IRJE: Oct 14 (Crime and Punishment)

The book Crime and Punishment, written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is about Raskolnikov, a former student who is struggling with financial and mental problems, and plans to commit a crime by murdering an old pawnbroker Alyona Ivanova. While he isolates himself from society, he has been torturing himself mentally, but at last he decides to take action for his plan.

Almost every criminal is subject to a failure of will and reasoning power by a childish and phenomenal heedlessness, at the very instant when prudence and caution are most essential. (page 58)

Something that I find interesting about this quote is that it shows many controversial ideas. Raskolnikov is in a sick condition, and while being mentally unstable, he is well-educated and is capable of making precise judgments. This quote also hints on the superiority and proudness that he feels. Raskolnikov is confident in himself that he will not be affected by the “phenomenal heedlessness”. By thinking this he already considers himself as a criminal, but yet throughout the chapter he justifies his reasons for the murder of the hateful pawnbroker, by saying that she selfishly keeps her money while having no use to it, so that he will do society a favour by killing her and use her money for a better purpose. It is very controversial, but very interesting.