Examples Of Sacrifice In Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime

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Sacrifices are the most revealing decisions made in life. Many times, people will not relinquish parts of their futures for moral betterment because they value empty personal gain over happiness. It takes a special person to make a sacrifice in hopes of achieving a more fulfilling life free of regret and dissatisfaction. In classic literature, female characters usually do not make impactful sacrifices for themselves, especially considering their limited rights to make choices during time periods set in the past. Displaying sacrifices for others to judge critically requires them to be more confident in their values than other characters are. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment highlights a notable instance of sacrifice when Dounia Romanovna Raskolnikov forfeits her future marriage to Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin, ultimately displaying her values while also alluding to a deeper meaning of the work.

During Dounia’s meeting with her potential husband and her family, she reveals her first value alongside the meaning of the work in terms of her upcoming sacrifice. Dounia says, “Understand that, if you are not reconciled, I must choose between you
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Through her critical understanding of Luzhin’s selfish desires, Dounia makes the strong-minded decision to end her marriage. In doing so, she highlights her values of family, independence, respect, and pride. Her values compel the deeper meaning of the work to include both the common societal expectations forced onto Dounia’s family and the opposing actions they carry out to indirectly defy the status quo. Dounia’s forfeit of her marriage portrays sacrifice as an important part to being true to herself in a time where poverty-stricken women were not expected to make their own empowering
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