Study Guide

Crime and Punishment Part 5, Chapter 2

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Part 5, Chapter 2

  • The narrator ponders Katerina's decision to spend almost half of the money Raskolnikov gave her on the funeral and dinner. Maybe it was all to honor her husband.
  • Maybe it was out of "poor man's pride." According to the narrator, the poorest people will spend money they don't have to try to show others that they actually aren't poor.
  • Katerina wasn't raised poor so she would never be "broken-spirited" even if she dies from her current poverty. Sonia thinks Katerina is having psychological problems.
  • The liquor supply is not as big as Luzhin would have people believe, but there is a good bit of booze at the event.
  • Katerina is super sensitive. The smallest problem makes her think everything is falling apart. Throughout the preparations, she goes back and forth between loving and hating her neighbors, some of whom are helping her with the event.
  • Katerina's landlord, Amelia Ivanovna, is helping her. She's doing most of the work, in fact.
  • This is offensive to Katerina. She feels that she's on a higher level socially than her German landlady.
  • Katerina thinks the landlady is acting like she's doing charity, which offends her. And, to top it off, Amelia is wearing a ridiculous hatblack with black feathers.
  • That hat is the last straw. Katerina decides to give Amelia the cold shoulder.
  • Katerina isn't happy with the turnout. The guy she really wants to be here is Luzhin. Not because she wants something from him but because he's the most high-class guy staying in the building.
  • Andrey Semyonovitch, she notices, isn't there, either. A lady and her daughter also are absent.
  • Only the poor people that didn't even know Marmeladov are therefor the free alcohol and food. Katerina acts snooty toward them.
  • She's thrilled when Raskolnikov shows upfinally, a "respectable" guest.
  • Sitting next to him, she starts to cough and to make fun of her landlady.
  • Between digs at the landlady, she plays hostess, making sure her kids and everybody else have plenty to eat and drink.
  • Soon, she's laughing so hard at the landlady's hat that she has a long coughing fit, followed by her spitting blood into her hankie and showing it to Raskolnikov.
  • Soon, Sonia arrives (now we are back where we left off in Part Five, Chapter One), hoping to make Katerina feel better by telling her why Luzhin can't come.
  • Katerina calms down and tells Raskolnikov that she isn't surprised about Luzhin. He's too good for this crowd.
  • She says she knows Raskolnikov is only here to honor Marmeladov's friendship.
  • More loud landlady-bashing occurs, followed by Katerina trying to talk about her husband's good qualities and being interrupted by her jeering, drunken guests.
  • Katerina is right on the verge of coming unglued.
  • Raskolnikov is grossed out by eating but does so anyway to keep Katerina happy. He keeps his eyes on Sonia. Sonia knows what's comingKaterina losing itand is afraid.
  • Katerina calms down briefly and tells Raskolnikov that she's going to open a girls' school and hire Sonia as her assistant.
  • The landlady butts in with some story of her own, and Katerina cuts her down.
  • Insults about each other's fathers are hurled back and forth, and finally Katerina tells Amelia that if she doesn't stop talking about her dad, she'll "tear her cap off her head" and stomp on it. Amelia freaks out and tells Katerina to pack her stuff and move outnow.
  • Then, she says something about Sonia being a prostitute and Katerina rushes toward her, presumably to get the hat. And that's when Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin comes on the scene.

Crime and Punishment Part 5, Chapter 2 Study Group

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