Sonya, the daughter or Marmeladov, aids in the development of a paradox as Raskolnikov illogically compares his depraved murder to her moral sacrifice. Throughout Crime and Punishment Sonya is represented as a Christ figure as she allows herself to succumb to prostitution in order to alleviate the destitute living conditions of her family.
Instead of viewing this action as a complete moral action, Raskolnikov portrays it as a life that was able to transgress. Rodion states, “You too have transgressed…so we have to go the same way together. Let’s go!” to convey his false accusation of Sonya (314). Instead of realizing that both he and Sonya are complete opposites in their righteous perception, he falls into the notion that they both “took a life” and thus should be categorized as supermen (314).
Character Analysis on Mikolka
Mikolka, a painter, creates a tone of alleviation as he admits to a murder he did not commit. During the conversation between Raskolnikov and Porfiry, a climax was portrayed to unfold, but when Mikolka lied under false pretenses the aura soon simmered down. Rodion states, “You’re lying! Nothing will happen! Call your men!” to convey the discontent emerging within the room (334).
However, when Mikolka enters through the threshold and confesses to Aliona’s death, a tranquil tone is communicated when Raskolnikov states, “I hope you’ll excuse me, Porfiry Petrovich, for what just went on…I lost my temper (338). Both Rodion and Porfiry expiate which causes Rodion to believe that he can now relax. Mikolka’s false admittance falls to the favor of both discoursers – thus extracting the anxiety and contempt from their thoughts.
Analysis on how the allusion to Lazarus provides a sense of hope
The allusion to Lazarus in Crime and Punishment conveys that one can metaphorically rise from the dead, which in turn provides a sense of hope to characters such as Raskolnikov and Sonia, who are experiencing a depraved life. As Raskolnikov is suffering from an illness – caused by his criminal act – and Sonia is living through prostitution, the desire to have a better life is continuously portrayed.
Rodion insists that Sonia read the passage concerning the resurrection of Lazarus and states, “Read! I want you too!” (310). Rodion desires to know the bible story and when Sonia finally begins to read the text, she begins to shiver and tremble. The manner in which Sonia acts during her oration illustrates that she does not desire to “betray everything of her own” (311).
Although Sonia would prefer an escape from her degenerate life, she cannot hold on to the idea of abandoning her family. With the reference to Lazarus, Raskolnikov is attempting to convince Sonia that only by leaving what she has, will she be able to rise from the “dead.” Rodion is attacking Sonia with such thoughts so that he may also live an alleviated life and cease to live alone. As conveyed by Raskolnikov, “Freedom and power” will be the benefactors of a new life; where one does not have preoccupy themselves with the needs of others (314).
The representation of Lazarus provides a foundation for change and thus and sign of optimism. However, instead of the sanguine perception causing a morally straight conviction, it causes a sense of avarice to enter the mind of the two transgressors. The axiom of leaving others for one’s own gain begins to cloud the mental thought of its victims.
Analysis on how Mikolka’s “confession” eases Porfiry’s suspicion of Raskolnikov
When the heated dispute takes action between Porfiry and Raskolnikov, it is nearly assured that Raskolnikov will be found guilty for his crime. However, during the major conflict Porfiry does not arrest Raskolnikov for the reason that he deems such actions unnecessary after a confession takes place.
When Mikolka states, “I am the murderer…I’ll make a statement” the drive for Porfiry to prove Raskolnikov the criminal dies down (336). Porfiry becomes extremely bewildered at the proclamation and loses focus of his previous task. When Porfiry states, “What are you…whom did you murder?” his astonishment is exemplified (337). He was earnestly focused on bringing the ill and delirious Raskolnikov to justice, but he was forced to abandon such a notion after the unusual occurrence.
With the audience surveying the abnormal scene, it would be illogical for Porfiry to insist on accusing Raskolnikov of the murder. Porfiry did adopt the notion that Mikolka was lying when he exclaimed, “Just as I thought,” but given the rare circumstance he allowed Raskolnikov to depart (337). Porfiry still held a slight suspicion toward Raskolnikov and before Rodion left stated, ” As the Lord disposes, sir, as the Lord disposes!” to convey the next time they would speak again (337).
From the beginning till the end of the conversation between the prosecutor and the criminal, Porfiry exemplified in several ways that he believed Raskolnikov was the murderer. Although the process of justification did not go as planned, Porfiry could not convince himself that Mikolka was the illicit. With a crooked smile, Porfiry illustrated to Rodion that they would meet again, conveying that the Lord would leave no crime unpunished.
Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Constance Garnett. New York: Modern Library, 1950.