In your discussion-topic paper, identify the page number of the passage you are writing about and then explain what caught your interest and why, your impressions of what’s being conveyed, and even if you are only trying to understand something confusing about a passage and would like to raise questions about it to follow up on later in class. Write informally, there being no rigid structure to follow, and write in a conversational style appropriate for academic communication, i.e., no cursing, slang, texting shortcuts, emoji, etc. So, despite the informality, do write with a sense of logical purpose and concentration, communicating clearly, precisely, and effectively in standard English prose. I’ll see how you fare with this Monday’s batch, and, as needed, will provide further instructions to the group or to individuals. 

  1. 2. Part 2, chapter VII, page 253-278

Chapter seven starts a new turmoil on the protagonist Raskolnikov as he is reminded of his own accident when he sees the incident that happens to Marmeladoy. Here it is very interesting to note that Raskolnikov’s compassion overshadows his other selfish worldly desires as he helps the man and even pays him money to help Katerina. This part is highly important as it reveals that even though Raskolnikov is a murderer but despite that, he is compassionate and is actually very tender from the inside as he despite being in an economically hard position, still helps the poor family out and from the money that his mother gave him for his own expense. This part humanizes Raskolnikov’s character and strengthens it by adding dimensions and showing that he is not just a heartless being but is actually far more than that.

This also reveals a universal message that the author Dostoyevsky wanted to convey to his writers that humans are not simple beings who are merely good or bad but are profoundly complex in their behaviors, values, thoughts and ultimately actions as well. For instance, the protagonist can make sense of the murder he committed but cannot face seeing the suffering of another human being.

The metaphorical importance of the part when Raskolnikov is drenched with blood while aiding Marmeladov is very significant. It is important because it draws interesting parallels between the blood that granted him a moral dilemma and the blood that gave him life in a way. The former being the blood on his hands from the murder of Alyona and the latter being when he decides to commit to an extremely good deed that brings back life to him to an extent.

The dialogue, “Life is real! haven’t I lived just now? My life has not yet died with that old woman!” reveals these feelings of his and convey the recurring theme of the dual nature of a human being who is a combination of both good and bad.

The ending of part two is important as the surprise visit from Raskolnikov’s mother and sister overwhelm him so much that he faints.

  1. Part IV, page 397-506

Part four reveals the protagonist’s views on religion and familial ties. This part brings with itself uncertainty for Raskolnikov as he cannot differentiate if he is dreaming or not because his sense of morality has clouded his reality of the world. This part plays a crucial role in developing the character of the protagonist as despite the fact that he leaves his family, mother and sister behind, he asks his trusted Razumikhin to take care of them in his absence. This shows that the protagonist Is actually sincere from the inside but still has some weak spots and it is this dual nature of the character that makes him realistic and this portrayal is possible thorough the genius of Dostoyevsky’s writing.

It is important to note that this part also marks the redemption of Raskolnikov as he leaves his family behind and goes to visit Sonya. Although this part shows us that Raskolnikov mocks Sonya’s faith but it must be kept in mind that what marks his character arch towards redemption is his absolute choice to go in the first place. He makes fun of Sonya’s faith because he does not really understand it. His condescending bahavior is also eveident when he talks to Porfiry but this exchange also reveals the protagonist’s inner change towards finding the path of change, towards salvation and redemption. Despite feeling superior in the starting conversations, his tone changes when he realizes that Porfiry knows much more than him and thus his air of superiority sheds.

It is when Nikolai discloses the fact that he brought about the murder, Raskolnikov understand what really is happening that Porfiry might be intellectually superior than him, but they have no solid evidence against him in the role he played in carrying out the murder of the old lady Ivanovna. This changes Raskolnikov’s behavior again but it must be acknowledged that this is the first time his character broke and hence although it might not be one hundred percent evident that Raskolnikov has redeemed himself, he definitely begun his journey towards a better path or at least had a glimpse of the right path.


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