Water To Symbolize Salvation During Raskolnikov's Suffering

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Dostoyevski’s Use of Water To Symbolize Salvation during Raskolnikov’s Suffering
In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, suffering is a significant theme throughout the novel, as Raskolnikov goes through a lot of suffering from the sinful act of murdering the greedy pawnbroker Alyona and her step-sister Lizaveta. As Raskolnikov faces the consequences of his sinful crime, he is faced with a great deal of mental and physical suffering including mental torment, delusion, and illness. The novel's use of suffering is influenced by Dostoyevski’s personal beliefs in Russian Orthodox Christianity that suffering is inevitable and the consequences of human sins against God, and to redeem yourself from the sin you must suffer in union with God. Which Raskolnikov is shown to do at the end of the novel when he confesses to his crime. Another significant motif used in the novel is water, which is …show more content…

After committing his crime, Raskolnikov instantly feels “horror and loathing of what he had done… He … [does not go] to the box or even into the room for anything,” (Dostoevsky, 108) instead Raskolnikov immediately begins to, “[wash] his hands and the axe” (109). This presents his mental suffering through his immediate reaction of guilt. As Raskolnikov physically washes his “axe with the blade in the water, and his hands in the bucket …” (109) he is metaphorically cleansing himself from his sin as if participating in a baptism. This presents Raskolnikov’s immediate suffering for his crime as he seems very eager to remove all traces of the blood. In this example, Raskolnikov feels the need to wash himself and his axe with the bucket of water as a means of cleansing away the sins he has committed; thus using the water for cleaning as a way of symbolizing his need for salvation as he attempts to restore and renew himself as he mentally suffers with

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