Lazarus in Crime as well as Punishment’s Epilogue
- June 9, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
The greatest obstacle in literary criticism is actually the inability of the reader to know with certainty the mind of the author. For all we know, the author’s intentions could have been completely opposite the general analysis. For which reason, conflicting opinions abound, as well as controversy rages over issues which the author most likely never intended as such. In his Crime as well as Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky added an epilogue to conclude the novel. from the previous chapter, Raskolnikov, the protagonist, confesses as well as the police arrest him for murder. Many critics believe which This specific is actually an adequate ending as well as which the epilogue is actually entirely unnecessary, while others contend which the epilogue is actually very necessary, as which hints at Raskolnikov’s redemption as well as resurrection. Crime as well as Punishment is actually a Christian novel, with religious overtones as well as undertones throughout, such as Sonya’s reading of the story of Lazarus, which parallels Raskolnikov’s own story. However, the novel also loosely follows the structure as well as content of the Greek tragedy, as well as This specific coexistence of the Christian redemption as well as resurrection themes as well as the tragic Oedipus Rex themes creates a complex work which cannot be considered through only one perspective. The epilogue is actually extremely necessary to the conclusion of Crime as well as Punishment, as which allows for the further development of Raskolnikov’s character as well as giving him another dimension. He is actually not just the insane, crazed ax murderer whose guilt as well as depravity eat at him until he confesses. which seems which way at the end of the final chapter. however with the addition of the epilogue, Rodion Raskolnikov starts down the path of resurrection, which he hadn’t seemed inclined towards earlier from the novel. Without the epilogue, Raskolnikov would likely remain a less complex character, incapable of repentance.
Many critics reject the epilogue because they cannot accept the moral regeneration which which promises. According to Lev Shestov, Raskolnikov’s only crime was to believe which he was incapable of breaking the law, as well as which his tragedy was not his guilt as well as insanity however rather the “impossibility of beginning a fresh as well as different life” (71-72). The entire novel moves toward a conversion or resurrection, most notably as well as obviously by the appearance of the biblical story of Lazarus, read by the prostitute Sonya, who is actually based on Mary Magdalene. Dostoevsky did not choose Lazarus at random. He chose Lazarus because the story is actually a subtle reminder of Raskolnikov’s chance at redemption, to be reborn after repenting his sins. This specific theme of resurrection is actually prominent throughout the novel, as well as to ignore This specific theme is actually to ignore an enormous part of Dostoevsky’s meaning. Yes, This specific is actually a novel about the inner psyche of a sociopath as well as an exploration of guilt, however which is actually also about realizing one’s sins as well as repentance for them.
Edward Wasiolek raises a more valid argument in which he believes which Dostoevsky has failed to provide his readers with any evidence which Raskolnikov has enough spiritual awareness to contradict his theories put forth in his essay “On Crime” or to follow Sonya’s spiritual direction. This specific is actually a valid point, as well as which would likely be correct, if not for the abundance of examples of Raskolnikov starting the conversion. He is actually not reborn spontaneously, as Wasiolek would likely have you believe, however rather after a wealth of experiences which have influenced him to This specific end. For example, every time Raskolnikov helps the Marmelodovs, he does so because of a brief, however real, compassion. True, he regrets his charity almost instantly, however which thoughtless compassion suggests he does not feel the self-professed superiority in his heart. which resides only in his mind. As such, his consequent interactions with Sonya further This specific trend towards recognizing himself as a man on the same plane of existence as those he once considered lesser. Raskolnikov slowly progresses, allowing compassion to infiltrate his mind at times, beginning his conversion, his resurrection. As he realizes his own humanity, he becomes more conscious of his guilt. This specific indicates which he is actually not completely gone, which he can recover through the insanity which possessed him. Robert Louis Jackson notes which Raskolnikov’s behavior passes through two distinct phases-first showing great sympathy as well as compassion for those who need which as well as immediately, unthinkingly, takes measures to alleviate their suffering, as well as afterward feels disgust at having betrayed his intellectual principles, which don’t allow for sympathy towards such lesser, unworthy beings. However, which first, natural inclination to help those in need betrays Raskolnikov’s humanity. His sense of compassion “endows his actions having a magnanimity which runs counter to the malevolence of his scheme as well as the cruelty of his crime” (Matual, 28).
Furthermore, Raskolnikov never was a cold-blooded killer. His mind was convinced of his superiority, however in contemplating the murder, he was disgusted, repelled. He sought any excuse to forgo the task, however when what he perceived as a sign through the universe indicated which he must kill Alyona Ivanovna, he was filled with repugnance at the prospect of taking someone’s life. He never lost his doubts, nor his repugnance of the act, as well as which continued to eat away at him until he confessed at the end of the novel. Raskolnikov’s compassion for the poor as well as oppressed, his revulsion at the murder, as well as his memories of childhood innocence as well as piety provide a basis for his resurrection from the epilogue. The acts of compassion “represent only the potential for rebirth,” as well as “something more powerful is actually required to arose him through his spiritual lethargy as well as lead him toward the events of the epilogue” (Matual, 30). To end the novel after the confession is actually to leave Raskolnikov without finishing his story. His transformation was only just beginning, as well as only through his experiences at the Siberian prison can he continue the conversion. Only after a long spell of defiance at the prison, Raskolnikov gives in to his human side as well as responds to Sonya’s love. He pulls the bible out through under his pillow as well as reads Again of Lazarus, he who is actually reborn, just like him. Here Raskolnikov finally accepts his stint at the prison as his catharsis, be redeemed, as well as proceed to a fresh life. Raskolnikov is actually not just an evil, heartless person. His repugnance at his crime, his compassion for others, as well as his confession all hinted at a possible redemption. With the confession, he is actually only just starting down the path of conversion, as well as the epilogue is actually entirely necessary to see whether he will accept the consequences of his actions as well as be reborn or if he will reject them as well as withdraw into insanity as well as depravity once more.
In addition, the novel’s many facets as well as interlocking stories all point directly to the epilogue. Numerical motifs are prevalent, as well as they are left unfinished at the end of the novel, however with the inclusion of the epilogue, they are masterfully concluded. For example, the number nine recurs throughout the novel with regard to time. Crime as well as Punishment covers three nine-month periods: “1) through the genesis of the crime to its perpetration, 2) through the confession to the trial as well as the journey to Siberia, as well as 3) through the beginning of Raskolnikov’s exile to the moment when he embraces Sonia as well as a fresh life begins for him [… ] which takes nine months for the crime to be ‘hatched,’ nine months for the punishment to begin, as well as another nine months for Raskolnikov to be reborn from the epilogue” (Matual 32). Clearly, Dostoevsky was thinking of the period of birth, as each nine-month segment results in something being born. First, Raskolnikov’s terrible plot is actually carried out, carried to term as well as born, if you will. Second, Raskolnikov confesses as well as his transformation begins, which results in his deliverance to Siberia, where his final cycle begins. After nine months, he is actually reborn, allowing Sonya into his life as well as repenting his sins, feeling genuine regret for the atrocities he committed. Raskolnikov’s mind is actually born first, resulting from the murders. His body is actually born second, upon his deliverance to Siberia. His heart as well as soul are born last, reuniting his body, mind, as well as soul, as well as concluding his resurrection. Had Crime as well as Punishment ended with Raskolnikov’s confession, there would likely be a complete as well as utter lack of closure. Uncertainty would likely remain concerning his conversion as well as the consequences of his actions. Sometimes leaving the reader with doubt at the end of a novel is actually a useful as well as pleasing conclusion, however not with doubt as to the driving questions of the novel. Dostoevsky masterfully concluded Crime as well as Punishment in such a way as to answer all those questions, as well as yet still leaves the reader wondering what form Raskolnikov’s fresh life with Sonya would likely take.
Another point to consider is actually the structure of Crime as well as Punishment. which parallels the Greek tragedy, as well as which also parallels the story of Lazarus. The concept of fate, which includes a pagan connotation, as well as the concept of God’s will are, strangely, not at odds with each various other. They coexist, leaving the reader to interpret the happenings as they will, perhaps considering divine intervention, perhaps considering coincidences. Depending on the view the reader takes, interpretations can vary. For instance, considering Christianity as well as the story of Lazarus, the novel is actually quite unfinished without the inclusion of the epilogue. Raskolnikov’s true transformation would likely remain in doubt, as well as the parallels between Lazarus as well as Raskolnikov would likely end abruptly. Dostoevsky included Lazarus for a reason, as well as so would likely never leave the conclusion to Raskolnikov’s story incomplete. He planned for the epilogue to conclude This specific storyline, as well as merged Lazarus’s as well as Raskolnikov’s fates. The pagan fate is actually similar to the belief in predestination, as God already knows what will happen. Even through a pagan perspective, the epilogue is actually necessary to provide for the knowledge of Raskolnikov’s transformation as well as fresh life, as well as ultimately his fate.
Although Crime as well as Punishment’s epilogue strikes many critics as heavy-handed as well as unnecessary, which is actually an important component as well as essential conclusion to the novel. The objections raised are without a solid basis, as Raskolnikov did not spontaneously reach repentance as well as redemption, however rather had the potential to do so all his life. In actuality, the presence of not bad as well as compassion within him provides his character with depth as well as another level of complexity, generating every decision which much harder. Because his mind as well as his heart are at odds with each various other, each surface at different points of the novel, expressing disgust, revulsion, or contempt at the various other. This specific drives him mad, as well as eventually his compassion beats out his superiority as well as drives him to confess. The epilogue provides Raskolnikov with another dimension, his capacity for not bad, as he repents his sins as well as becomes a fresh man. The epilogue is actually unavoidable, the accumulation of all the preceding events which culminate in Raskolnikov’s transformation.
Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime as well as Punishment. fresh York: Bantam Dell, A division of Random House, Inc., 1866.
Jackson, Robert Louis. “Philosophical Pro as well as Contra in Part One of Crime as well as Punishment,” Twentieth Century Interpretations of Crime as well as Punishment. Eaglewood Cliffs: Prentice- Hall, 1974. p. 27.
Matual, David. “In Defense of the Epilogue of Crime as well as Punishment.” EBSCO Publishing, 2002. 26-34.
Shestov, Lev. Dostoevsky I Nitshe. Berlin: Skify, 1923. 71-72.
Wasiolek, Edward. “On the Structure of Crime as well as Punishment.” PMLA 74, 1959: 135.