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Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  ·  Crime and Punishment

author  · Fyodor Dostoevsky

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Psychological drama

language  · Russian

time and place written  · 1865–1866, St. Petersburg, Russia

date of first publication  · 1866; appeared serially in The Russian Messenger before being published in book form in 1867

publisher  · The serial edition was published by the editor of The Russian Messenger, Mikhail Katkov; the two-volume book version was published by Bazanov.

narrator  · Third-person omniscient

climax  · Raskolnikov’s confession in Part VI, Chapter VIII

protagonist  · Raskolnikov

antagonists  · Luzhin, Porfiry Petrovich, Svidrigailov, Raskolnikov’s conscience

settings (time)  · 1860s

settings (place)  · St. Petersburg and a prison in Siberia

point of view  · The story is told primarily from the point of view of Raskolnikov but occasionally switches to the perspective of Svidrigailov, Razumikhin, and Dunya.

falling action  · The Epilogue, in which Raskolnikov, imprisoned in Siberia, discovers that he loves Sonya

tense  · Past

foreshadowing  · In Part I, Chapter I, when Raskolnikov rehearses the murder of the pawnbroker; throughout the rest of the novel, whenever Raskolnikov considers confessing

tones  · Tragic, emotional, melodramatic, critical, despairing, fatalistic, confessional

themes  · Alienation from society, the psychology of crime and punishment, religious redemption, the importance of family, nihilism, the “superman”

motifs  · Poverty

symbols  · The city as a symbol of Raskolnikov’s internal state; the cross as a symbol of religious redemption

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Raskolnikov's reaction

by Jojo1618, July 25, 2012

When Raskolnikov decides not to let his sister's marriage happen, he takes on the role of a typical big brother. He thinks no one is good for his sister, in addition to feeling that she is doing it for him. He is egocentric and his reaction really mirrors what any big brother would do who does not want his baby sister to marry an idiot.

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Pulcheria's Letter

by taylor197, August 09, 2012

When Raskolnikov (Rask) gets his mother's letter, she explains that her pension is small but may be just enough to help out her son. Next, she tells him that his sister, Dounia, is getting married to a slightly arrogant business man, Pyotr.

Rask despises what's happening to his family. He doesn't take a "big brother" stance, but is simply angry that Pyotr is using the family's poverty to get a "legal concubine". Raskhas a large amount of pride in himself seeing that he won't accept any of Pulcheria's pension and later gives money... Read more

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82 out of 94 people found this helpful

Marmeladov's Monologue

by Rero37, September 03, 2012

(Starting from Part 1, Page 12 of the last paragraph)

- Marmeladov's Monologue is a very important part of the story, simply because it helps set the pace for the rest of the story.

Raskolnikov had just come into a bar, regardless of how crowded it was, and the first person to talk to him is this drunk, strange man, named Marmeladov and he's the first person he's actually wanted to talk with in a long time. A drunkard is known to speak his mind and he began to give this long monologue about how he resembles a beast, how he 'lus... Read more

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