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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free Booknotes
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Raskolnikov greets his mother and sister with a kiss when they arrive in his room. Zossimov advises Raskolnikov to keep his mind occupied, as it will help him get over his depression. Raskolnikov thanks Zossimov and Razumihin for their help. Dounia and Raskolnikov are reconciled.

Raskolnikov talks about the landlady's daughter, whom he had once loved, but who had died so young. Pulcheria Alexandrovna attributes Raskolnikov's depression to his "dreadful room" that she describes as a coffin. Raskolnikov reiterates that if Dounia chooses to marry Luzhin, he (Raskolnikov) will disown her. Dounia asserts that she wishes to marry Luzhin for her own sake, to better herself financially. Raskolnikov does not believe her. He realizes that Luzhin will not value Dounia because she is poor. He accuses Dounia of lying and of selling herself to Luzhin for money.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna shows Luzhin's letter to Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov reveals that Luzhin is attempting to slander him by falsely representing him as a man of low morals. He tells his mother and sister that he gave money to the widow, Katerina Ivanovna, and not to the prostitute, Sonia, whom he has met only once. Dounia asks Raskolnikov to be present at their meeting with Luzhin at eight that evening.


The morning after the quarrel with his mother and sister, Raskolnikov is in a better mood, and he welcomes them lovingly this time. He also behaves impeccably when he thanks Zossimov and Razumihin.

The reader is given various reasons for Raskolnikov's illness. Zossimov attributes it to his lack of healthy mental activity. Pulcheria Alexandrovna blames it on the depressing surrounding atmosphere. His fiancée's death has also affected him adversely. His engagement to the landlady's weak and ugly daughter shows his kind nature, but also suggests that he is drawn to such pathetic characters.

Although Raskolnikov is reconciled with Dounia, he still holds her impending marriage to Luzhin against her. Dounia tries her best to prove to him that she is marrying of her own volition, but he can tell that she is not telling the whole truth. A marriage to Luzhin would be one of financial necessity. Dounia's self-effacing and practical nature is evident. She knows that her ties to her brother are stronger and more important than her ties to Luzhin, whom she does not love. Therefore, she invites Raskolnikov to the meeting with Luzhin that evening.

When his mother speaks of being "alone, utterly alone," Raskolnikov is deeply touched, as he, too, experiences similar isolation after his crime. He realizes he can never speak freely to anyone after this deed. The murder has increased his sense of being alone.

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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Plot Synopsis


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