Part four of “Crime and Punishment” written by Dostoevsky includes a passage that talks about the story of Lazarus. The story of Lazarus comes from the bible, it is a story which talks about Lazarus being resurrected by Jesus four days after his death, in the story Jesus said if Lazarus believed in him he would live again. In the passage Raskolnikov is demanding the Sonya read the story of Lazarus to him. Raskolnikov demanding Sonya read the story shows that he want to be forgiven of the sin he committed he wants another chance, this shows his want to be Lazarus. In the passage there are many factors that show Raskolnikov’s want for redemption and his approach to getting it and his true feeling after committing murder. The author’s purpose to show Raskolnikov’s feeling are shown by Raskolnikov’s and Sonya’s actions in the passage.
Throughout the passage Raskolnikov is very demanding when asking Sonya to read he said “Read!” and “Read! I want you to” he repeats “Read” multiple times in the passage this shows his need and deep want for redemption. He is very adamant about having Sonya read the passage to him, from earlier on in the book it is shown how the crime got to Raskolnikov head. Right after he commited the murder he got sick for four day and had people taking care of him which tells us that the guilt of committing his crime got to him mentally and physically. Raskolnikov’s tone in this passage is scaring Sonya and this is shown how she reacted, when Raskolnikov yelled at Sonya to read she hesitated, this goes to show his urgency of hearing the story of Lazarus.
The story of Lazarus is similar to Raskolnikov, this is because Lazarus was dead for four days before getting resurrected and Raskolnikov was in fever and delirium for four days after the murder. The story of Lazarus gives Raskolnikov some hope for redemption and a chance of getting better, the difference between the two is that Raskolnikov was mentally ill whilst Lazarus was physically ill. The author’s use of the story of Lazarus and things holy shows that Raskolnikov is trying to better himself and redeem himself. The connotation between Lazarus and Raskolnikov tells readers that Raskolnikov does feel guilt and has these subconscious feeling about the crime that he doesn’t shine light on. The author’s use of back story and character development help show the purpose. In the passage Sonya has to find the story in the bible for Raskolnikov which she does find almost immediately. Sonya is a young prostitute that does not go to church often because she is a prostitute. Sonya reading the bible and knowing it better than Raskolnikov show that all people can believe and can have a redemption and Raskolnikov can relate to her in not going to church but in believing in having a redemption.
Raskolnikov’s shift in the passage show how he is starting to sympathize and start his road of redemption. Throughout the passage Raskolnikov goes from getting angry and joking about Sonya to sympathizing with her and noticing their similarities. In the beginning of the passage Raskolnikov asks if Sonya goes to church often when she responds no he grins this
shows he is messing with Sonya and he know that she does not go often so he gets petty with her by saying “ I see… Then you won’t go tomorrow to bury your father either” this goes to show his attitude at the beginning before hearing the story and really noticing Sonya. At the end of the passage her understands her and sympathizes with her. The author shows how Raskolnikov started to sympathize with her through the word choice and sentence, this is shown when the narrator says “ He read it in her eyes, understood it from her…” this tells the reader that he finally understood her as a person and started to sympathize. The author used “ He read it in her eyes…” to show how he understood and the relationship with Sonya and Raskolnikov because he read her eyes and that takes a relationship to do. Since Raskolnikov finally understood her could move forward with being redeemed, being forgiven for his sin, and getting a new beginning in a sort of way.
By showing Raskolnikov’s tone ,his shift ,his relationship with Sonya, and his action the author shines a light on his purpose of the passage. The authors use of the story of Lazarus and its connections to Raskolnikov show the feeling and wants of Raskolnikov and the attitude Raskolnikov has tells us he is acting out in a way. The author used all of this things to show the readers that the purpose of this passage is to show Raskolnikov’s want of redemption, because the author used a certain tone, a shift in tone, and character development it makes the purpose of the passage stand out and it becomes easier to find.
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