Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky | Symbols | Summary and Q&A

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November 8, 2019
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky | Symbols

TL;DR

The content explores the symbolism of the garret, the cross, Napoleon, and Lazarus in Crime and Punishment.

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Key Insights

  • 🤯 The garret symbolizes Raskolnikov's poverty, alienation, arrogance, and claustrophobic state of mind.
  • 😵 The cross represents faith, suffering, and the dichotomy of sincere and hollow gestures in different characters.
  • 🙈 Napoleon serves as an example of the extraordinary man who Raskolnikov idolizes, despite ignoring his crimes and exile.

Transcript

the garret the cross the French leader Napoleon and Lazarus are the main recurring symbols in crime and punishment ruskov's garrote represents his poverty alienation arrogance and claustrophobic state of mind the tiny fifth floor room is messy and cramped he cannot stand up straight in it or stride across it it has little light or air the rooms loc... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What does the garret symbolize in Crime and Punishment?

The garret symbolizes Raskolnikov's poverty, alienation, claustrophobia, and serves as a space for him to obsessively plot his murders. It also represents his isolation and contempt towards others.

Q: How does the cross function as a symbol in the novel?

The cross represents faith, suffering, and can be seen as both a sincere and hollow gesture. Characters like Ilyana, Nicolay, and Sonja demonstrate different interpretations of the cross in their actions and beliefs.

Q: How does Raskolnikov view Napoleon in relation to his own actions?

Raskolnikov sees Napoleon as an example of the extraordinary man who has the right to shed blood for personal ambition. He conveniently overlooks Napoleon's crimes and exile in his pursuit of becoming similar to him.

Q: What is the significance of the story of Lazarus in the novel?

The story of Lazarus symbolizes faith and promises new life. Raskolnikov is fascinated by the story, even though he flip-flops on religion. It offers the idea of redemption and a fresh start through faith.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The garret represents Raskolnikov's poverty, alienation, and claustrophobic state of mind, as well as his isolation and ability to plot the murders.

  • The cross symbolizes faith, suffering, and the dichotomy of sincere and hollow gestures in characters like Ilyana, Nicolay, and Sonja.

  • Napoleon serves as an example of the extraordinary man who Raskolnikov aspires to be, despite conveniently ignoring Napoleon's crimes and exile.

  • The story of Lazarus brings forth themes of faith and promises new life through surrendering to faith.

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