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The Reason of the Murder by Raskolnikov
Following his confession to Sonya, Crime and Punishment’s Raskolnikov attempts to clarify the reasoning behind his murder. This segment of the novel illuminates the fundamental irrationality of Raskolnikov’s ostensibly logical reasoning. It also portrays Raskolnikov’s fragmented believed, his lack of self-awareness and understanding, and Sonya’s role in bringing him to confront his crime in the hopes of achieving an emotional and intellectual honesty that will set the stage for his final redemption. Raskolnikov moves by way of many explanations for the motives of his murder, every one particular contradicting and supplanting the prior 1. His 1st explanation is that he simply wanted to rob the pawnbroker for her funds. He then rejects this explanation by recalling that he truly did not require or want the funds. He did not steal out of hunger and, although he did want to help his mother, he did not steal for his loved ones. We must also recall that he treats cash quite casually, obtaining given income to 3 others: a vulnerably drunken girl, Marmeladov, and Katerina Ivanovna. Additionally, he never even cared to appear at the pawnbroker’s purse following he stole it and does not even know if there is any funds in it. Finally, he knows this explanation is incorrect simply because it does not adequately account for his present suffering and guilt: “If I’d killed them only because I was hungry… I would now be… happy!” (413) Struggling for a much more sufficient explanation, he proposes the uselessly abstract statement, “I have a wicked heart” (414). Realizing that he requirements to come up with one thing a lot more substantial and detailed, he concludes that he committed the crime to see if he could be like Napoleon in asserting his will and overstepping conventional boundaries. His next vain explanation is that he stole the funds so that he could support himself at the university without having possessing to depend on the sacrifices of his mother and sister. He eagerly adopts this explanation despite the fact that he had previously rejected the idea that he committed the murder for money or out of concern for his household. When Sonya queries whether this explanation is enough, Raskolnikov haphazardly tacks on the extra excuse that, after all, he had only killed a “louse.” Subsequently, he offers the incoherent explanation that his spitefulness and the destitution of his material atmosphere had lead him to a murderous state of mind. Soon after rejecting this line of believed, Raskolnikov finally settles upon characterizing the motive of his murder as an attempt to test out his extraordinary man theory. He says that he wanted to affirm his intellectual superiority and his appropriate to rule over ordinary guys by daring to kill. For every explanation, Raskolnikov oscillates drastically between certainty and uncertainty. He confidently says that he killed the pawnbroker to rob her, “of course,” but virtually immediately rejects it, saying, “That’s not very right” (413). Relating to his explanation that he is wicked, he tells Sonya, “Take note of that, it can clarify a lot” (414). Then, in the very same paragraph, he discards it: “All this is not it” (414). His fluctuations are so extreme that he manages to reject and defend the very same hypothesis in a single breath: “You can see for yourself that’s not it!… however it is the truth” (416). Subsequent, he greedily latches onto the Napoleon explanation, exclaiming, “Why not, after all! … given that that is how it was!” (415). Regardless of the tremendous confidence with which he begins each explanation, the “Why not, soon after all” betrays the insecurities that end up undermining each and every 1 of them. He goes on to confirm, “That’s precisely how it was” (415). He uses the word “precisely” as if he had sharply defined and concluded the precise causes for his murder. In spite of his intellectual commitment to precision and thoroughly formulated exactitude, his thoughts emerge as a hopelessly jumbled array of contradictions. He can't grasp the complexity and irrationality of his murder motive, although it is a motive he had meticulously and rationally pre-meditated. Nor can he admit his intellectual limitations in understanding himself. As a result, Raskolnikov desperately grasps at anything that will pass as a coherent and satisfying explanation. He admits the absurdity of his Napoleon explanation, calling it “nonsense, nearly sheer babble” (415), only to replace it with the equally dubious explanation that he wanted the pawnbroker’s money to assistance himself in college. He concludes, “Well, that is all” (416), implying that he had successfully accounted for almost everything in his latest all-encompassing explanation. After once again, he rejects it, saying, “All that is not it… There are fairly diverse causes right here, very, quite diverse!” (416). Raskolnikov snatches anxiously at the subsequent viable explanation that enters his mind: “He began again… as if an unexpected turn of thought had struck him and aroused him anew. ‘Better… suppose…'” (417). In delineating his explanation of how spitefulness and insanity lead him towards murder, he interjects three parenthetical phrases to stabilize and help his wobbly new hypothesis. These parenthetical interjections also serve to indicate how fragmented, jumbled, and discordant Raskolnikov’s thoughts are. Raskolnikov resorts to claiming that he has an adequate explanation, but basically can not articulate it. He asks, wracking his thoughts, “What am I going to inform you?” (414). He cannot handle to organize his chaotic thoughts into words: “I have to speak now, and I do not even know how to begin” (414). Whenever he does handle to say some thing, he says with defeat and aggravation, “Again I’m not telling it proper!” (417). He dismisses every thing he says as “babble,” utterances carried out in an incoherent or meaninglessly repetitious manner, or as “nonsense,” words or language containing no which means or conveying no intelligible concepts. Regardless of all his efforts to neatly outline the motivations behind his murder, Raskolnikov only manages to spout discordant and slipshod half-notions. His attempts to believe via and articulate an adequate explanation require the exertion of intense mental work. The narrator mentions many occasions that Raskolnikov speaks “pensively.” Raskolnikov also sometimes “stopped and fell to considering,” or “fell silent, and thought it more than for a extended time” (415). When providing an explanation, Raskolnikov sounds like “he was speaking as if by rote” (416), since he had pre-formulated this explanation by way of meticulous and painstaking thought. He cannot handle to simply “tell [Sonya] straight out” (415) why he committed the murder since, alternatively of admitting intellectual defeat, he goes by means of a self-deceptive and extended-winded believed approach to devise convincing rationalizations. He often has to “reconsider,” to rethink his explanation over and over again by revising, discarding, and replacing. When he is “recollecting himself,” he is in fact recollecting the fragmented and dualistic parts of his schizophrenic character, even though also recollecting all his similarly muddled and incongruent thoughts. Right after all this mental exertion, Raskolnikov admits failure, saying “Ah, what a stupid issue to come out with, eh?” (413). In spite of all the self-assurance and value he places upon his intellectual capabilities and rational believed, a feeling of impotence and futility overwhelms him: “In some sort of powerlessness he dragged himself to the end of his story and hung his head” (416). Without feeling or passion, by means of intellect and explanation, he “drags” himself to forcibly contrived explanations. The mental toll upon him even manifests itself physically as Raskolnikov periodically hangs his head, holds his head, and sooner or later develops a headache. The narrator tells us that “a terrible powerlessness showed by means of his agitated state of mind” (417). Raskolnikov faults Sonya for all the anguish and frustration he experiences in attempting to hash out an explanation. She is, right after all, the one who demands from him an understanding of his crime. He pleas to her, “Stop it, Sonya!” (412) and “Don’t torment me, Sonya!” (413). Rather than confronting the issue, he wishes to ignore it and brush it aside. He hastily delivers his explanations with rash overconfidence, concluding “Well, but adequate of that!” (416). But every single time, he realizes that Sonya either does not comprehend or does not think his explanation, which as soon as again thrusts him back into the excruciating approach of strangling the truth out of himself. Sonya sees that Raskolnikov “understand[s] nothing at all, just nothing!” (418). She believes that honesty with himself will enable him to recognize his sin, which will prepare him for confession. Confession is needed for suffering, which in turn is needed for redemption and a return to God and society. Nevertheless, Raskolnikov has difficulty handling the weight of emotional and intellectual honesty, as properly as the suffering it promises to inflict. He reacts harshly against Sonya’s references to challenging labor in Siberia and “he all of a sudden felt it heavy and painful to be loved” (422) by her. Because Sonya passively forces him to confront his crime, he periodically falls to tormenting her. Anytime he can not believe of an explanation, he starts lamenting over the truth that he had ever come to her. Sonya meekly accepts the suffering that he passes on to her. When Raskolnikov tells Sonya, “You will not understand any of it” (414), she declares that she will make every single effort to try to comprehend. Ironically, he himself does not realize what he is saying and what his real motive was for killing the pawnbroker. He is just projecting his own confusion, bewilderment, and perplexity onto Sonya. He attributes his inability to articulate an explanation to Sonya’s inability to comprehend. He motives that, since she would not comprehend it anyway, he does not have to provide an explanation. Sonya, as the Christ-like figure of the novel, willingly accepts Raskolnikov’s projection of suffering, shame, and desperation. Sonya’s prodding at some point does launch Raskolnikov into voluntary reflection. He admits, “I’m lying Sonya… I’ve been lying for a extended time” (416), hence opening up the possibility that, by recognizing his intellectual dishonesty, he will come to face the correct nature of his crime. As soon as she successfully forces the problem, he stops struggling with her and starts to struggle with himself. In fact, “he was no longer concerned with regardless of whether she understood or not” (418). His dialogue with her virtually turns into a monologue. He essentially starts conversing with himself, an action that is constant with his schizophrenia and his internal struggle in between dual personalities. Raskolnikov ends up resolving that the extraordinary man theory was his motivation for murder. He admits that all his other excuses, from a want for cash to concern more than his family members, are all secondary rationalizations meant to conceal the “true” cause behind his crime. He recalls that when he was contemplating the murder, “I believed it all out and whispered it all out when I was lying there in the dark… I argued it all out with myself, to the last trace, and I know everything, every thing!” (418). Regardless of the fact that he had previously thought by means of his murder motivations in meticulous detail, Raskolnikov says that he “had wanted to forget everything” (418), and therefore blocked out his memory of these deliberations. As a result, he has to retrace the complete procedure in his dialogue with Sonya in order to rediscover his murder motivations. In recalling his formulation of the extraordinary man theory, Raskolnikov starts to recognize the folly of relying on explanation. He tells Sonya, “Do you really consider I went into it headlong, like a fool? No, I went into it like a vibrant boy, and that’s what ruined me!” (418). Going into it “headlong, like a fool” would imply spontaneity and passion. Raskolnikov, on the other hand, was a “bright boy,” a single who ignored his impulses and valued his intellect, which he used to premeditate the murder. Here, Raskolnikov starts to comprehend that it would have been greater to be a “fool” than a “bright boy.” Even so, he continues to believe in the soundness of his extraordinary man theory. He just contends that he is the wrong person to have carried it out. By saying that he “know[s] every thing, every little thing,” Raskolnikov lends a false clarity, firmness, and consistency to his understanding of his murder motives. He fails to notice that his very carefully believed-out theory was fraught with contradictions from the extremely beginning. For example, he contended that the extraordinary man is superior, and thus is above morality, social responsibility, and concern for the rest of humanity. Even so, Raskolnikov also mentioned it is the extraordinary man’s duty to utter a “new word” which is eventually meant to advantage mankind. He murdered the pawnbroker both to see if he was superior and above God and morality, and also since he was undertaking mankind a favor by killing a “louse” and using her money for far better purposes. His extraordinary man theory is as contradictory, fragmented, and incomplete as the entire method in which he tries to clarify his murder motives to Sonya. Raskolnikov’s theory and explanations for his murder only give the false illusion of being logical. In addition, he fails to give credit to several incidental situations that facilitated the murder, like when he accidentally overheard the conversation about the pawnbroker’s worthlessness, when he overheard the time when the pawnbroker would be alone, and when he found an ax from the porter. By the end of this segment of the novel, Raskolnikov does not admit that his extraordinary man theory is incorrect. Nonetheless, Sonya has succeeded in stripping away numerous of Raskolnikov’s self-deceptions. He vaguely starts to sense that his prided mental skills are pitifully restricted and that man, being a fundamentally irrational creature, is incapable of purely logical and consistent thought. Sonya’s meekness and willingness to share in the suffering involved in Raskolnikov’s emotional and intellectual purification makes it possible for him to enter into a state of introspection and perplexity that will at some point lead him to confession and redemption. *All text citations based on the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Vintage Classics, c.1992
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