Crime and Punishment - Suffering

Haunted while awake, haunted while asleep, Raskolnikov cannot escape his crime.  With nowhere else to go, he visits Sonya, another suffering human.

The daughter of Marmeladov, Sonya is now a prostitute.  It was at the implicit urging of her step-mother that she first began to sell herself. 

One could argue that Sonya does not have the life she would have freely chosen for herself, yet ... she did make that choice.  Is she suffering from the choice?  From the life?  From the sinner she now perceives herself to be?  Is there any way that one sinner can help another?

Although Raskolnikov rejects God, Sonya does not.  "God is everything to me," she says.  It is a faith she clings to, not unlike Dostoevsky who, while a Siberian prisoner, believed that in the sight of God all men are equal - even prisoners.

But ... can a man who has imprisoned himself - like Raskolnikov - find a way out?  Would suffering help him to escape the bars of guilt which now surround him? 

Finally confessing to Sonya, Raskolnikov also acknowledges there is a third victim of his murderous crime:  "Can't you see, Sonya?  I've killed myself, not the old hag!"

After telling Raskolnikov to acknowledge that he is a murderer, Sonya gives him this additional advice:  "Accept suffering, and be redeemed by it.  That's what you must do."

Raskolnikov, however, must ponder whether he is ready to take that step.

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 - Alienation

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 - Suffering" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 11, 2019.
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