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As if the tension were not high enough, Sonia Marmeladova walks into the room. She is shy and timid, and for a moment Raskolnikov doesn't recognize her. She isn't dressed for the street, and seems poor and very young.
Her humility fills him with pity, and he treats her gently. You can see another crack in his egotism, as you did when he gave Katerina Ivanovna the money and when Polenka gave him a hug. Sonia has a mission, and she's eager to finish and leave. She has come with an invitation to Raskolnikov, for the funeral and the dinner afterward, events, she points out, that his money is paying for. Her stepmother implores him to come, she says. Her own invitation is unspoken.
Though she is eager to leave, Raskolnikov insists that she stay. Despite her occupation, he deliberately introduces her to his mother and his sister, embarrassing all of the women. But Dunya and Pulcheria Alexandrovna are touched by Sonia's gratitude and her demeanor. The girl is clearly astounded that anyone as poor as Raskolnikov would have been so generous to her family. Dunya even manages to bow politely as they leave the room. For just a brief moment, Raskolnikov is serenely happy, convinced that life is worth living.
Before Raskolnikov will allow Sonia to leave, he draws Razumikhin aside to tell him that he wants to see Porfiry Petrovich, the investigator in charge of the murder, to reclaim the pledges he had left with the pawnbroker. Razumikhin is delighted and urges that they go at once.
A provocative little incident distracts our attention for the moment, before we join Raskolnikov and Razumikhin on their way to visit Porfiry. Sonia is conscious of being followed by a stylishly dressed man when she returns home. He stays behind her, and follows her up the stairs to the same floor. He expresses amazement at the coincidence that they live next door to each other. But we are left completely in the dark. Who the man is and what he wants is a mystery. Remember the coincidence though: many critics find it a significant weakness in the novel that the unfolding of the plot depends on such an unlikely event.
After this digression, we rejoin the men on their way to visit Porfiry. Razumikhin's excitement about the visit grows by the minute, and he can't disguise how delighted he is to hear about his friend's dealings with the pawnbroker. For him, it is clear, Raskolnikov's obsession with the crime now has an explanation.
Dostoevsky's technique may be a little hard for you to follow here. What Raskolnikov is thinking and what he is saying are both expressed in dialogue form. You have to recognize which is which. The juxtaposition emphasizes the division in his personality. Further, we learn about his determination to use his brains in order to control the situation.
Unaware of his friend's internal dialogue, Razumikhin falls into Raskolnikov's deliberate deception. Just as Raskolnikov intends, they enter Porfiry's house laughing boyishly.