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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free Booknotes
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PART V, CHAPTER 1

Summary

Luzhin is living in the same building as Katerina Ivanovna, along with Lebeziatnikov, a former ward of his. Lebeziatnikov tells Luzhin about his progressive views on the emancipation of women. He claims to have deep respect for Sonia and says he looks upon her profession as an expression of protest against the structure of society. Luzhin asks if it was Lebeziatnikov who drove Sonia out of the building when her profession was discovered. Lebeziatnikov strongly denies this charge.

Sonia enters the room. She has come at Luzhin's request. Luzhin has been counting money that now lies in plain sight on the table. He asks Sonia to apologize for him to Katerina Ivanovna because he will not be able to attend the reception after the funeral. He proposes that a trust fund be set up to help the widow and her children. He gives Sonia ten rubles as a contribution towards this fund, and Sonia thanks him and leaves. Lebeziatnikov comments that he "saw it all." He commends Luzhin for performing a noble deed.


Notes

This chapter, unlike the others, does not do much to advance the plot. It does, however, prepare the reader for Luzhin's dramatic attempt to frame Sonia on a charge of thievery two chapters later (V, 3). Unknown to the reader and to Sonia, Luzhin slips a neatly folded hundred-ruble note into Sonia's pocket when he hands over the ten-ruble note for the trust fund. Lebeziatnikov has noticed this, however, and will later testify against Luzhin.

Dostoevsky also satirizes some new ideas and theories, as is evident in his depiction of the young, "progressive" government clerk, Lebeziatnikov. While Lebeziatnikov seems to outwardly support the emancipation of women, he simultaneously treats both Katerina Ivanovna and Sonia very poorly. Dostoevsky remarks that Lebeziatnikov is a "scrofulous little man," which means that he is morally corrupt. This indicates Dostoevsky's contempt for so- called "advanced liberals" with their radical ideas borrowed from the West.

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