Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 1, Chapter 5 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Part 1, Chapter 5
- Raskolnikov thinks he must have been going to visit Razumihin to ask for help in finding some teaching gigs, but decides that would be pointless.
- Even if he could manage to make himself presentable, in terms of clothing, the little money he would earn couldn't possibly help.
- He decides he'll see Razumihin after he does the terrible act.
- He scares himself when he realizes that he might really be setting on doing the thing. He decides to go home. He's freezing, in the hot sunlight.
- Walking in a fresh, green area, he starts to feel better, breathing the clean air.
- He pops into a bar and drinks a vodka. Not used to drinking alcohol, he feels weird and exhausted.
- So he crawls into the bushes, falls asleep, and has an awful dream.
- In the dream he's seven again, and with his dad. Raskolnikov's little brother died when he was a baby, and they are going to visit his grave.
- They pass a bar, outside of which is a big cart, the kind very big horses pull.
- Raskolnikov loves horses.
- But attached to this cart is a little old horse, the kind Raskolnikov hates to see pulling oversized loads.
- The horse and cart belongs to a young drunk man, named Mikolka, who comes out of the bar with friends. He offers to drive them home. They say he's crazy. The horse can't do it. He convinces them that if they whip the horse, she'll perform.
- As the horse starts to move, the owner and two other start whipping her.
- Raskolnikov complains to his father, who doesn't want to get involved.
- The horse beating continues in front of a crowd outside the tavern.
- Some people in the crowd want the horse beating to continue; others want it to stop.
- Crying, young Raskolnikov runs toward the horse.
- Mikolka now wants to kill the horse. Someone in the crowd suggests he use an axe (keep this in mind). Mikolka uses a crow bar to finish off the poor horse.
- Now the crowd is angry. Raskolnikov is crying, terribly upset.
- He questions his father, who leads him away, saying it's not their concern.
- He tries to scream – and then wakes up, relieved that it was a dream but wondering why he dreamed it.
- Now we get the details of the mysterious terrible act, as Raskolnikov asks himself if he really plans to kill "her" with an axe, then steal her money and valuables.
- (It's clear now that he's talking about murdering the pawnbroker.)
- He realizes he was sure about it yesterday, when he did the trial run, but now he knows he can't, won't possibly do it.
- "Free" from the terrible idea, he feels much better.
- The narrator says that, when Raskolnikov remembers this day later, he wonders why he decided to take the long way home, by way of the Hay Market, as if trapped by a "destiny" that was out to get him.
- He goes into the market at 9pm. Raskolnikov's raggedy clothes don't stand out here.
- Raskolnikov notices Lizaveta Ivanovna, the pawnbroker's sister, talking to her friends. Lizaveta is mentally challenged, tall, about thirty-five, and unmarried.
- Her sister treats her terribly, making her work like a slave, beating her, and terrifying her.
- Lizaveta's friends are trying to convince her to come, the next day, around six, for some kind of paying business. She finally agrees.
- Raskolnikov realizes that tomorrow, the pawnbroker will be at home...
- All alone. His plan to kill her is renewed.
READ THE BOOK: Part 1, Chapter 5