Raskolnikov Character Analysis: One of the Most Controversial Characters

Raskolnikov Character Analysis

One of the most popular books students read in college is the “Crime and Punishment” written by Dostoevsky who is a famous Russian writer. This book is well-known for the main character, a poor Russian student whose name is Raskolnikov. The former student is torn between two personalities he is, and as a result of his sufferings, he kills innocent people. 

Who is this character and which message does he deliver? In this article, you will learn all the facts you need to know about Raskolnikov and his character. Read more information about Raskolnikov on the page.

All the facts you need to know about Raskolnikov 

Raskolnikov is one of the most famous characters who are constantly analyzed and examined. Are you reading the “Crime and Punishment” and wonder what is the meaning of his actions? Find out more about Raskolnikov here:

  1. The name of the main character, Raskolnikov, has been chosen on purpose. The root of the name, Raskol, is actually the Russian word which means split or schism. It actually serves as a description of Raskolnikov’s character: he has to choose between two different personas he tries to be, as well as two different philosophies. 
  2. But what are the philosophies he has to choose from? The first philosophy stands for normal behavior and the moral laws, as well as a belief that all the barriers were created by God. But the second belief is about Raskolnikov between a person that is better than other people; being someone who is allowed to do things others can’t even think about. 
  3. Raskolnikov can be called just one character since often it feels like there are two personas who act differently but share one name. His behavior changes a lot and suddenly without the reader expecting it. Both of his sides can be described as one being a cold-blooded and intellectual, while the other one is compassionate and submissive. 
  4. The two other characters, Sonya and Svidrigalov, were created in order to put extra weight on the character of Raskolnikov. Svidrigalov is a person who does not believe in morality and any laws, a man who can commit a heavy crime just for his own pleasure. Sonya is quiet and timid, and she is considered a good person. She is the one who tries to save the soul of Raskolnikov after he murders 2 people. 
  5. After the murder, Raskolnikov gets a light sentence: he had to go to Siberia and serve there for 8 years. This kind of punishment was very common during those times. Since Raskolnikov confessed to himself and it was stated he suffered from mental illness when he committed the crime.

“Crime and Punishment” is a book that tries to find the reason why many people follow moral and immoral paths. The book has received mixed interviews, and many critics disliked the ideas that were put in it.

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