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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free Booknotes
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PART II, CHAPTER 4

Summary

Doctor Zossimov and Razumihin discuss the details of the murders in Raskolnikov's presence. Razumihin tells how a house painter, Nikolai, had discovered a pair of gold earrings belonging to Alena Ivanovna in the first-floor apartment in which he had been painting on the day of the murder. Nikolai had attempted to pledge the earrings at a jeweler's shop and had consequently been arrested by the police and charged with the double murder. Razumihin believes that Nikolai is not guilty. Raskolnikov is surprised to hear about the earrings, which Razumihin believes was dropped by the real murderer as he hid in the first floor apartment.


Notes

Here, Dostoevsky gives more details regarding the murder scene and events surrounding it. Nikolai, though innocent, still feels trapped because of the circumstances he finds himself in and attempts suicide before being arrested by the police. He, however, confesses to a crime he did not commit. Nikolai perhaps believes that even the innocent must suffer for another's guilt.

Dostoevsky shows us how people's interest is awakened by events such as murders. Razumihin's arguments are clear and rational and bring him to the correct conclusion that Nikolai is innocent. Of course, Razumihin does not know that Raskolnikov is the real murderer. Raskolnikov listens carefully to the conversation and gets so excited when he learns that he dropped an earring in the first floor apartment that he nearly gives his ugly secret away. Zossimov, the doctor, notices how excited Raskolnikov gets when the murder is discussed.

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