Study Guide

Crime and Punishment Part 2, Chapter 7

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Part 2, Chapter 7

  • Raskolnikov nears the site of the commotion.
  • A drunken man has been run over by a very fancy horse carriage.
  • Raskolnikov sees that the drunken man is Marmeladov.
  • Raskolnikov bribes a policeman to convince him that Marmeladov should be taken to his home, which is nearby. He argues that Marmeladov would die before they got him to a hospital.
  • Raskolnikov and some other men help carry the injured man home.
  • Meanwhile, Marmeladov's wife, Katerina Ivanovna, is at home, talking to her 10-year-old daughter, Polenka, and getting her younger son and daughter ready for bed.
  • Katerina is ill and is coughing terribly.
  • She's telling Polenka about the good old days, when there was money and hope.
  • Enter Raskolnikov and crew, who situate Marmeladov (bloody and passed out) on the couch. Raskolnikov tells Katerina that a doctor is on the way.
  • Katerina begins to lovingly wipe her husband's forehead with a wet cloth, and she sends Polenka to go get Sonia.
  • She then orders the crowd to get out of her house, which they do.
  • The landlady comes in and tells Katerina to get the dying man out of her house and to the hospital. Katerina quickly cuts her down to size and runs her off.
  • Marmeladov regains consciousness, and Katerina realizes his chest is crushed and that he will soon die.
  • Marmeladov asks for a priest, and Katerina says that one is on the way.
  • The dying man then fixes his eyes on his youngest child, Lida, who is barefoot and almost naked because Katerina has to wash the child's only clothes while she sleeps.
  • Marmeladov complains that the child isn't wearing shoes or clothes, and Katerina reminds him that it's because he drinks away all their money.
  • Enter the doctor, who examines Marmeladov and says he'll die any moment.
  • Enter the priest, who listens to Marmeladov's confession (which is indecipherable) while Katerina and her two little ones pray.
  • Polenka returns, with Sonia behind her.
  • Her clothes are ragged but fancy, identifying her as a prostitute. She has a "flaring flame-coloured feather" in her hat.
  • Sonia is about 18, and under the hat, her face is thin and scared. She has beautiful blue eyes. She enters the room hesitantly.
  • Having done his work, the priest tries to console Katerina.
  • She lets him have it. There is no comfort, she says, her husband was a drunk, each day leading them further into the poorhouse, and now he's about to be dead. She still has three kids to take care of and no money.
  • The priest is shocked by her frankness and urges her to forgive her husband.
  • She says she has but that forgiveness isn't the issue here.
  • Katerina has a coughing fit and spits blood.
  • Marmeladov watches her and tries to talk to her. She quiets him. He notices Sonia, who is ashamed of the fact that she's obviously a prostitute and is therefore holding back from rushing to her father's side.
  • Seeing her, Marmeladov gets very excited and begs her forgiveness.
  • He tries to get up but falls from the couch. Sonia rushes to him, and he dies "in her arms."
  • Raskolnikov tells Katerina that he knows Marmeladov, that he's heard the whole story of their terrible life, and that he wants to help. He gives her 20 roubles and says he'll be back the next day.
  • On his way down the stairs, he crashes into Nikodim Fomitch (the policeman), who recognizes him.
  • He tells Nikodim that Marmeladov is dead and asks him not to bother the family.
  • Nikodim remarks that Raskolnikov is "spattered with blood."
  • Raskolnikov agrees with a creepy smile and leaves.
  • Before he gets to the bottom of the last staircase, Polenka comes running down behind him.
  • Obviously very happy to be talking to him, she says that Sonia sent her to find out his name and address.
  • He asks her if she loves Sonia, and the girl says, "I love her more than anyone."
  • Raskolnikov asks if she might also love him. She replies by giving him a big hug and crying, saying she's sad about what happened to her dad.
  • He tells her his name is Rodion. Polenka hugs him again.
  • He gives her his address and then leaves.
  • Polenka is made happy by their exchange.
  • Now, Raskolnikov is by the bridge again, right where the woman had tried to kill herself earlier in the day.
  • He decides that his life isn't over, that he's done living in such a creepy way, and that, from here on out, he will be strong and live in the world again. He isn't sick anymore, and he's full of "pride and self-confidence."
  • Since Razumihin's house is close by, Raskolnikov decides he'll go to the party, just for a second.
  • At Razumihin's, Raskolnikov tells him that he just came to say that Razumihin was right, people can't predict their own actions.
  • Razumihin calls Zossimov over. The doctor says that Raskolnikov needs to go back to bed and that Razumihin should walk him home.
  • He gives Raskolnikov some medicine on the spot and some to take home later.
  • As they walk, Razumihin confesses that Zossimov thinks Raskolnikov is out of his mind and that he sent Razumihin to try to get information out of Raskolnikov.
  • Zossimov is very interested in mental health questions.
  • Raskolnikov asks why they think he's insane. Razumihin answers it has a lot to do with Raskolnikov's earlier conversation with Zametov, who was at the party. Zametov told everybody about how Raskolnikov fainted at the police station when the murder was mentioned.
  • Apparently, Porfiry, the detective, now wants to talk to Raskolnikov.
  • Raskolnikov says he fainted because the place was just painted and the smell made him sick. He asks why madness has to enter into it.
  • Razumihin thinks Raskolnikov's toying with Zametov was brilliant and will only help spur the investigation. He wishes he could have been there to see it.
  • He tells Raskolnikov not to worry about Zossimov and Zametov.
  • Raskolnikov tells him (not very clearly) about his recent encounter with Marmeladov and his family.
  • He says he was "kissed by someone" who wouldn't care even if he was a murderer and that he saw someone else, too, someone "with a flame-coloured feather."
  • Physically, he becomes weak as they get near his house.
  • He sees a light is on in his room and gets nervous.
  • They rush up and find Raskolnikov's mother and sister waiting for him, much to Raskolnikov's surprise.
  • They've been there for two hours and have gotten the whole story out of Nastasya (as much as she knows). They've been worried sick waiting for him to come home.
  • They shout with joy and hug him, but a terrible feeling has come over him and he does not return their embraces. Everybody panics, and Raskolnikov passes out.
  • Razumihin gets Raskolnikov to the couch. He tries to calm the mother and sister. He takes Dounia's arms and forces her to see that her brother will be okay.
  • Raskolnikov's mother and sister have heard all about Razumihin and everything he's done for Raskolnikov; they really like him.

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