One When Raskolnikov visits Marmeladov’s family, he notices

One of the most important aspects of today’s society are the laws that govern its people. Stealing is illegal, and murder is even less. But would such crimes be justified if the person committing the actions were in extreme poverty and the crime could help other people? Crime and Punishment makes the me and other readers think about the ethics of government regulations, and whether or not wrongdoing is justifiable. Dostoevsky’s novel revolves around the internal and external conflicts of the protagonist, Raskolnikov. It is very clear that he is dirt poor and “was crushed by poverty,” (Dostoevsky 7). However, I noticed that he is also kind-hearted and generous. When Raskolnikov visits Marmeladov’s family, he notices their condition and takes out some money “he had received in exchange for his rouble in the tavern and laid them unnoticed on the window,” (52). Similarly, in Chapter 4,  Raskolnikov notices somebody following a drunk girl while he was walking. Wanting to help the girl, he gives a policeman twenty copecks and tells him to call a taxi to send her home. Also, Raskolnikov’s caring heart is shown during a dream in which a bunch of drunkards are beating a horse. Young Raskolnikov is terrified, but he runs up and kisses the dead horse. These events clearly show Raskolnikov’s philanthropy. This altruism makes me think of Raskolnikov as a hero in this book. Although Raskolnikov is very generous, he is also slightly reserved, regretful, and hypochondriac. In chapter 1, the author describes him to be frightened each time he passes his landlady’s kitchen. It is also very clear that he prefers talking to himself more than talking to other people. In most of the chapters, Raskolnikov is shown rambling about his various problems while he walks. Secondly, he often regrets his generosity, both when he leaves money with the Marmeladov’s and with the policeman and the drunk girl. Finally, the author explicitly mentions that he was “verging on hypochondria,” (7). (Hypochondria is an extreme anxiety about one’s health.) All of these traits makes me think he is slightly unstable mentally. Raskolnikov’s contrasting characters converge into a major conflict in the book: considering whether or not he should kill Alyona Ivanovna, a rich pawnbroker. To me, this seems like the last thing that such a considerate person like Raskolnikov would do. His altruism makes it seem like it is impossible that he would do something this criminal. Raskolnikov also contemplates the ethics and repercussions for many days, which shows that the conflict due to the crime is mainly internal, not external. I found it interesting that the first few chapters of a book titled Crime and Punishment would be mainly about a conflict in a character’s head, not one with other people or societies, as the name suggests. The first few chapters Crime and Punishment get us familiar with the main character, Raskolnikov, his situation, and a main conflict. Raskolnikov is very charitable, although a bit reserved and anxious. In the future chapters, I predict he will instantly regret committing a crime against Alyona Ivanovna because of previous situations in the novel, although he will not be caught. All in all, I think that Raskolnikov’s situation will turn out better by the end of this excellent novel.