Fyodor Dostoevsky drew upon his many hardships and life experiences in order to instill a sense of realism and truth into the novel Crime and Punishment. He bases many of the characters in the novel on his own life. By incorporating his own life challeges into the novel, there is a greater sense of personal reflection and emotional honesty. This is what brings the story to life.
Perhaps one of the greatest occurences that influenced the writing of Crime and Punishment was the death of Dostoevsky's father. His father was a former army doctor who was murdered by serfs. Although his father had been an alcoholic, and abused Dostoevsky both mentally and physically, this loss hit him hard. This tragedy greatly affected Dostoevsky, who became secluded and isolated. He turned his anger inside himself, and suffered greatly thoughout his childhood for it. With lack of a father figure to guide him, Dostoevsky was raised by his mother in a devoutly religious home.
However, Dostoevsky could not understand how a compassionate God could exist in a world of such great suffering. He soon turned his back on religion and was led astray of his mother's teachings. The anger that he felt towards God for taking his father away from him is evident in the character Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov, like Dostoevsky, does not understand how a loving God can bring so much suffering to the world. The childhood suffering of having only one parent is also demonstrated by Adelaida Ivanovna, who "left the house and ran away from Fyodor Pavlovich with a destitute divinity student, leaving Mitya, a child of three years old, in her husband's hands." Dostoevsky felt abandoned by his father, much like Mitya was abandoned by her mother.
In 1838 Dostoevsky entered an Engineering Academy as an army cadet.