The Character of Luzhin in Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Assignment: “It is said that of all the characters in the novel, Dostoyevsky dislikes only one, Luzhin. Write an essay where you analyze those elements, which make this dislike evident. Include Luzhin’s ideas and their effects on Raskolnikov, along with reasons for including the list of crimes by intellectuals.”

In Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky clearly shows that Luzhin is a disliked character. This is illustrated through Luzhin’s ideas and their effect on Raskolnikov as well as through Luzhin’s actions.

Dostoyevsky portrays Luzhin as his most disliked character and makes him a symbol of everything Dostoyevsky hates in human kind – self-importance and extreme insincerity. Luzhin’s ideas are disliked by all, but
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When speaking about crime, Luzhin says that it isn’t the poor people who bring on more crime, but more, the upper class citizens. He lists quite a few crimes by intellectuals to show how informed he is. Dostoyevsky’s purpose for Luzhin’s list is to show that Luzhin himself was from the upper ranks of society and that he himself is capable of such crimes. Raskolnikov becomes very agitated at Luzhin’s speech and almost literally throws him out of the apartment.

Luzhin’s actions also show how disliked he is by Dostoyevsky. The very first thing noticed about Luzhin is his outfit, which is very obviously just bought. Luzhin tries to impress his ‘audience’ with his grandeur. When this fails to happen, Luzhin tries again through his use of “intelligent” language. He even uses a few quotes he’s learned over the past few days such as “Literature is taking a maturer form, many injurious prejudices have been rooted up and turned to ridicule . . . In a word we have cut ourselves off irrevocably from the past.” Nevertheless, he is unable to impress his listeners with his speech either. We’ve learned that Luzhin was a very cheap individual, and this is confirmed once more when we learn that he has found Pulcheria Alexandrovna and Avdotia Romanovna a very small and cheap apartment in a bad neighborhood. He is, supposedly, a rich man, lawyer, from higher ranks of

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