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Guilt In Dostoyevsky's Crime

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Human emotions are very fragile and have extreme consequences on the human psyche. Guilt is one the emotions that can have the most harmful effect on individuals. In Raskolnikov’s case in drove him insane. Raskolnikov feels immediate guilt whenever his rationale for committing the murder is put into question, particularly when he is he kills Lizaveta. The second murder causes Raskolnikov’s guilt, the immediate response was his physical illness, but as that subsided he became increasingly paranoid, especially when something cause him to question his reasoning. The main problem the guilt cause is it cuts Raskolnikov off from humanity and isolates from everyone, including loved ones. At the start Raskolnikov had planned his crime and begun really…show more content…
Even in the end of the novel Raskolnikov does not feel bad about the death of Alyona, the only problem his crime caused was the separation it put between him and the rest of humanity. “Now if the whole room had been filled, not with police officers but with those nearest and dearest to him, he would not have found one human word for them, so empty was his heart. A gloomy sensation of agonising, everlasting solitude and remoteness, took conscious form in his soul,” (Dostoyevsky 84) Raskolnikov makes this realization his first day after the murder. It’s the first moment he realizes to the full extent what murdering has done to him. Before he had isolated himself by choice, but now it’s as if he doesn’t have an option anymore. Raskolnikov has done something so wrong that he no longer feels like a member of humanity, which is why he specifies a “human word”. Raskolnikov’s guilt comes from the need to rejoin society. That is why his guilt fluctuates so much, but becomes much worse when his rationale for the murder is put into question. In part 3 chapter 6, Raskolnikov has a dream, in which he tries to kill Alyona but fails and she laughs at him. Dostoyevsky added this dream to symbolize Raskolnikov’s disillusionment. The dream symbolizes that Raskolnikov is starting to question whether or not he had the right to kill Alyona. The only way he can believe that he hasn’t done something wrong is if Alyona deserved her death. “The old woman was a mistake perhaps, but she is not what matters! The old woman was only an illness . . . I was in a hurry to overstep . . . I didn’t mean to kill a human being, but a principle! I killed the principle, but I didn’t overstep, I stopped on this side.”(Dostoyevsky 217) Raskolnikov has to convince himself that he is one of the superhuman people that have the right to break social standards and laws. He tells himself that he
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