Mental Health And Mentality In Crime And Punishment By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Whether or not anyone in their “right minds” could ever kill another human being is a topic discussed every time someone goes to court convicted of murder. While not explicitly discussed in the novel Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rodion Raskolnikov may have suffered from mental illness long before the guilt of his two murders forced him into insanity. As a result, one can deduce that crime is directly linked to mental illness when factors such as the economy and the environment are accounted for, as shown in the novel Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Epidemiology, the branch of medicine that deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases, can be used to study the link between crime and mental
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There are many theories concerning how to notice symptoms of mental health in relation to crime. These include “Social learning, social stress, social choice, social control, rational choice, and social disorganization” (Silver 690). Rodion suffers from social stress shown in his fear of crowds as well as social disorganization shown in his isolation from society. Also, different types of criminals such as career criminals, those with few accusations and those who only committed a crime once, play into whether the crime is influenced by mental health (700). Rodion falls under the category in which he only truly committed two crimes, the murders of the pawnbroker and her sister (Dostoevsky 72, 75). After a crime is committed, it is also true that incarceration affects mental health. In order to help decriminalize a criminal and allow them to assimilate back into society after they are released, programs such as church services, anger management, and career based job training should be provided to accommodate for the decline in mental health once incarcerated (Silver 702). This is proven effective in Crime and Punishment as Rodion is turned to faith by Sonya and is able to come to terms with his crimes as a result of this new found religion (Dostoevsky 394). Apparently, one’s environment also affects one’s mental health and thus criminal …show more content…
This environment also breeds substance abuse, which is shown in Marmeladov’s character and the parallelism between Rodion and Marmeladov (41). Similarly, women, children and the elderly are more negatively affected by the environment due to them being “vulnerable” in nature (43). Rodion has lived in this environment his whole life and therefore was probably introduced to mental illness from a young age, being more vulnerable and thus, formulating his predisposition. Although more prevalent in these overcrowded cities, mental health facilities tend to be lacking here (40, 43). This is probably due budget cuts as a result of the city attempting to fund other facilities or because of the stigma associated with mental illness (43). This raises the question, if Raskolnikov had facilities to help him with the mental illness, would he have taken advantage of them? Evidence in Crime and Punishment points to his “‘extraordinary’ person” theory that arose from his mental illness most likely leading him to ignore help, making him more likely to commit the crimes (Dostoevsky 241). Where one lives is probably a result of their economic status, which also can change one’s predisposition to mental

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