Porfiry Petrovich, the prime investigator, creates a tone of guilt as he continually conveys a sense of suspicion towards Raskolnikov, with statements such as “I’ll bring all the suspicions against you to nothing” (436). Both Porfiry and Rodion are aware that Nikolai confessed to the unfortunate happening, but Porfiry views Nikolai as too childish and vague to believe.
Ever since Nikolai first came to the station to confess, Porfiry has been convincing himself that Rodion is the criminal and continues to state, “Just as I thought,” to assure himself (337). Porfiry portrays that he would arrest Rodion but he claims not enough evidence has been collected to do so. As Petrovich has come to a conclusion and has convinced Rodion of his intentions to insure justice, uneasiness falls over Rodion’s mind; he must confess.
Character Analysis on Ilya
Ilya Petrovich, the assistant superintendent, symbolizes the destination Raskolnikov must travel to relieve the deep-rooted distress held within him. From the day Rodion committed the murder, he has not been truly repentant for his actions, but has come to realize the need for redemption and resurrection. Raskolnikov believes what he committed was an “error” and not a “sin” (516).
However, Raskolnikov is portrayed as incapable to cope with his situation and even considers suicide. He mentions to Dunya what his intentions included, and is ultimately convinced by Sonya to follow through with his repentance. His final destination of speaking to Illya and confessing, “It was I who killed the old pawnbroker and her sister Lizaveta,” represents the end to his mental distress and the beginning of his resurrection from depraved thoughts (506).
Analysis on how Svidrigailov’s rejected wedding proposal leads to his death
After an unusual meeting with Dunya, Svidrigailov feels ostracized from the only individual he loved and succumbs to his utilitarian notion of suicide. Ever since Raskolnikov received the letter from Pulcheria, it had been evident that Svidrigailov had intentions with Dunya. This notion is further exemplified when he orates to Dunya to take his hand in marriage in order to avoid Rodion’s punishment.
Svidrigailov’s motives and desires have always been ambiguous – causing his demeanor to alter as well. In some instances his intentions may have been portrayed as morally straight, such as when he provided aid to Marmeladov’s, but they were only attempts to further himself toward Dunya. Once Svidrigailov adopted these utilitarian notions of practicality his mind set became extremely narrow; as portrayed in the surmise that he poisoned Martha, his wife.
Svidrigailov’s main and sole purpose was to marry Dunya as portrayed when he states to Dunya, “I love you incredibly. Let me kiss the hem of your dress” (470). Unfortunately, he was not able to accomplish his task and his rejection is illustrated when Dunya fires two bullets at him and exclaims, “It’s Martha Petrovna whom you murdered, you evil man” (471). Although the bullets do not cause bodily harm to Svidrigailov, they convey that Dunya will never care for him.
At the conclusion of this incident, Svidrigailov’s paradoxical notion of accepting Dunya’s denial is elucidated when he allows Dunya to leave his apartment complex. His despair is further illustrated as he nonchalantly gives fifteen thousand rubles to alleviate the destitute family of Sonya. The rationalist views that cloud Svidrigailov’s mind ultimately convince him that life is futile, which results in his suicide and his last statement – “I went to America” (487).
Analysis on whether Raskolnikov was truly sorry for murdering Aliona
Although Raskolnikov rejects his Nihilist and “superman” theory, he refuses to accept that murdering Aliona was completely wrong; Raskolnikov believes his execution was necessary for mankind. Rodion’s continued inference that what he committed was essential manipulates his mind into believing that his act was in a manner justified. The confession that takes place at the station does portray that Rodion desired to be metaphorically resurrected, but his self-conviction hinders him from being truly repentant for his immoral crimes.
Upon the murder of Aliona, Raskolnikov states, “It wasn’t a human I killed, it was principle” to typify his notions of what he categorized Aliona as (282). This instance is the beginning of Rodion’s attempt to justify himself, and upon his confession to Dunya in Part VI, he again drives to reason his action by stating, Aliona was “was a foul, a noxious louse, an old moneylender” (493).
These occurrences of dogmatism continually pervade the mind of Rodion; impeding him from accepting the truth. No matter the altering notions that come across Rodion, the belief that what he did maintains its foundation within his cognitive thought. This idea is represented one last time as he exclaims to himself, it was “an error” not a “sin,” while serving his time in a Siberian prison (516).
Raskolnikov’s transition from Nihilism to a faith in God symbolizes his change from depravity to a certain degree of righteousness. The reading of the New Testament and the support given by Sonya aid in the amelioration of Rodion’s state, however, as conveyed by Dostoyevsky, Raskolnikov will remain persistent and stubborn in his perception. Many have attempted to alter Rodion’s views, and many of them have failed in doing so, thus Aliona will remain but a rogue figure in Rodion’s thought: virulent, inferior, insignificant.
Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Constance Garnett. New York: Modern Library, 1950.