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Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

Third Person (Omniscient)

Sure, it's mostly from the perspective of Raskolnikov, but the narrator goes where it wants. This includes into the minds of Luzhin, Andrey Semyonovitch, Razumihin, and Katerina. The narrator also has thoughts and opinions of its own from time to time. This narrative structure can seem rather chaotic and extreme. There are lots of internal dialogues and monologues, and it's sometimes hard to tell whether Raskolnikov is talking out loud or just thinking. This is especially true of those multipage paragraphs Dostoevsky seems so fond of. For all the chaos, this narrative is fun and exciting to read. It keeps us on our toes, trying to find out what's going on plot-wise. If we get tired and can't concentrate, there's enough drama and suspense to keep us reading anyway.

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