answered my own question.. Because if Raskolnikov didn't regret his crime, they're wouldn't be a 1000 pages book..


What do you think? Would Raskolnikov react the same way if he had only killed the old lady?



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