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Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 6, Chapter 8 Summary
It's dark by the time he gets to Sonia's place. She's waiting for him. Dounia had waited with her for a long time. The two women are now friends. It was awkward at first because each thinks the other is superior. They were both really worried that Raskolnikov was about to kill himself (or had already done so). Finally, Dounia got restless there and went to Raskolnikov's room to wait for him. Without each other's company, their worries about suicide intensified unbearably. When Raskolnikov shows up, Sonia is standing at the window, worried, as the sun sets. Seeing him, she gets happy, but the look on his face stops her smile. He tells her he wants those crosses she offered him before. He's ready to carry out her plan for penance. She realizes that what he says and the way he says it are "a mask" for his real feelings. The thing that irritates him most right now, he tells Sonia, is the scene that will follow his surrender to the police —all the questions he's going to have to answer. Forget Porfiry, he tells her. It's "the Explosive Lieutenant" (Ilya) he wants to receive his confession. He asks again for the crosses. Sonia gets them and puts the copper one around his neck. He tells Sonia that he came "to warn her," but he doesn't say of what. He realizes he wanted to tell her something, but now he can't remember. Tears flow from Sonia's eyes, irritating Raskolnikov, who asks her to dry up a little. He wonders why she's crying for him since she isn't even his mother or sister. She begs him to at least pray for a minute. He agrees to and notices she plans to come with him to the police station. He doesn't like that one bit and insists that she stay put. On the street, he wonders if he did the right thing. He realizes that he didn't tell Sonia good-bye. He realizes he only visited Sonia to see her fear, to scare her. He beats himself up about it and, outside the Hay Market, he gives a beggar some money, laughing at the absurdity of it. Suddenly, he remembers what Sonia had told him to do when he first confessed to her —get down on his knees and pray and scream out that he is a murderer. He starts crying and falls to his knees. Of course, the people around him start making jokes about him —the mood is wrong for screaming out that he's a murderer. When he gets on his knees again, he catches a glimpse of Sonia, hiding behind some wood. It hits him: "Sonia was with him for ever and would follow him to the ends of the earth." At the police station, he thinks he might not do it. But Ilya is there, and he greets Raskolnikov in a friendly way. He tells Raskolnikov he never thought he was the killer and then about a suicide that happened that morning. He can't remember the name of the man. A clerk tells him: Svidrigaïlov. Raskolnikov says he knew him, and Ilya is delighted. He wants to question Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov starts feeling weird and he leaves, telling Ilya he was looking for Zametov. Outside, he sees Sonia, looking desperate. He gives her a blank grin, then goes back to Ilya. Ilya brings him water and guides him to a chair, thinking he's sick. Raskolnikov says, "It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta with an axe and robbed them."
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