Foils In Dostoevsky's Crime And Puni

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Fyodor Dostoevsky's 19th century novel Crime and Punishment explores the psychological torture and moral dilemmas that the main character Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov faces after he murders a pawnbroker and her sister. All of the characters in the novel face troubles and suffer as a result of them, however all characters do not respond to their difficulties in the same manner. Through the use of foils, which is a literary device in which one character is contrasted with another in order to emphasis particular qualities in the other, Dostoevsky explores character's various responses to difficult situations. Both Katerina Ivanovna and Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov are mothers living in poverty and are struggling to support their family; each has an unique approaches to coping with their financial position. The foil of Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov and Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov demonstrates the importance attaining forgiveness in order to overcome prior…show more content…
Although both Katerina and Pulcheria are plagued by financial problems, each has a unique method of coping with her poverty. The foil pair of Svidrigailov and Raskolnikov emphasizes the imperativeness of attaining forgiveness. Additionally, Raskolnikov's and Razhumin's lack of monetary funds force both to drop out of university, however the two men's fundamental differences result in very unique approaches to attempt to overcome their poverty. The use of foils in Crime and Punishment helps add to the overall meaning of the novel by supplying additional information that would otherwise be unknown. They also help to illustrate various characteristics of all the foil characters without explicitly saying them word for word, which results in the novel being more intriguing and attention holding for the
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