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23 July 2011 @ 11:58 am
Crime & Punishment/Parts I & II/Where's the punishment?  

I'm on disc 6/16 from the library. I doubt I'll finish by the end of the month (book club meetings today and Wednesday). I haven't seen any other posts about the book either, so I'll post a poll about extending the book through August.

As far as I'm concerned, there can be no redemption for Raskolnikov. In fact, I can't fathom how anyone could even consider him to be a sympathetic character or to deserve absolution for his crimes (though he doesn't appear to consider them "crimes"). I loathe him. First of all, it is never described what he was "studying" to qualify him as a "student". It seemed acceptable to him to squander the hard-earned money provided to him by his sister and mother, discontinuing both his own work (giving lessons) and his "education" due to lack of finances. How could he have any self-respect after allowing his mother and sister to suffer in support of him, when he wasn't even doing what he'd set out to do??? Secondly, he formed his little murderous plot, all the while priding himself on being much more intelligent than common criminals, but completely failed to have any sort of contingency plan or anticipate probable issues that might arise. Thus, he completely bungled the whole affair, as much so if not worse than those he scorned as stupid criminals. On top of that, he brutally murdered the innocent Lizaveta, and seemed to feel no remorse for the deed or even think of it in the future, almost exclusively referring to the "old woman" in his thoughts and ignoring the second murder. After he overheard the conversation between the random student and officer, outlining Robin Hood motives for killing Alyona Ivanova, I assumed (wrongfully, I think) that Raskolnikov had similar motives. At least I didn't really believe he was planning to kill Alyona Ivanova for no reason whatsoever. However, he seems to have no intention to use his ill-gotten gains for good at all. Granted, he seems to freely give away what little money he has, but none of it came from his crime. This is all assuming that Alyona Ivanova was as evil as she was portrayed. I remain unconvinced. It seems clear that she abused Lizaveta and she was certainly a usurer. However, the former is a family affair, and the latter wasn't a crime (though perhaps morally questionable). She provided money to those who came to her. If she charged such exorbitant interest, why not go to another pawnbroker? I would guess it's because other money lenders were just as bad! So why not kill them all, if there is any justification in murdering Alyona Ivanova because of her shady business practices? Perhaps because there was no justification in Raskolnikov's motives or actions... Regardless of how reprehensible I found his actions, I may have been able to give him a little credit if he'd kept his head and dealt with the fallout from his crime in a reasonable manner. But no! He runs around town blabbing about the double murder and dropping clues all over the place that he was involved. I see no reason for his obsessive paranoia about being found out, followed by walking around with a neon arrow pointing down at him... other than being extremely mentally disturbed. He doesn't come across to me as being intelligent at all. On top of all that, he's unspeakably rude and uncivil. Never mind Luzhin's possible motives in marrying Dounia, Raskolnikov's initial treatment of him (so far in the book, we've only met him once) was appalling. And then Razumihin, who may be a bit overbearing, bends over backward to help the undeserving Raskolnikov after four months of no communication. What is Raskolnikov's reaction? Reticence or extreme verbal abuse! Is he utterly incapable of civility???

I can't say I'm really enjoying this book, but I am interested enough to want the police to nail Raskolnikov, so I will soldier on!

P.S. I have no use for Marmeladov either. Perhaps this book is teaching me that my motto is, "God helps those who help themselves."

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Erin aka Budspookycat04 on July 23rd, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
This is a really silly comparison, but bear with me. I'm only about 150 pages into the book, and so far, I see all the times when he squandered money he could have used to pay his landlady, or buy food, or go back to school. I see him wasting opportunities (his student friend was going to get him small commission from writing or copying). Something about his constant bad decision making reminds me of Confessions of a Shopaholic, only I actually like that character and (similar to you) find myself despising this one.

I still find this book to be interesting, though, so I too will soldier on.
rinabeana: secret ingredientrinabeana on July 24th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for commenting! I have actually not read the Shopaholic books. I'm sure it's not a silly comparison at all, though. I find that lots of contemporary books draw from the classics. Perhaps Sophie Kinsella is a Dostoyevsky fan... (heh)

P.S. Nice icon!
Erin aka Budspookycat04 on July 24th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Hm, if I ever meet Sophie Kinsella I will ask her if Crime and Punishment was an inspiration.

Thanks! Your icon is also pretty awesome!
rinabeana: secret ingredientrinabeana on July 24th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
I snagged it from [info]popehippo. I bake a lot (and I can be bitter and snarky), so it seemed like it was made for me!

Edited at 2011-07-24 10:42 am (UTC)