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 3

The enthusiastic opening, announcing Raskolnikov's recovery, describes his physical health, not his emotional well-being. Dr. Zosimov watches him carefully, trying to analyze his behavior. So does the reader. And, amazingly, he seems to be in control of himself.

For the first time, he seems able to carry on a conversation and even show a little mocking wit when the doctor says everything will be fine if he just goes back to school. Even more important, there are real flashes of affection that delight his mother and Razumikhin. She, in particular, thinks how wonderful he is. But remember that in the past Raskolnikov has found her love smothering and intolerable. The feeling that this reconciliation can't last forever is too clear to ignore.

NOTE:

In this scene everybody is talking at cross purposes, and the characters' thoughts overlap and blend into what they actually say. The result is an atmosphere of confusion and tension. Dostoevsky uses this technique to show just how complicated the relationships between these people are, and how difficult it will be for them to have a true reconciliation.

Raskolnikov admits to his mother his inexcusable action in giving away her money, a flash of honesty that reveals his better side. In particular, he puts into words the real pity he feels for suffering people. This enforces the reader's sense of his humanity.

His vulnerability comes through too. "Are you afraid of me?" he asks Dunya. But when he reassures his mother that there will be plenty of time for talk, he realizes immediately that it's a lie. He'll never be able to talk to anybody honestly ever again. He is so depressed he nearly walks out of the room.


When he tries to explain the relationship he had with his fiancee, he admits he was attracted to her because she was sick, and says he would have liked her even better if she had been lame or deformed. This strange attitude is left hanging in the air. We don't understand Raskolnikov any better after he describes his engagement, but we do have a clearer sense of just how disturbed he is.

The burning issue of the visit is still unsettled, but Raskolnikov will not ignore it any longer. With an insincere apology for his bluntness the evening before, he again demands that Dunya must choose between being Luzhin's wife and being his sister. She can't be both. She insists it is her own business. But he will not accept that. -

NOTE:

Raskolnikov is convinced that Dunya is marrying for his benefit, and he hates her sacrifice. Is this another example of his egotism? Or does he really have Dunya's happiness at heart? Dostoevsky leaves the answer up to you. One of the things that should influence your decision is what you know about Luzhin.

The similarities between brother and sister are clear in their quarrel. She is as stubborn as he. And with a barb that only Raskolnikov and the reader can understand, she shouts at him: "If I destroy anybody it will be myself and nobody else... I have not killed anybody!"

Raskolnikov almost faints, but he pulls himself together. Dunya insists he read the letter from Luzhin, which only makes the situation worse. Raskolnikov insists the man is illiterate, but more, he claims that Luzhin has lied about him. Because you know that Raskolnikov is telling the truth, much of the rest of what he says has credibility too. If Raskolnikov is right about Luzhin being a liar, and you know he is, perhaps you should believe the other things Raskolnikov says about him, too.

Dostoevsky builds up the suspense about how this problem will turn out. Dunya insists that Raskolnikov be present at the interview with Luzhin. And she makes clear that she has already made up her mind. We will have to wait for her decision, and so will Raskolnikov.

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