Crime and Punishment - Alienation

While enduring a nightmare of alienation and solitude, Roskolnikov visits the inspector - Porfiry Petrovitch - who is investigating the murder of the pawnbroker (Alyona Ivanovna)and her sister (Lizaveta).  He feels compelled to go - ostensibly, to inquire whether he might retrieve some of his possessions from the old woman's flat.  But, is there another reason for his visit? 

Talking with Porfiry, Roskolnikov begins to wonder ... does the inspector suspect me?  How could that be possible, when he's never previously met him?

Roskolnikov, as it happens, has created a trail - leading directly to himself - even before committing the crime.  He'd written an article which suggests that "an extraordinary man" could commit a crime with impunity.  Porfiry has read that article.

As Roskolnikov circles around his interrogator, he's also circling around himself.  How can he make sense of what he has done?  Whatever caused him to think that some individuals have the right - for whatever reason - to take the life of someone else?

What was his motive for killing the old woman?  Does he have legitimate reasons?  What could they possibly be?  And ... if he has reasons, are they real or just rationalizations?

Raskolnikov thinks he might be a type of Napoleon, but how self-delusional is that?

See, also:

Dostoevsky - Great Writer of the Modern World  

Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment  

Crime and Punishment - The Murder Scene  

Crime and Punishment - Death of the Pawnbroker

Crime and Punishment - Raskolnikov

Crime and Punishment - Suffering  

Dostoevsky - The Underground Man

AND ... See:

Brothers Karamazov, in 15 parts


Media Credits

From the British television series, "The Modern World: Ten Great Writers." 

This video clip is from the episode, "Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment," which originally aired on 24 January 1988.  Online, courtesy BFI and YouTube.

David Hinton

David Hinton

Professor John Jones
Merton College, Oxford

Ian McDiarmid

Katy Behean

Mrs. Marmeladov:
Mair Coleman

Charlie Drake

Douglas Hodge

Timothy Spall

Old Woman (Alyona Ivanovna) :
Ann Way

Underground Man:
Patrick Malahide

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Crime and Punishment - Alienation" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 22, 2019.
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