Prostitute And Shame In Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime

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The Prostitute’s Shame in Religion

In Part 4 of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov has more conflicts with the people around him. He breaks off his sister's marriage, then goes off to suggest running away with the kindly prostitute. The prostitute, Sonya has a very deep faith, and interestingly as Raskolnikov visits, he insists that she share her intimate bible passages with him. All the while he forces her to open up and share, he also scoffs at the possibility of Gad and mocks her faith. Mostly he demands to hear the story of Lazarus, and the exchange between the two as the story progresses, is extremely passionate. Raskolnikov’s intense focus on the biblical story of Lazarus, even while he openly scoffs at God’s existence, displays his growing focus on suffering and sins as not a means of redemption, and ultimately reveals his deep hope and foreshadows his eventual rise back to family and humanity. Raskolnikov admires and respects Sonya
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Sonya triumphantly reads “he that was dead come forth,” as if “her own eyes had seen it,” while strengthening the metaphor of Raskolnikov as Lazarus, this passion from Sonya interestingly drives Raskolnikov closer to her (315). Raskolnikov even rejects the love of his family in this chapter, truly showing his death and isolation from society, he is now just searching for a Jesus to bring him back to life. After she finishes reading the story to him, she “abruptly” stops reading, closes the book, and even “turns away,” as if she was “ashamed,” and ironically, as sharing her faith makes her more embarrassed than prostituting her body, she displays the same societal tension that it is easier live in murder and prostitution than have faith (315). Yet, as Sonya does find a way to strengthen her faith even in this society, there is hope for Raskolnikov's redemption as
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