Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

"You are talking and speechifying away, but tell me, would you kill the old woman yourself?"

"Of course not! I was only arguing the justice of it […]."

"But I think, if you would not do it yourself, there's no justice about it […]" (1.6.19-21)

Imagine how Raskolnikov must have felt when he overheard this conversation! He takes it as a call to action, a call to "justice." It seems bizarre to see "kill" and "justice" used together this way. On a larger scale, is that the whole idea behind war? Killing in the name of, among other things, justice?

Quote #2

[Raskolnikov:] "Surely it isn't beginning already! Surely it isn't my punishment coming upon me? It is!" (2.1.17)

This is just after the murder, when Raskolnikov is obsessing over possible evidence of his crime. The phrasing "coming upon me" suggests two interpretations of the passage. 1) That the beginning phase of Raskolnikov's "punishment" is being metered out by a force of justice, perhaps God; and 2) that Raskolnikov is personifying "punishment" as a force of justice in and of itself.

Quote #3

[…] it rested with him to punish them and there would always be time for that. (4.2.22)

When Luzhin says this in reference to Dounia and her mother, the gig is pretty much up. Our judgment of Luzhin is pretty negative. Luzhin is also one of the novel's most judgmental characters, as our quote demonstrates.

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