Study Guide

Crime and Punishment Part 4, Chapter 6

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Part 4, Chapter 6

  • This is how Raskolnikov will remember the scene at some point in the future:
  • Commotion is building outside the door.
  • Porfiry is puzzled and claims he gave orders that he shouldn't be disturbed.
  • He asks what the people at the door want. They say that Nikolay (the painter accused of murder) wants to see him.
  • Apparently, Nikolay was supposed to come after Raskolnikov, but Nikolay bursts into the room and confesses to murdering the two women.
  • Porfiry doesn't buy it and questions him to be sure.
  • Porfiry momentarily forgot about Raskolnikov and now tells Raskolnikov that they should catch up later.
  • Raskolnikov, sneering, reminds him about the big "surprise."
  • As usual, Porfiry doesn't answer the question but instead makes witty remarks.
  • Porfiry says he'll see Raskolnikov later. Raskolnikov says Porfiry will not see him later.
  • They go on that way for a few minutes.
  • Then, Raskolnikov apologizes to him for getting so worked up.
  • Porfiry reassures him that everything is okay and that he wants them to spend lots of time together. He asks if Raskolnikov is going to a "birthday party."
  • "A funeral," Raskolnikov tells him. Then, he tells Porfiry that he thinks his department is like a bad comedy. (Translation: Porfiry is silly.)
  • Raskolnikov says that it's funny the way Porfiry harasses poor Nikolay until he prefers to confess rather than play the game.
  • Porfiry chuckles and congratulates Raskolnikov on his cleverness (still trying to shoo him away), then says Raskolnikov reminds him of a character by Gogol (an excellent and tragically funny Russian writer).
  • Finally, Raskolnikov actually leaves. He can't imagine what Nikolay's confession means. It's too complicated to think about. The meeting with Porfiry has freaked him out.
  • He wonders what's up with this weird business about a surprise. Is this all a joke, or is he a suspect?
  • Suddenly, Raskolnikov gets happy. He wants to get to the funeral so that he can get to the dinner and see (insert sigh) Sonia.
  • Then, he looks like he's in anguish and says out loud, "To-day! To-day. Yes, to-day! So it must be...."
  • Then, he sees the scary man from yesterday (the one who accused him of being a murderer).
  • The man says he falsely accused Raskolnikov. He was there at the pawnbroker's building when Raskolnikov asked about the blood and pretended he wanted a room.
  • He found out what he could about Raskolnikov and then went to Porfiry.
  • This man was supposed to be Porfiry's "surprise."
  • Raskolnikov asks if he heard the interview with Nikolay, but apparently Porfiry gave him the boot just after he'd given it to Raskolnikov.
  • The man says, "Forgive me for my evil thoughts and my slander."
  • Raskolnikov says he hopes God forgives the man. (He's not mean about it.)
  • Now that all that's cleared up, Raskolnikov is "confident" once again. He beats himself up for having been afraid.

Crime and Punishment Part 4, Chapter 6 Study Group

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