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Luzhin is a self-made man. He loves his money and his power. And he loves himself. What he wants most of all is to find a wife to fulfill his sexual fantasies, a woman who, because she has been poor, will look upon him as her lord and savior. How she will humble herself before him! He can't wait! And, if he chooses wisely, she can even help him climb a little higher on the social ladder.
But now all of his dreams are in shreds. His optimism tells him that tomorrow everything will be all right. In his egotism he is unable to admit that his hopes are destroyed. He doesn't understand how that could possibly have happened. Is it possible to feel sorry for him? Does Dostoevsky provide any details that seem to you to justify pity or sympathy?
When Luzhin leaves, everyone is elated. They're serious for a moment, though, as Raskolnikov tries to explain Svidrigailov's offer of 10,000 roubles. He realizes the man is disturbed, perhaps even a little crazy, but he's not prepared for Dunya's response. The idea of seeing him again panics her; his blatant sexuality terrifies her.
But even the thought of Svidrigailov can't depress them for long. Razumikhin enthusiastically proposes that they invest some of their new- found capital with some that he will borrow to start a publishing business. Dunya catches his excitement, and even Raskolnikov joins the planning.
Then, without a word of explanation, in the middle of the conversation, Raskolnikov is suddenly ready to leave. He tells them all that he loves them and insists that they must leave him alone. "Otherwise I feel I shall begin to hate you...." Nothing can change his mind, and he implores Razumikhin to protect his mother and sister With the mysterious words "I will come... if I can," Raskolnikov walks away.
As the two men part, staring at each other, Razumikhin suddenly recognizes with a shudder the truth about Raskolnikov's guilt. He will ask no more questions. Raskolnikov leaves.
This chapter and the one before are a little reprieve; for a while the murder has slipped into the background. But it can't be avoided for long.