Sigmund Freud believes that dreams can reveal a person’s deepest unconscious desires. There are various dreams in Crime and Punishment that are significant and symbolic from Raskolnikov’s mind. A significance to a dream is crucial because of Raskolnikov’s complex psychology that can be better understood with the illustration of a fantasy. These dreams are intended to repeat events or reconfigure ideas with regard to the unconscious. Raskolnikov’s dreams open windows and give insight to his mind for the reader to interpret and comprehend his psychological processing of the crime.
The first dream experienced in the novel is a reshaping of the ideas within Raskolnikov’s unconscious. Previous to the dream, Raskolnikov practices the way he would commit the murder by visiting Alyona Ivanovna, the pawnbroker, with a watch he exchanges for money. In addition, he engages in conversation with an official in a tavern, Marmeladov, who is a drunk and has a daughter, Sonya, who is forced into prostitution to provide for her family. The letter he receives from his mother leaves him with a remembrance of his childhood when his mother writes, “Remember, my dear, in your childhood, when your father was alive, how you prattled out your prayers sitting on my knee, and how happy we all were then!” (Dostoevsky 39). These events are pieced together by the unconscious in Raskolnikov’s dream of the mare. This is done by tying ideas with each other to give a representation of Raskolnikov’s psychology. The meeting with Marmeladov in the tavern is held accountable for the dream setting outside of a tavern where the streets were covered in black dust. Within the fantasy, Raskolnikov portrays himself as a child with his father representing the childhood that he enjoyed and recalled from his mother’s letter. Additionally, witnessing peasant drunks beat a mare displays the innocence of a child being taken away. The innocence that Raskolnikov once had before wanting to murder. After the encounter with the drunk official and learning about the poverty he lives in, Raskolnikov tied Marmeladov’s experience with those of the drunk peasants who, according to Raskolnikov, are poor and in the same position.
The mare relating to the rolls of women, such as Sonya, exhibits the violence and treatment of females within the novel. She was beaten and depicted as an object rather than a living being when a drunk shouted “hands off! It’s my goods! I can do what I want.” (Dostoevsky 57). As well as being a form to show the treatment of females, the mare represented the murder of Alyona Ivanovna once it was killed by the drunks. The constant thought of the murder in Raskolnikov’s mind led the unconscious to provide dreams with the central theme of violence. In an attempt to relive the happiness of his childhood that was described by his mother, the trouble of murder, according to the unconscious, stood in the way and revoked his ability to experience a time of security unlike the confusion that exists in his desperate adult life
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