Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Part 1, Chapter 7
- She opens the door a tiny bit, her eyes gleaming at him, full of mistrust.
- At this point Raskolnikov almost screws up. He's nervous she'll shut the door again when she sees who's come calling, so he yanks the door.
- Since she's still holding onto the handle, he almost pulls her out of her house (and down the stairs).
- She must have let go because she's standing in her doorway, blocking him.
- He walks toward her, saying, "Good evening, Alyona Ivanovna," and taking out his little package. She has no idea who he is.
- Nastily, he reminds her, and threatens to take his business elsewhere.
- This seems to convince her of his sincerity, and she's lured into her room with Raskolnikov's "cigarette case." She doesn't think it feels like silver.
- She remarks on how knotted the knot is, and tries to untie it.
- As she does, Raskolnikov hits her in the top of the head with the blunt end of the axe.
- Now he feels very awake and energetic. She cries a little, and falls to the floor.
- Her skull is cracked. He smashes it with another blow, in the same place.
- Blood flows, and she's most definitely dead.
- Putting the axe down, he gets the keys. He tries to unlock the case holding her valuables, but is too nervous.
- Maybe she's alive, he thinks and rushes back to the body.
- He notices she has a "string" around her neck but he can't break it.
- So he gets the axe and cuts the string. His hands, and the axe, are smeared with blood.
- He finds what he was looking for, a purse, which he puts in his pocket. He also finds two crosses, and a key.
- Back in the bedroom, he gets confused and has trouble with the keys, but soon finds a chest.
- On top is a red fur. He gets the urge to wipe his bloody hands on it, but then realizes this isn't a good plan, and asks himself if he's going mad, or what.
- At the bottom of the chest he finds jewelry wrapped in rags and he shoves as many pieces as he can into his pockets.
- He hears a noise, a cry, and he rushes back into the other room only to find…
- He brings up his axe. She's so used to being abused that she only slowly raises her hands to her face. Raskolnikov's lowers the axe, and splits her skull.
- Then he grabs her stuff, but right away puts it back down.
- He knows he needs to leave, but gets distracted, forgetting himself.
- The axe needs washing, after all, and so he washes it, and his hands.
- As he's wiping his boots he starts thinking about possible mistakes he's made, but before he gets carried away, he rushes to leave.
- He sees that the door is open just a crack, and he has some confusing thoughts about why it was open, and how Lizaveta got in.
- In any case, he locks the door.
- Oops. He's trying to get out, not stay in. He unlocks it and is on the stairs.
- Then he realizes there are customers coming up the stairs to see the pawnbroker.
- He rushes back up, and bolts himself in.
- The customers are persistent, and realize the door is bolted from within and become suspicious. One goes for help. Then the other follows him.
- Raskolnikov makes his escape. He hears men yelling and sees them coming from the room being painted. He's about to turn back, but they run down the stairs.
- Confused and crazed, Raskolnikov makes his way home on foot, returns the axe to the porter's closet, and goes to bed, with his mind a mess.
READ THE BOOK: Part 1, Chapter 7