Crime and punishment

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Intellect and Emotion In Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, the main character is a man with two contradicting personalities a dark grim side and a warm loving side. The terms dark and grim used loosely to describe his intellectual side. It was this side of him that allowed him to commit a great sin, a murder of an old pawnbroker. Raskolnikov wants to use intellect to act and react with. With it he is able to demonstrate logic, reasoning, planning, abstracting, analyzing and theorizing. His emotional side is hidden for most of the story, but when it surfaces it is powerful.

A critical part in the novel happens when Raskolnikov expresses his emotional side when he defends a helpless girl against a strong, short-tempered man. Raskolnikov engages in a fist fight with the man out of the kindness of his heart. After helping her, he was "at that moment stung" and questioned his actions.

"Why did I go meddling in all that! Who am I to help anyone? Do I have any right to help? Let them all gobble each other alive - what is it to me?" Clearly this illustrates the imbalance acting out inside of him. This imbalance causes Raskolnikov to ostracize his emotional outbursts.

The clash between the two sides helps Raskolnikov commit the murders. His intellectual, emotionless side was able to murder without remorse. It should be noted that he had two victims, one was planned the other was not. The murder of Alyona, the cold detestable old pawnbroker, was planned. However, there was also an unexpected murder of her kind, gentle, sister-in-law, Lizaveta. It should be noted that the dual murders represent his dual personality. Raskolnikov was able to block his emtional side and used his intellect to commit the murder. This does not...