Part two chapter two of Crime and Punishment arranges the feeling and emotions that Raskolnikov feels after murdering the pawnbroker and Lizaveta. This passage uses a location to reflect on Raskolnikov’s thoughts. Raskolnikov is now starting to feel sin and guilt while standing at the Neva. He questions why he ended up at the bridge. Pain and sorrow began to take over his body while he stood at the most beautiful landscape.
Dostoevsky portrays the Cathedral landscape as looking beautiful and through the clear sky you could “even make out each of its ornaments distinctively”. Although Dostoevsky places this location for Raskolnikov, the beauty soon did not matter to him. Raskolnikov mentions that a “mute and deaf spirit” has taken over this landscape. The “deaf spirit” represents Raskolnikov’s demons. A bridge where Raskolnikov would come to meditate would now torment him with his own thoughts. Because Raskolnikov would stop at this location on his way home during college, I believe that Raskolnikov is imagining how his life was during college. He is realizing that his life has changed for the worst. This spot is a place where his ideas and themes for college are thought about. Now, Raskolnikov only felt pain and sorrow because he had just killed the two ladies.
Although the sky was clear and the landscape was beautiful, Raskolnikov’s thoughts were not. The narrators says, “While he was attending the university, he often used to stop, mostly on his way home, at precisely this spot (he had done it perhaps a hundred times), and gaze intently at the indeed splendid panorama, and to be surprised almost every time by a certain unclear and unresolved imprecision.” Therefore, his thoughts and objectives were also unclear while in college. It seems to me that he was depressed and lonely before he killed the two women. Usually when people are depressed, thoughts can be overwhelming. Therefore, depressed people try not to think at all. Even though Raskolnikov is trying to escape his thoughts, he cannot because he just killed two people. Killing the pawnbroker seemed like a good idea to him until his conscious started to attack him.
Raskolnikov had just gotten twenty kopecks from a lady that felt bad for him. He obviously looked poor and helpless. Raskolnikov carelessly threw the coin into the water even though he needed it. I believe this is when he completely lost himself. By throwing the coins into the water, he also threw away his soul. Instead of being cured and reborn by the water, he instead threw the coins and did not repent for his sins. The narrator explains that “…at that moment he had cut himself off, as with scissors, from everyone and everything.” The coin represents Raskolnikov’s soul. Raskolnikov needed the money (soul) but instead threw it into the water not to be cleansed. Since Raskolnikov did not believe much in Christ, salvation was not hesitated to be thought about. Therefore, he threw his soul into the water and walked away. He knew that the money would not save him and that he had nothing to lose. He carelessly turned his humanity switch off.
In conclusion, Raskolnikov fully lost himself during his time at the Neva Bridge. The “deaf spirit” took away his humanity. By the end of the book, his confessions were made but his mind was still psychotic. He still believed that killing the pawnbroker was for the best of everyone else. Until he repents and knows that he was wrong for killing the women, he will not be saved. His mind will not escape the thoughts that are tormenting him. His pain and sorrow will not be cleansed until he confesses his sins.
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