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Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Home Quotes Page 1

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Quote #1

[Raskolnikov] was hopelessly in debt to his landlady, and was afraid of meeting her. (1.1.2)

Right away, the novel digs into one of our deepest fears: the landlady, or landlord as the case may be. Since it's only been a few years since the serfs were emancipated, and since the serfs were "owned" by people who also owned land, land person-phobia was probably extremely acute in Russia.

Quote #2

"I want to attempt a thing like that and am frightened by these trifles," [Raskolnikov] thought, with an odd smile. (1.1.5)

Of course Raskolnikov is referring to his murderous idea. Part of what his mixed up brain wants to do is "overstep" his fears of the landlady, to reach a place where he is in power, either literally or by becoming fearless.

Quote #3

[Marmeladov:] "Allow me to ask you another question out of simple curiosity: have you ever spent a night on a hay barge, on the Neva?" (1.2.7)

Marmeladov tells Raskolnikov that his home life is so unbearable that he had to leave and sleep outdoors. It's obvious from what he says that the horror of his home is of his own making. He knows it, too. He just doesn't know how to turn things around.

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