Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 3, Chapter 6 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Part 3, Chapter 6
- The chapter opens with Raskolnikov and Razumihin approaching Pulcheria and Dounia's room, a little late.
- They are finally talking directly about whether or not Raskolnikov is a murder suspect. Raskolnikov thinks he is and Razumihin argues intensely that he isn't.
- According to him, it's awful that they would insult a poor, sick, ex-student with accusations of murder.
- At Pulcheria and Dounia's building, as they are about to enter, Raskolnikov tells Razumihin to go by himself, that he'll be back in less than an hour.
- Raskolnikov stops him from following by saying, "Stop tormenting me!" Razumihin goes to the women alone.
- Now back at home, Raskolnikov rushes to the little hole in the wall and sticks his hand in. He's afraid that some little piece of evidence is in there and he's sure they will search soon.
- Satisfied there is nothing, he leaves his room to meet up with his mother, sister, and Razumihin.
- As he comes out, the porter is pointing him out to a man. Raskolnikov wants to know what it's all about and the porter says the man was asking who he was.
- Raskolnikov catches up to the man and asks what his deal is.
- The man says, "Murderer!" and keeps walking.
- They walk together for a long time, and soon Raskolnikov asks him who he's talking about when he says "murderer." He says he means Raskolnikov.
- Eventually, Raskolnikov turns around and goes back to his room and collapses on his couch, with lots of thoughts in his head.
- On the one hand he feels really bad, but he also feels kind of nice and dreamy.
- Soon Razumihin comes and Raskolnikov pretends to be asleep.
- He wonders where the man, the one who called him a murderer, came from.
- He wonders if he has missed anything, if he's somehow tripped up and left a clue. He can't believe he's low enough to kill a woman with an axe.
- Napoleon comes into his mind, along with all the people that Napoleon killed – soldiers and civilians – in the name of his great new idea. (If you want to read more about Napoleon and the French Revolution, check out this site.)
- Raskolnikov compares the murders he committed to Napoleon's killings, thinking that the parallel is ridiculous.
- To Raskolnikov, the pawnbroker wasn't a real person, but kind of a symbol for Raskolnikov's crime theory. He used her as part of his experiment.
- Even on this small scale, he failed. He's even less significant and more worthless that the she was. Not only that, but he knew he was going to feel this way even before he killed her. He hates the pawnbroker and even his mother and sister now.
- Lizaveta comes to his mind and he feels sad for her. He wonders why he doesn't think about her as much as he thinks of her sister.
- (We were wondering about this, too. Hardly anyone brings up Lizaveta.)
- He compares Lizaveta to Sonia. They are kind, sweet people who don't fight back against the world that wants to eat them alive.
- He falls asleep and then finds himself on the street, under a full moon.
- Seeing the man who called him a murderer, he follows him.
- Suddenly, he is in the pawnbroker's building. Then he's in her room.
- There's somebody hiding behind a cloak. Raskolnikov goes over to check it out.
- It's her, the pawnbroker!
- He takes out his axe and starts beating her with it, but it has no effect on her. Suddenly, she's giggling crazily, but not making any noise.
- Raskolnikov hears a noise, and then hint of laughter from the bedroom.
- So he starts hitting her with the axe again.
- The laughter in the bedroom gets louder. He tries to run, but people are everywhere and he can't get through.
- He makes it to the staircase, but it's crammed full of people, silently watching him.
- When he wakes up from this terrible nightmare, Raskolnikov thinks he might still be dreaming. There is a man in his room, an older man. After about ten minutes, Raskolnikov asks the guy what he wants.
- The man says he knew Raskolnikov was faking, and he tells Raskolnikov he is Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigaïlov.
READ THE BOOK: Part 3, Chapter 6