Crime And Punishment In Pride And Prejudice Analysis

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In both Crime and Punishment and Pride and Prejudice, the reader is afforded a glimpse of the darker side of human nature. Raskolnikov’s shocking coldblooded murder of Alyona Ivanovna, an elderly pawnbroker, and her sister Lizeveta, reflect a degree of brutality almost unimaginable in a human being. Likewise, Miss Caroline Bingley, while certainly not guilty of crimes as grievous or horrific as Raskolnikov’s, betrays a similar sentiment of heartlessness in her treatment of the Bennet sisters throughout the plot of Pride and Prejudice. However, the nature of each character’s cruel actions remain remarkably different. Raskolnikov seeks to transcend the ethical conventions binding society and act as a conscience-free moral agent, whereas Caroline Bingley’s behavior is very much a product of institutionalized classism, and she acts wholly within the parameters which Victorian England’s strict …show more content…

Indeed, Raskolnikov appears to say as much, admitting, “it wasn’t a human being I killed, it was a principal! (III.VI)” Murdering Alyona was not motivated by any particular spite or hatred that Raskolnikov bore towards her. By taking Alyona’s life, Raskolnikov desired to transcend his moral conscience and the laws of society. Yet, in this attempt to unshackle himself from a normative ethical code, Raskolnikov manifestly fails— “but I didn’t step over, I stayed on this side... All I managed to do was kill (III. IV).” Raskolnikov cannot suppress the force of guilt weighing upon his conscience, and ultimately confesses his complicity in the crime to the police. Seeking to operate outside the confines of his conscience and societal law, Raskolnikov is driven to madness by the impossibility of his quest—cruelty simply cannot be countenanced so long as it remains in opposition to social

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