Part I: Chapter I

Raskolnikov contemplates an extreme, though unspecified, act. Raskolnikov arrives at the house of Alyona Ivanovna, a pawnbroker who treats him poorly, yet she purchases his watch. He reminds himself that his purpose is twofold: to pawn the watch for much-needed money and to rehearse the crime that he may commit. Raskolnikov is overcome with disgust at his plan and renounces it, deciding to go to a tavern.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapter I

Part I: Chapters II–IV

Raskolnikov meets a drunk man named Marmeladov who tells him his life story, including the tumultuous marriage with his wife Katerina, and of his daughter Sonya, who has been forced to prostitute herself to support her family. He invites Raskolnikov to his home, where Raskolnikov bears witness to a family squabble, and when he departs, leaves the family some money. The next morning, Raskolnikov is awakened by his maid, Nastasya, who brings him a letter from his mother that shares how his sister, Dunya, has accepted a marriage proposal from a man named Luzhin. She agreed to the marriage to help Raskolnikov with his career. Raskolnikov decides that he will not allow the marriage to take place.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapters II–IV

Part I: Chapters V–VII

Raskolnikov dreams of a childhood incident in which he witnessed peasants beating an old mare to death and delighting in their cruelty. Awake, Raskolnikov passes through the Haymarket where he overhears Lizaveta, the pawnbroker’s sister, say that she will be out of the house for the next weeks, causing Raskolnikov to realize that it would be the perfect chance to commit his act: killing Alyona. Raskolnikov proceeds to Alyona’s apartment, where he kills her with an ax. Lizaveta enters and Raskolnikov is forced to kill her as well, then he is interrupted by two men knocking at the door. He escapes.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapters V–VII

Part II: Chapters I–IV

Raskolnikov is summoned to the police station, where he is told that his landlady has reported him as a debtor, and later, the detective, Ilya Petrovich, asks Raskolnikov what he was doing the previous day. Raskolnikov visits his friend Razumikhin, who expresses concern, forcing Raskolnikov to abruptly return home. He goes in and out of consciousness for days.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapters I–IV

Part II: Chapters V–VII

Luzhin appears at Raskolnikov’s apartment where he is treated coldly by Raskolnikov and Razumikhin. Raskolnikov goes out where he meets the police inspector Zamyotov and almost confesses to the crime, but hastily decides to leave. He sees Marmeladov lying in the street, having been trampled by a carriage, and takes him home, where he dies in Sonya’s arms. Raskolnikov visits Razumikhin’s party but Razumikhin takes him home.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapters V–VII

Part III: Chapters I–III

Raskolnikov commands Dunya to break off her engagement, at which point Razumikhin pledges to abandon his party and stay the night with Raskolnikov. Razumikhin expresses his attraction to Dunya. Dunya and Pulcheria show him a letter from Luzhin in which Luzhin asks not to see Raskolnikov again. When Raskolnikov’s mother, sister, and Razumikhin arrive at Raskolnikov’s apartment, Raskolnikov pretends to be in a better mood, but after becoming anxious and annoyed, he commands Dunya not to marry Luzhin. She explains her plan to test her fiancé by defying his request not to see Raskolnikov.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part III: Chapters I–III

Part III: Chapters IV–VI

Sonya invites Raskolnikov to Marmeladov’s funeral. Sonya walks back to her room, but she is followed by a man named Svidrigailov. When Razumikhin and Raskolnikov go to visit Porfiry, Raskolnikov draws suspicion from Porfiry. Raskolnikov discusses an article he wrote in which he argued that certain men were above the rest of humanity, and they have a right to commit murder. Porfiry tries to trap Raskolnikov into admitting he killed Alyona. Outside, Raskolnikov overtakes a man in the street that calls him a “murderer,” and that night he has a nightmare and awakens to find a stranger in his room.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part III: Chapters IV–VI

Part IV: Chapters I–III

Svidrigailov has come to Raskolnikov seeking help in his pursuit to marry Dunya. Svidrigailov cannot stand the thought of her marrying Luzhin, adding that he can give Dunya ten thousand rubles, a gift Raskolnikov says Dunya will refuse. Raskolnikov learns that Porfiry and Zamyotov suspect Raskolnikov of the murders, and when they meet with Luzhin, Dunya, and Pulcheria, Raskolnikov informs the party of his meeting with Svidrigailov and the money that was willed to Dunya by Marfa Petrovna, at which point Dunya confronts Luzhin about his annoyance at her brother’s presence. Dunya orders Luzhin to leave. Raskolnikov eventually leaves, and when Razumikhin chases after him, Razumikhin realizes that Raskolnikov is the murderer. 

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part IV: Chapters I–III

Part IV: Chapters IV–VI

Raskolnikov goes to Sonya’s room where she reveals that Lizaveta was a friend of hers. Raskolnikov says that she will soon know who killed Lizaveta, and meanwhile, Svidrigailov eavesdrops on their conversation. While visiting Porfiry, Raskolnikov challenges him to either accuse him of murder or to let him be, and Porfiry reveals that he knows that Raskolnikov has visited the scene of the crime. Nikolai, who is under suspicion for the murders, rushes into the office and confesses to the crime.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part IV: Chapters IV–VI

Part V: Chapters I–IV

During the memorial banquet for Marmeladov, only Raskolnikov and the lowliest of the tenants attend. Katerina appears unwell, coughing up blood and fighting with her landlady. Luzhin appears and accuses Sonya of stealing money from him, which he finds when Sonya turns her pockets out. Luzhin’s roommate declares that he saw Luzhin place the note in Sonya’s pocket. Raskolnikov visits Sonya in her room and confesses the murders to her, as well as the self-absorption that fueled his actions. She promises to support him, but first tells him that he must confess his sins publicly for God to give him peace.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part V: Chapters I–IV

Part V: Chapter V

Sonya and Raskolnikov find Katerina in the street, animated by a mad energy. She is taken back to her home after coughing up blood, and she dies. Svidrigailov tells Raskolnikov that he will pay for a funeral and provide for the children, revealing that he overheard Raskolnikov confessing the murders to Sonya.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part V: Chapter V

Part VI: Chapters I–V

Porfiry admits that he does not believe Nikolai’s confession and claims that Raskolnikov is the true murderer. He says he has not arrested Raskolnikov because he has not gathered enough evidence, and he urges him to confess. Svidrigailov tells Raskolnikov about his relationship with Marfa Petrovna, who allowed him to be unfaithful, and his attraction to Dunya, which disgusts Raskolnikov. Svidrigailov claims that he has found himself a teenaged girl and has recently become engaged, but Svidrigailov later lures Dunya to his room and reveals that he overheard Raskolnikov confess to the murders. Svidrigailov offers to help Raskolnikov avoid punishment if Dunya will marry him. Dunya pulls out a gun after Svidrigailov threatens to rape her.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part VI: Chapters I–V

Part VI: Chapters VI–VIII

Svidrigailov visits his fiancée’s family, informing them that he will be going away for some time. He goes out the next day, taking Dunya’s revolver with him, and kills himself. Raskolnikov finds Dunya and tells her that he will confess, and he realizes how much pain he has brought his family. At the police station, Raskolnikov is so stunned upon hearing of Svidrigailov’s suicide that he leaves without confessing, but when he goes outside, he sees Sonya waiting for him and turns back inside, offering his confession.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part VI: Chapters VI–VIII


At his trial, Raskolnikov confesses to the crime. He receives a relatively light punishment, eight years of hard labor in Siberia, wherein Sonya goes with him. Razumikhin and Dunya marry, and Raskolnikov’s mother dies, revealing her knowledge of her son’s fate before dying. Raskolnikov still harbors the belief that there is nothing wrong with his character. Raskolnikov experiences the ecstasy of being in love with Sonya, and they resolve to wait for each other.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of the Epilogue