Study Guide

Crime and Punishment Part 6, Chapter 1

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Part 6, Chapter 1

  • This is a strange time for Raskolnikov. He feels like he's walking around in a cloud of "fog." He doesn't trust his memory.
  • Sometimes, he's horribly afraid. Other times, he doesn't care about anything.
  • He knows that the Svidrigaïlov situation has to be addressed, and now.
  • One day, Raskolnikov swears he had planned to meet Svidrigaïlov at a certain place and time, and he waits for him. Another time, he wakes up in some bushes and doesn't know why.
  • It's been a few days since Katerina's death. Raskolnikov has been to Sonia's a few times and has run into Svidrigaïlov, but they didn't talk about anything important.
  • The last time they spoke, Svidrigaïlov told Raskolnikov that he was taking care of the funeral and that he'd found homes for Katerina and Marmeladov's orphaned children.
  • Svidrigaïlov told Raskolnikov that he seemed strange, as if he was in his own world, not listening. Then, he said, "What all men need is fresh air, fresh air...more than anything!"
  • A priest had passed by them and begun a prayer service in Sonia's room. (Katerina's body is still in there, in a coffin.)
  • Raskolnikov noticed that Sonia hadn't been paying attention to him since her mother's death. But, after the service, she took his hand. He couldn't believe she could touch him without being grossed out.
  • One day, he goes to the woods, where there are no other people. But, he hates it and comes back to the town and walks around in the crowded streets.
  • The day he wakes up in the bushes is the day of Katerina's funeral.
  • After a nap back at his place, Raskolnikov feels better. Nastasya brings him food, which he eats hungrily.
  • Razumihin comes in, angry. He's been really concerned about Raskolnikov. He has assumed that Raskolnikov has been sick and that's the reason why he didn't show up at Katerina's funeral.
  • But now, he sees Raskolnikov looking fine, calmly eating his food.
  • In a huff, Razumihin says everyone can just "go to hell." He claims he doesn't care about Raskolnikov's secrets anymore. He knows what he has to do nowhe has to get drunk.
  • Raskolnikov tells him that he talked to Dounia about him, and he makes it clear he wants them to be together. Raskolnikov argues that maybe Razumihin should hang out with Dounia instead of going out drinking.
  • The secrets, Raskolnikov tells him, won't be secrets forever. In the meantime, Raskolnikov says, he needs to find out what a man meant when he told him that men need fresh air.
  • Razumihin has apparently been suspecting Raskolnikov of being involved in some kind of political plot, and he takes the "fresh air" stuff as evidence that his suspicions are correct.
  • He thinks Dounia must know all about it.
  • This makes him ask Raskolnikov if Dounia told him about some letter she got that upset her. It's news to Raskolnikov.
  • Moving to leave, Razumihin tells Raskolnikov that he doesn't need to go drinking anymore.
  • He adds that the police found the murderer. It was the painter, after all. Porfiry told him all about it.
  • On the street, Razumihin decides that Raskolnikov is definitely involved in some political plot and feels ashamed for having suspected him of murder.
  • He really wants to know who wrote Dounia a letter. Thinking about her makes him hurry to find her.
  • Alone in his room, Raskolnikov is relieved to hear the news about the painter. But how can Porfiry believe it? After everything he went through with Raskolnikov?
  • But Svidrigaïlov is his most pressing concern. He feels murderous impulses toward both Svidrigaïlov and Porfiry.
  • He runs into Porfiry in the hall and wonders if he heard him talking to himself.
  • Porfiry wants to come in for a smoke. Raskolnikov warmly invites him in. Porfiry lights up as Raskolnikov waits with urgent curiosity to hear what he has to say.

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