free booknotes online

Help / FAQ


printable study guide online download notes summary


<- Previous | First | Next ->
FREE Barron's Booknotes-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | MonkeyNotes

CHAPTER 5

The stranger who comes to the door in the middle of this conversation about the murder is looking for Raskolnikov. But his identity is a shock. He's Peter Petrovich Luzhin, Dunya's fiance, the man Raskolnikov is prepared to despise. Very little time passes before all Raskolnikov's fears about him are justified. Luzhin is pompous and patronizing, egotistical and ignorant. In response, Raskolnikov and Razumikhin are rude.

Luzhin's expensive and ostentatious wardrobe is described in detail, and so are the cheap hotel rooms he has rented for Dunya and her mother. His character is further defined when he tries to ingratiate himself with the young people by espousing views that he thinks they wish to hear, but which really express his own view of life. His ideas are that (1) people should love themselves first, and (2) that what is good, economically, for the individual will ultimately help others.

NOTE:

The selfishness and essential immorality of Luzhin's ideas are at the heart of what Dostoevsky defines as crime in the novel. Notice how frequently this crime of "me first" comes up.

Ignoring his presence, Razumikhin and Zosimov return to their discussion of the murderer. He must, they think, have been a client of the pawnbroker. Suddenly, Raskolnikov rouses from his lethargy. Clients being interrogated! That demands his full attention.


Unwittingly, Razumikhin tortures his friend by describing what he thinks the murderer must be like: an inexperienced criminal saved by chance from being discovered at his first attempt at crime. Chance, or fate (which Raskolnikov has already identified as a powerful force in his life) is now suggested as the most important element in the murderer's success. The criminal's inexperience is proved, Razumikhin insists, by the fact that he left 1500 roubles untouched in the dresser drawer. Perhaps the most perceptive thing he says is that the killer must have lost his head. Hearing that doesn't help Raskolnikov's self-respect.

Luzhin tries to get back into the conversation by asking-rhetorically-why there is so much crime. Razumikhin suggests that crime is easier than work, but it is Raskolnikov who has the more provocative answer. If people believe that they should serve themselves first, that is adequate explanation for crime. People like Luzhin who advocate such ideas are to blame.

Raskolnikov presses his point even further. The fact that Luzhin prefers a poor wife who will have to be grateful to him is also criminal. Suddenly, the accusation is very personal. Whatever chance the two might have had for tolerating each other has dissolved. Luzhin criticizes Raskolnikov's mother. Raskolnikov, in turn, threatens assault.

The furious Luzhin leaves, and Raskolnikov insists that the others leave too. But his irrationality amazes his friend and his doctor, and they resolve to figure out what is on his mind. Both are fascinated by his passionate interest in the murder; his determination to be alone has found determined enemies.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | MonkeyNotes


<- Previous | First | Next ->
FREE Barron's Booknotes-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   
Google
  Web Search Our Message Boards   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 9:51:33 AM