Imperfect Conscience In Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment

566 words - 2 pages

Crime and Punishment:  Imperfect Conscience              

A highly educated individual, avoiding the hardships of society while pondering the possibility of great wealth, Raskolnikov, in Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment," frustrated with his immoral actions, suffers from an abrupt physical and mental breakdown after brutally mutilating a wicked pawnbroker. After this soul-scarring incident, the initial feelings of success in completing his mission quickly changes once he realizes possible flaws in his, otherwise considered, perfect murder. Raskolnikov's imperfect conscience finally comes to an emotional awakening once his saint, Sonya, an unintelligent prostitute, brings him the love, sensitivity, and inner serenity to help him confess to the murder he so coldly commits.

After ruminating on the pessimistic consequences of this crude and selfish murder, a change in conscience comes over Raskolnikov. Once he understands the reality of the matter does he actually suffer a breakdown. Though he commits a very serious crime, Raskolnikov still refuses to believe its contingency. Referring to his theory on man, in which the extraordinary man is "allowed" to break the law, he should be permitted to break the law without question, since he connects with the mentality possessed by the extraordinary man. Sonya's ethereal persona helps prove to Raskolnikov that he doesn't fully qualify for the part of the extraordinary man. That small fragment in him consisting of all the goodness purity, love and forgiveness associated with Sonya still shines through to her. He realized the pain and suffering he must go through, but cannot allow the law to overpower his intelligence. Not accepting Sonya's subservience, a mutual agreement between his mind and body leave him stranded on the desolate island of...

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