As I am reading about Raskolnikov’s struggle with what he did in Crime and Punishment, I am struggling with how I feel about the book.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the book. I find it to be far better than what I had thought, but I can’t help but stop and think about the point of the book. Raskolnikov is agonizing over what he did-the murder of two innocent women-and its causing me to agonize over things I am not proud of.
It also makes me wonder about all of those people who have done far worse things who are in prison, or on death row, or who are still out in the world without being caught for their crime. I am sure that many of them feel horribly for the things they did once, but I know there are those who don’t feel bad. They believe they were in the right and their crime was justified.
But can any wrong doing towards another individual be justified? You could get into the small technicalities-little white lies, small judgments, being deceitful-up to the big issues-infidelity, stealing, etc.
I just simply don’t think that any “crime” can be justified, no matter what the circumstances surrounding that crime. And that is the issue that Raskolnikov is wrapping his head around. He had himself convinced that he was in the right for wanting to off the pawnbroker because she was unfair and had money which was going to be given away to one person once she was dead. After she’s dead and the crime is committed, he is starting to think differently.
How many times have I felt the same way after saying or doing something I thought to be completely correct?
This is a hard read, not because of the difficulty of the book, but because of how it is making me feel about myself and the decisions I have made. I think I am starting to see why this book is as recognized as it is. It’s not about Raskolnikov and his punishment after his crime.
Instead, it’s about the reader and their feelings towards the crimes they have committed in their own life. And looking back at your wrongs is never a comfortable experience.
I think I have far more in common with Raskolnikov than I thought I did. And so do you.