Study Guide

Crime and Punishment Part 1, Chapter 7

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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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 at 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 he 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…
  • Lizaveta!
  • He brings up his axe. She's so used to being abused that she only slowly raises her hands to her face. Raskolnikov 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 caretaker's closet, and goes to bed, his mind a mess.

Crime and Punishment Part 1, Chapter 7 Study Group

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