Free Custom «Crime and Punishment» Essay Sample

Free Custom «Crime and Punishment» Essay Sample

Summary of Chapter 1

Raskolnikov is the main character of Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment (1865-1866). The first chapter of the book is concentrated on the thought of killing. The main hero, Rodion Raskolnikov, is suffering from psychological disorder. Gradually, the main character begins to realize the value of ordinary life, "Whatever life it is only to live!" (Dostoevsky, 1866, p. 18). His pride is broken. He is willing to accept the fact that he is an ordinary man with his weaknesses. The first chapter of the book reveals one of the reasons for the crime committed by Raskolnikov, which is the atmosphere of life. For Rodion, it is St. Petersburg. However, this is not St. Petersburg that can be viewed by a tourist, but St. Petersburg as a vampire city. The city exhausts the people who come there. In fact, that is what happened to the protagonist of the novel, Raskolnikov. When the character came to St. Petersburg for the first time, he was a nice and unspoiled young man. However, the atmosphere of the dead, impersonal, cold, and scary city has negatively influenced the psyche of Raskolnikov. In the first chapter, the reader can feel that terrifying atmosphere of the city. There is nothing natural here, and if it occurs, it only emphasizes its lack elsewhere. In the entire novel, St. Petersburg only once seems beautiful for the main character, "inexplicable chill emanated from him on this magnificent panorama, mute and deaf spirit was filled for him this magnificent picture ..." (Dostoevsky, 1866, p.22). However, the majestic views of St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Winter Palace mean nothing for Raskolnikov who is used to a different Petersburg. The city of the poor is characterized by the gloomy pressure of buildings, close courtyards and narrow streets, dark alleys, and ditches with dirty water. In the novel, St. Petersburg appears as a city of contrasts, where the unbridgeable chasm separates the "men in coaches", whose courtyards are covered with beautiful flowers, from the city of stink, stuffiness and taverns. That city-twin has a "sovereign, clean look," but besides the external splendor, it hides something terrible inside. In addition, it makes the character think about the unfairness of life.


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Thus, the first chapter of Crime and Punishment shows Raskolnikov as a romantic, proud and strong personality. He lives in St. Petersburg, in a rented apartment which is extremely poor. He leaves the university mainly because of poverty. The consciousness of Raskolnikov suffers from two questions: "Is it allowed to make a little evil for the sake of a greater good, a noble goal justifies the means criminal," and "trembling creature or is it right?"


After the evaluation of the book Crime and Punishment, we can identify the main reasons for committing the crime by the main character. Firstly, his character and privacy played an important role in it. From the pages of the novel, we learn that, while studying at the university, Raskolnikov kept to himself. He did not like big, noisy companies as well as visiting his fellow students. Secondly, along with such lovely character traits as kindness and compassion to the people, Raskolnikov coexisted with exorbitant pride aggravated by poverty, humiliation and mistrust. Thus, in the course of time, the opposite qualities, such as contempt and anger towards people, appeared in his character. Confirmation of the contradictory character of Raskolnikov is proved by the words of Razumikhina who considered him as "generous and kind" and. at the same time, “cold and unfeeling to inhumanity”. Finally, while reading the book, there was a feeling that the main hero was dead himself. His soul was dying during the whole story. It seemed that he had some disastrous psychological disorder. Therefore, the book Crime and Punishment shows the hard process of psychological treatment of the main hero.

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