Rodion Romanovick Raskolnikov

1875 Words8 Pages
In 1866, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote and published the psychological drama Crime and Punishment, set during the 1860s in St. Petersburg, Russia. This changing city gives birth to the novel’s sequestered hero Raskolnikov. During the 1860s, the capital of Russia was a booming economic center, as well as a major city filled with millions of newly freed serfs. While this was an impactful reform, there was quite a bit of turmoil and chaos due to the social changes. Dostoyevsky utilizes this setting to describe the poverty that Raskolnikov and the other characters live in. Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth-century Russian novel Crime and Punishment uses suffering as a major theme that affects Rodion Romanovick Raskolnikov and Sonya…show more content…
At a young age, Sonya began prostituting herself in an effort to keep her family from starving. By doing so, she ruined her reputation and set herself up to be exploited by men. Sonya gives all of her earnings to the family and is willing to suffer to ensure her family’s survival. The suffering that she must encounter provides her family with their material needs and assists the progress of others’ spiritual redemption. Critic Malcolm V. Jones puts it best when he says “[h]er humility is allied to a deep compassion for the suffering of others and a tremendous capacity for self-sacrifice.” (82) Sonya’s faith in God is what genuinely carries her through life and keeps her from feeling distraught. Sonya is a devoted Christian and places her life in God’s hands. She “ declines to take up arms against God’s world; she meekly accepts what she conceives to be God’s will.” (Jones 85) Sonya’s experiences in a few days cannot have been much more appalling than those of Raskolnikov’s. She witnessed the death of both of her parents, she does not know what to do about her starving brothers and sisters, she is visited by a student who appears out of the blue to donate to her family, is told by the student to throw herself into the canal, and thereupon ends up in Siberia with the convicts. The intensity of Sonya’s life and the characters in it cause…show more content…
Sonya’s family is a lower-class, poverty-stricken family that includes half-siblings as well as step-siblings. She is the daughter of a drunkard and her destitute family is corrupted by his spending habits. Marmeladov is introduced to the readers at a bar after Raskolnikov has been at Alyona Ivanovna . After getting a new job and appearing for work on the first day, he was fired and slept in a hay barn for three days afterward before appearing at the present bar and spending the last of his money on drink. His spending habits and lack of job have caused his daughter, Sonya, to become a prostitute in order to support her family that is on the brink of starvation. When we are introduced to Marmeladova, he seems to be, as author and critic Robin Feuer Miller says, “a tavern bore.” (62) Howbeit, he then introduces his wife, Katerina, and his daughter, Sonya. This drunken narrative is a bit similar to a “tragic drama” (Miller 62) and Marmeladova is “at once the cause of the tragedy and the incoherent chorus or witness to the action (as well as its narrator).” (Miller 62) Sonya’s father causes a great deal of excruciation for the family as a whole, not just Sonya. The pressure that is put directly on Sonya, however, causes her the to suffer the most. The Marmeladova family has an abundance of issues that critic Donald Fanger lists as “ disclosing the connection of
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