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Crime and Punishment, first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in 1866, is a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky that delves into the psychological and moral struggles of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished former student in Saint Petersburg who commits a double murder. Crime and Punishment is considered one of Dostoevsky's masterpieces and one of the greatest works of Russian literature.
The novel opens with Raskolnikov, consumed by poverty and a nihilistic philosophy, formulating a plan to murder an elderly pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, and steal her wealth. He believes that his actions will allow him to rise above the constraints of society and pursue his ambitions.
After meticulously planning and executing the murder, Raskolnikov is plagued by guilt and paranoia. He becomes increasingly isolated from his friends and family, and his mental state deteriorates.
Raskolnikov's internal conflict intensifies as he encounters a variety of characters, including the kind and compassionate Sonya Marmeladova, a young woman forced into prostitution to support her family. Sonya's unwavering faith and belief in redemption challenge Raskolnikov's nihilistic worldview.
As Raskolnikov grapples with his guilt, he eventually confesses to his crime. He is sentenced to eight years of hard labor in Siberia, where he begins a journey of self-discovery and spiritual renewal.
Crime and Punishment explores a range of complex themes, including:
The novel features a cast of memorable characters, including:
Crime and Punishment is considered one of the most influential works of Russian literature. It has been translated into numerous languages and adapted into films, television series, and operas. The novel continues to be studied and discussed by scholars and readers alike.
Here are some of the novel's most famous quotes:
Crime and Punishment is a thought-provoking and disturbing novel that explores the dark depths of human nature. It is a powerful and enduring work of literature that continues to resonate with readers today.