Crime and Punishment

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

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