Study Guide

Crime and Punishment Part 6, Chapter 8

By Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Part 6, Chapter 8

  • It's dark by the time he gets to Sonia's place.
  • She's waiting for him. Dounia had waited with her for a long time. The two women are now friends. It was awkward at first because each thinks the other is superior.
  • They were both really worried that Raskolnikov was about to kill himself (or had already done so).
  • Finally, Dounia got restless there and went to Raskolnikov's room to wait for him.
  • Without each other's company, their worries about suicide intensified unbearably.
  • When Raskolnikov shows up, Sonia is standing at the window, worried, as the sun sets.
  • Seeing him, she gets happy, but the look on his face stops her smile.
  • He tells her he wants those crosses she offered him before. He's ready to carry out her plan for penance.
  • She realizes that what he says and the way he says it are "a mask" for his real feelings.
  • The thing that irritates him most right now, he tells Sonia, is the scene that will follow his surrender to the policeall the questions he's going to have to answer.
  • Forget Porfiry, he tells her. It's "the Explosive Lieutenant" (Ilya) he wants to receive his confession.
  • He asks again for the crosses.
  • Sonia gets them and puts the copper one around his neck.
  • He tells Sonia that he came "to warn her," but he doesn't say of what. He realizes he wanted to tell her something, but now he can't remember.
  • Tears flow from Sonia's eyes, irritating Raskolnikov, who asks her to dry up a little.
  • He wonders why she's crying for him since she isn't even his mother or sister.
  • She begs him to at least pray for a minute.
  • He agrees to and notices she plans to come with him to the police station. He doesn't like that one bit and insists that she stay put.
  • On the street, he wonders if he did the right thing. He realizes that he didn't tell Sonia good-bye.
  • He realizes he only visited Sonia to see her fear, to scare her.
  • He beats himself up about it and, outside the Hay Market, he gives a beggar some money, laughing at the absurdity of it.
  • Suddenly, he remembers what Sonia had told him to do when he first confessed to herget down on his knees and pray and scream out that he is a murderer.
  • He starts crying and falls to his knees.
  • Of course, the people around him start making jokes about himthe mood is wrong for screaming out that he's a murderer.
  • When he gets on his knees again, he catches a glimpse of Sonia, hiding behind some wood. It hits him: "Sonia was with him for ever and would follow him to the ends of the earth."
  • At the police station, he thinks he might not do it. But Ilya is there, and he greets Raskolnikov in a friendly way.
  • He tells Raskolnikov he never thought he was the killer and then about a suicide that happened that morning. He can't remember the name of the man.
  • A clerk tells him: Svidrigaïlov. Raskolnikov says he knew him, and Ilya is delighted. He wants to question Raskolnikov.
  • Raskolnikov starts feeling weird and he leaves, telling Ilya he was looking for Zametov.
  • Outside, he sees Sonia, looking desperate.
  • He gives her a blank grin, then goes back to Ilya.
  • Ilya brings him water and guides him to a chair, thinking he's sick.
  • Raskolnikov says, "It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta with an axe and robbed them."

Crime and Punishment Part 6, Chapter 8 Study Group

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