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Raskolnikov – Both A Villain And A Hero In Crime And Punishment

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

An individual’s morals come from the way they evolve through challenges and events. This is shown in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866). In the novel, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is both a villain and a hero. Raskolnikov is considered a villain because he killed a pawnbroker and acts rudely to his friends and others. Then there’s the other side of Raskolnikov, who acts nicely and always tries to do the right thing.

Raskolnikov is considered a villain, because of his crime, his crude thoughts and the way he perceives himself. “Crime? What crime? … My killing a loathsome, harmful louse, a filthy old moneylender woman … and you call that a crime?” The imagery and description of Alyona Ivanova vividly describes Raskolnikov thoughts on her. Showing us, the violent way, Raskolnikov tries to defend himself.’Then dealt another and another blow with the blunt side and on the same spot. The blood gushed as from an overturned glass, the body fell back.’ The metaphor in this line, comparing the body to a ‘glass.’ This speaks to Raskolnikov’s vision of her as a mere object rather than a human being, which is another example of his crude thoughts. “Perhaps I’ve been unfair to myself,” he observed gloomily, pondering, “perhaps after all I am a man and not a louse and I’ve been in too great a hurry to condemn myself. I’ll make another fight for it.” A haughty smile appeared on his lips.’Raskolnikov’s schizophrenic confession to Sonia reveals how he passes from idea to idea, trying to link together his intellect and his emotion in a plausible and cohesive picture of the motives behind his crime. Raskolnikov ends his erratic thinking with a strange smile — a physical manifestation of his feelings of superiority. Due to the fact, that Raskolnikov performs a crime, has crude thoughts and perceives himself, he is portrayed as a villain.

Then there is the other side of Raskolnikov, which is thought to be a hero, because of his good intentions and thoughts. “She was a complete slave and went in fear and trembling of her sister, who made her work day and night and even beat her.’ This quote drives Raskolnikov over the edge to kill Alyona, showing the readers that Raskolnikov had good intentions in killing Alyonain order to save Lizaveta, from suffering more pain. ‘The blow fell; the mare staggered, sank back, tried to pull, but the bar fell again with a swinging blow on her back and she fell on the ground like a log.’ This is from Raskolnikov’s famous horse dream. When he wakes from it, he decides not to kill Alyona. In his mind, for a moment, he thinks of her as his innocent victim and wants to save her from himself. This is another example of a good thought from Raskolnikov. ‘I’ve just been kissed by someone who, if I had killed anyone, would just the same…in fact I saw someone else there…with a flame-coloured feather.’ The kiss was from Polenka, Sonia’s sister. Raskolnikov expresses deep concern for Polenka many times. This tells the reader that Raskolnikov can be a caring person. ‘Raskolnikov and Sonia were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.’ This line near the ending is another example of Raskolnikov’s love and care for a person. Owing to Raskolnikov’s good intentions and thoughts, he is also characterised as a hero.

In summary, Raskolnikov in some cases is a hero, including the fact that he has good intentions and thoughts, but in most cases, he acts like a villain, because of his crime, his crude thoughts and the way he perceives himself. The cases of Raskolnikov being a villain outweighs the number of cases of Raskolnikov being a hero, therefore Raskolnikov is a villain.

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