Analysis Of The Essay ' Crime And Punishment '

1969 Words Apr 28th, 2016 null Page
An Analysis of Intellectualism in Crime and Punishment

On December 22, 1849, at eight A.M., Fyodor Dostoyevsky was roughly tied to a wooden stake and blindfolded (Townsend). An opponent of tsarist autocracy and serfdom, the young writer had joined a progressive group known as the Petrashevsky Circle. He was soon arrested for subversive political activity against Tsar Nicholas I and condemned to death. As members of the firing squad raised their guns, a courier arrived and revealed the prisoners’ true sentence, four years of hard labor in an Omsk stockade. After this experience, Dostoevsky developed a fear of death and a distrust of rationalism. In fact, while writing to his brother, the author noted that there was nothing, “more beautiful, profound, or perfect than Christ, and that even if Christ were shown to be outside the truth, he would ‘prefer to remain with Christ than with the truth’” (Kiskaddon). Echoing this sentiment in Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky examines the concept of intellectualism by analyzing the secular philosophies of the Enlightenment, referencing innovations in social ideals, and characterizing rationality and Progressivism.
In 19th century Europe, the Romantic Era denounced the “rationalism of Enlightenment culture and the impersonality of growing industrialism” (“The Romantic Era – 19th Century: The Romantic View of Nature & The Romantic Hero”). As a writer of this period and an avid Christian with a disdain for Progressive extremism, Dostoevsky…

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