Psycho-Analytical Approach to Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment The essential factors of psycho-analysis that are important in a interpretation of Raskolnikov's behavior in the novel Crime and Punishment, and whose conflict results in Raskolnikov's becoming a criminal are the id, the superego, and the ego. We see that these three parts of Raskolnikov?s psyche attribute to his strange behavior and in the end his fate as a criminal.
Before beginning an assessment of Raskolnikov?s psyche we must discuss Raskolnikov's background, he is an intellectual, a student, and we see obvious effects of an over used intellect throughout the novel. Although Raskolnikov is an intellectual at the beginning and throughout the novel, when we see a flashback to his childhood, we see a dramatic scene where Raskolnikov show's great compassion towards a horse. A conflict between intellect and compassion is a central point of the book.
The conflict arises because intellect is not very good at being compassionate, and compassion is generally not logical. This is one of the imposing factors within the psyche of Raskolnikov.
Although Raskolnikov's compassion can be classified neatly under superego, morality principal. Intellect does not fit directly into opposition with it under id. Intellect would best be classified under ego, reality principal. The main job being to find a balance between id and superego. A very good example of this mediation, is after Raskolnikov gives money to Sonia. This is an extreme extension of his superego, the ego lets it slide by. But after Raskolnikov's ego or intellect analyzes this action he realizes it has broken the balance too much and he regrets it. Almost the same thing happens when Raskolnikov kills the old woman. After the ego analyzes it, the ego disapproves, again a tipping of...