Christianity in Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Essay

1508 Words 7 Pages
Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, It must have been a difficult task for Dostoevsky to come to this conclusion. He could be compared to that of the Prodigal son, who returned to God only after all other forms of belief were ventured. Being raised in a Russian Orthodox household, as a youth Dostoyevsky rebelled against religion and later began to believe in the anarchist and atheistic philosophy that was common among radical students and middle-class people that were against the status quo in 19th century Russia. Dostoyevsky’s revolutionary outbreak did not go unnoticed by the Tsar’s police and justice system though; in 1849 he was sentenced to ten years of hard labor in a Siberian prison which was preceded by a mock execution. It is believed that …show more content…
The novel was written in 1864 shortly after Dostoyevsky lost his first wife, brother and a close friend. It reveals a time in his life when he felt detached from society and religion and this was portrayed through the characters in the book, mainly through the protagonist, Raskolinkov, whose name is derived from the Russian root meaning schism or apostate. Even though Crime and Punishment mainly has a social message, it provides the reader with insight to the Christian interpretation of man. Through Raskolinkov he illustrates that the individualism carried to the extreme is self destructive. In addition, in the novel Dostoyevsky portrays that by being humble and loving, the vilest man can be changed, and it is though learning to love that man begins to change. Despite his actions, Raskolinkov is a good man that is conscious of the right way. He believes that he is an 'extraordinary man', one who would do anything do assure his success, and by killing the pawnbroker and her sister he proves this theory. Raskalnikov’s greatest sin is not the murder of Aliona Ivanovna or that of Litzeveta though, it his is alienation from society due to his arrogance that is the greatest sin. Despite successfully committing the crime, he is unable to live with himself. After Raskalnikov murders what he calls a 'louse' in the name of freedom, he becomes a slave to guilt and lousier than his victim. This guilt negates Raskalnikov’s 'Napoleon' theory, and he continually asks

Related Documents