Crime And Punishment Character Analysis

Improved Essays
Three characters in Crime and Punishment; Dunya, Sonya, and Lizaveta struggle with the question of what a woman owes to her family. Sonya becomes a prostitute so that her family can make ends meet. Lizaveta is a slave to her older sister, Alyona Ivanova. She can never act without the Alyona’s approval and suffers beatings for incompetence. Dunya considers marrying a man to secure a comfortable life for her mother and brother, Roskolnikov. These women give up everything for their families and because of that, their worth in society diminishes. Dunya is different from the others in that she has someone who is against her decision to give up her life. While these women’s circumstances seem to be about what a woman owes to her family, really, …show more content…
One, Roskolnikov is unwilling to be complacent with his sister’s sacrifice and two, she has not yet entered into the contract with her fiancé, Pyrotr Petrovich. When Roskolnikov receives news of his sister’s engagement, he immediately realizes that Dunya is selling her life to get him out of debt and back into school. He also believes that Dunya’s sacrifice is the same as Sonya’s. “Do you understand that this Luzhinian cleanliness is just the same as Sonechka’s cleanliness and maybe even worse, nastier, meaner, because in your case, Dunechka, some extra comfort can still be reckoned on, while there it’s quite simply a matter of starving to death!” (44). This quote illustrates the implicit tension of selling oneself into a life of comfort. Compared to Sonya, who did not have the choice of comfort, it is a shadier plot. Roskolnikov objects to this plot for the same reason he admires Sonya; she destroyed a life and kept living with the consequences and hardships. Dunya will be destroying a life as well, but she will be gaining comfort and avoiding hardships. After hearing Sonya’s story from her father, Roskolnikov sympathizes with Sonya …show more content…
Sonya is forced to decide whether her life is worth more than the lives of her family. By selling herself for her family, society judges her worth and presents her with a symbol of shame, the yellow ticket. It is due to this ticket that Sonya is forced to live separately from her family. The pattern of family complacency is evident with Sonya’s father, Marmelodov. When he is telling the story of his life to Roskolnikov, Marmelodov does not protest in any way to his wife’s request of his daughter. Instead he protects his wife with excuses for the reason she suggested prostitution. Marmelodov says “’[b]ut do not blame her, do not blame her, my dear sir, do not blame her! She said this not in her right mind but in emotional agitation, in sickness, and with children crying from hunger, and said it, besides, more for the sack of insult than in any strict sense.’” (18). This is an example of Marmelodov accepting fate obediently. Marmelodov asks Roskolnikov to not blame his wife in the matter as well, but he is also asking himself. He blames himself for Sonya’s position and his wife’s words. He is now making excuses for living with the consequence of his

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    This is particularly clear in how others treated Tesman and Lovborg negatively due to their weaknesses. Characters in the play don’t seem to respect Tesman; his wife least of all. Hedda says, to Tesman’s face and in front of his aunt, that she “really [doesn’t] care” about what he has to say, yet Tesman continues to follow her around (Ibsen). Brack, who seems to be his closest friend, holds Tesman’s financials over him and explicitly pursues an affair with his wife. Others treat Tesman this way because they know they can get away with it without having to worry about his retaliation.…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    While he blames Nora for her ignorance, he also blames her father for neglecting to educate his daughter in religion, an area that middle class women were expected to immerse themselves in. Without religion, Torvald believes Nora has gone astray. When Krogstad arrives, Torvald orders Nora to take off her shawl to make herself look more appeasing to a male’s eye. He does not hesitate to objectify his wife in order to protect his position in society. Within the family unit,…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She is again attempting to make Tara believe that she has unconditional love for her, a trait she ought to have demonstrated at the time of her birth. She is creating an imbalance in the family by convincing Tara that her father does not like her all that much. This is coherently understood when she says: “And I will make up for… for… your father, and I will make up for all the things God hasn’t given you.” She is obviously stating this in a depressed tone in order to make her claim more believable. She is also doing this to weaken Tara’s relationship with her father and win Tara’s trust all for herself. In the second half of this sentence, Bharathi brings to light the physical imbalance in her body.…

    • 869 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    “Latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her only for her dead mother’s sake.” In spite of these memories, Eveline stubbornly insists on the possibility of a happier life and that it’s not “too bad” (Joyce, 1). Instead of rebelling against her father and standing up for herself and the family, Eveline takes her father’s abuses silently and submits to his wasteful ways. Eveline willingly gives her wages to her father and takes whatever amount his drinking ways would spare to buy food for the family. Even though she’s deeply unhappy about his wasteful habits, Eveline’s habitual fear of her father takes over and she’s too afraid to even disagree with him. Similarly with Frank, she retains a passive attitude toward their relationship.…

    • 1852 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    None of the characters in the novel are trying to hurt Janie. From their point of view, they believe that they are helping her, even though their actions lead her to feel isolated, unhappy, and miserable. In the second chapter of Zora Hurston’s Novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie’s grandmother forces Janie to marry a man she does not love and is the exact opposite of what she wants in a future husband. In the heat of Janie’s protests, Granny slaps Janie as hard as she can manage to silence her (Hurston 14). Granny justifies this action by telling herself that the only way to get her point across is too slap her and the pain will go away in a minute.…

    • 731 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Nora In 'A Doll's House'

    • 588 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Then she leaves. Nora takes the drastic decision of leaving her comfortable house, social status and family, when she realizes that all the work and sacrifice that she does to keep her marriage is not value by her husband; on the contrary, he does treat her as his property, and he turns to be very aggressive and inconsiderate to her well intentioned mistake of forging her father’s to borrow money and save her husband’s…

    • 588 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The narrator in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” seemed to love and respect her husband even though he would treat her like a child and wouldn’t listen to her. The woman from “Eros Turranos” didn’t seem to want to harm her image any more by leaving her husband even though he was ruining it by the day with whatever he was doing to betray her. They were both trapped in a marriage where they seemed to pretend they were happy but were really either going insane or dying on the…

    • 722 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    She had accepted and normalised her sexuality and allowed it to make her into a unique person. The loss of her brother created a loss and longing for her parents but it failed to paralyse her, knowing that such a tragedy occurred to her family, she continues to be a robust aspiring artist that chooses to stay out of the topic of Quy. When her elder brother, Binh, had mentioned to her that he was going to Bangkok, Tuyen told him to stay out of things and help their parents forget instead of reminding them of the loss. “Stay out of things. Why don’t you let them forget instead of encouraging them, eh?” (Page 13.)…

    • 991 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Fortunately, Chandara does not struggle in accepting her husband’s proposal in taking the blame in Radha’s murder. They were fighting endlessly so as her culture oppresses her, she decides it is best to keep quiet and agree to take the blame. Through the silence, her anger is reciprocated against her husband because he focuses on saving his brother’s life over his wife. The sign of dehumanization occurs when Chidam says, “Do as I say – if you do what I tell you. You’ll be quite safe.”(Tagore,2623).…

    • 1136 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    A woman is measured by her output of tasks in her household as well how many resources she drains from her family. For instance Kate before she was married was draining her families resources and because of her unwillingness to get married the family wasn’t receiving much in return. This is why I believe Kate, despite her hate for marriage and Petruchio, let herself be tamed. She knew the drain she was on her family and she wanted to prove her loyalty by biting the bullet and saying I do. If a woman has no value to her family, she is ultimately a failure according to Korda.…

    • 2029 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics