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Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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