who is forced into prostitution to help support her family, will play an important . As Svidrigailov leaves, Razumikhin and Raskolnikov walk to the restaurant . others, he asks for Dunya's hand in marriage, while few would. and find homework help for other Crime and Punishment questions at eNotes. Luzhin, Dunya's wealthy fiancé, has a unique relationship to Raskolnikov (Rodya ). Unlike Rodya's more apparent foils (Razumikhin portraying his “good” side. Sonya sacrifices herself through prostitution, in order to help her family. The relationship between Dunya and Raskolnikov is always based on mutual love It is only appropriate that she and Razumikhin marry at the end.
Raskolnikova: Rodion Romanovich’s Struggle with the Woman Within
The reader is then able to address individual questions such as the relationship of Raskolnikov to the waifs who reappear in vignettes throughout the novel. The pauses occurring as Raskolnikov invents their histories and speculates their futures argue the significance of these marginal characters. While Marsh asserts the constant description of the female from the point of view of the external, male gaze, she does not discuss the projection of the male self that this objectification creates 3.
I assert however, that this is merely a denial of qualities intrinsic to our humanity—qualities that are not necessarily gender-specific such as empathy or spirituality. This denial also allows for the female object to be exploited, abused, and dismissed. Throughout the course of the novel it is apparent that Raskolnikov is only able to find himself, or to complete himself through an association with the female characters of this book, be it the anonymous waifs, Sonya, or his sister.
The harshness of reality is embodied in their labors and suffering, as these women are the reality of the realist novel. Degeneration and the Female Victim  The women who fall victim to poverty and find themselves on the street are often either completely disregarded or scorned by passers-by who blame the women for allowing fate to lead them to the streets.
Not surprisingly, the rise of modernity with its subsequent urban overcrowding and increased poverty led to philosophical and scientific investigations of the same. The breakdown on social and cultural levels was thought to cause individual decay, both moral and physical, often leading such to extremes in the individual as madness and even suicide.
The reader must then evaluate female condemnation as a matter of context. Most of the women are represented playing roles, as their lives have been reduced to their assignments accordingly. Necessity has created a space of dichotomous characters who, while pious, are whores, while well-meaning are murderers, and while desperate are ridiculous. His attention is always drawn to female figures on the street, to Dunya, to Sonya, to the likely fate of little Polenka.
Such a repetition of figures and their accompanying histories are not to be read as elements that remain separate from Rodion Romanovich. He is deeply affected by them as indicated by both the pauses taken to describe them and by the various emotionally charged fainting spells that follow each episode. While he is an observer of the city around him, he is also, and more importantly, a part and product of it. Hunger, delirium and fever do more than just highlight the significance and importance of the body with its functions and needs, but infantilize him.
As victim, Raskolnikov relies constantly upon the charity and care-taking of his mother and sister, Nastasha, and even his landlady. In an almost motherly role, his friend Razumikhin feeds him, dresses him and tries to provide him with opportunities. His sister has accepted a proposal of marriage in order to save herself and their mother from abject poverty.
Raskolnikov receives this news with a confused emotional response of anger, hatred, resentment and sadness. When he cries, it is not for their fate, but for his own and at his own failures: Almost all the time that Raskolnikov was reading this letter his face was wet with tears, but when he came to the end it was pale and convulsively distorted and a bitter angry smile played over his lips. Dostoevsky 33 The confusion of emotions is clear in this passage as he both smiles and cries, is angry and devastated.
This letter forces him into a reality he had been in denial of: The history of Dunya and their mother can be reduced to the situation of thousands of women in and around the city trying to earn their keep and failing. With a good employer, she may have had a more desirable situation than the factory worker, one that shielded her against the shock of urban life. To begin with, she seemed to be very young, no more than a girl, and she was walking through the blazing heat bare-headed and without gloves or parasol, waving her arms about queerly.
Her dress was of a thin silken material, but it also looked rather odd; it was not properly fastened, and near the waist at the back, at the top of the skirt, there was a tear, and a great piece of material was hanging loose. A shawl had been flung round her bare neck and hung crooked and lopsided. He came up with her close to the bench; she went up to it and let herself fall into a corner of it, resting her head against the back and closing her eyes as if overcome with weariness.
Looking closely at her, Raskolnikov realized at once that she was quite drunk. It was a strange, sad sight; he even thought he must be mistaken.
Before him he saw the small face of a very young girl, of sixteen, or perhaps only fifteen or so, small, pretty, fair-haired; but the face looked swollen and inflamed.
The girl seemed to have little understanding of her surroundings; she crossed one leg over the other, displaying more of it than was seemly, and to all appearances hardly realized that she was in the street. Dostoevsky This young girl has been seduced and raped. She tried to save herself from the pursuits of her previous employer, Svidrigailov, and instead has found herself agreeing to marriage in order to avoid poverty.
The downward spiral that begins with the violation this wandering girl has just survived is not an exclusively female fate; Marmeladov serves as a counterpoint to all of the young women as he too cannot escape the cycle into which he has fallen. The description of her costume suggests the evils of capitalism and its associated impiety. This costume also foreshadows the religious epiphany to come as Tucker notes its astounding similarity to the description in Revelation This ostentatious costume carries its own message of sin and debauchery, compounding the message of use, abuse, and substitution that its condition implies.
At the genesis of his need to commit his crime however is the need for enough money to get through his studies. She wears clothing inherited from her also anonymous predecessor. She is reduced to the position of a monkey, an animal attached to the organ grinder for the amusement of the passers-by.
The young girl with the organ grinder is experiencing just one of the many phases of the desperation that her life will lead to. He felt someone standing beside him, on his right, and looked up; it was a tall woman wearing a kerchief on her head, with a long, yellow, hollow-cheeked face and red-rimmed, sunken eyes.
She was looking straight at him, but apparently without seeing him. With an abrupt movement she rested her right hand on the parapet, raised her right foot and threw it over the railing, followed it with her left, and flung herself into the canal. Dostoevsky She is dragged out of the river, cheered on by the cries of a woman who knows her and wants her to be saved.
That statement makes it clear that the girl must have some value to others, but even that logic is disappointing. The girl with the multiple suicide attempts may have found herself forced into the street in the same manner as Sonya, but without the same conviction that the help she provides others is worth the abuse and scorn of her daily existence.
Just as any of the young women above may be interchanged with the other, Raskolnikov realizes that he too may be. Raskolnikov has to face the reality that he is one of these types, not great, but rather, a reflection of the victimized females who surround him.
The split that has dominated his thinking and course of action remains unresolved as the destruction of a female body is the opposite of what he needs. He deems his victims despicable because of the weak and socially determined feminine qualities he abhors in himself. This is only realized too late. It is only after victimizing women much in the same way that his sister and Sonya are victimized that he faces the fact that he too is not free.
He is not above society, he has proven nothing other than the fact that desperation has led him to his own debasement. He is lower and more despicable than a streetwalker or moneylender could ever be. The realization of himself as a damaged victim is the first step towards his acceptance and reconciliation. He proves to himself with his outpouring that his body is an integral part of his being and that he is not dominated by reason alone.
His moral decay is finally evident to himself as he faces the utter debasement of his crime. It is near the end of the work that the female bodies fulfill their necessary functions as counterparts to Raskolnikov. The body of the prostitute that he thought so different from himself is the one who prompts his emotional and spiritual epiphany. His sister Dunya assumes an even more assertive role when she defends herself by shooting Svidrigailov.
Dunya accomplishes the gesture that Raskolnikov failed to complete. Rather than attack a symbol, Dunya defends herself from a real predator, a truly dark stain in the social fabric. This inversion is only a temporary step.
Each of the characters he comes into contact with represents some part of himself he does not want to face. On the one hand, he sees those aggressive creatures whom he opines the lowest vermin of society, those who unabashedly take advantage of the weaker members: Alyona, Luzhin and Svidrigailov.
In the end, the rejection that Dunya gives in his attempt at sharing his love compels him to commit suicide. He dies with dignity. Razumikhin- This is Raskolnikov's fellow student and only friend from the university.
Razumikhin takes care of Raskolnikov while he is ill and then takes care of Raskolnikov's family when Raskolnikov abandons them.
He is in many ways the foil to Raskolnikov: Both are intelligent, but Razumikhin does not fall into the trap of hyper-rationalism as Raskolnikov does; he maintains his perspective and can see the dangers of the new ideas that have corrupted Raskolnikov. Razumikhin falls in love with Dunya and pledges himself to take care of her and her mother forever. In the end, his marriage to Dunya makes this possible.
The theme of Family in Crime and Punishment from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Pulcheria Alexandrovna- This is Raskolnikov's mother. She writes to Rodya early on in the book, telling him about Dunya's experience with the Svidrigailovs and her eventual engagement to Luzhin. Though she tends to romanticize things and perhaps get carried away, Pulcheria sees a good deal, which comes out in the end especially, when she falls ill and in her delirium betrays her suspicion of her son's fate, which till then has been kept from her.
Luzhin, who had worked himself up from nothing, is vain and worships his money. He feels that Dunya, in her poverty, would make the ideal humble and grateful wife, and is astonished when he loses her to his own folly.
He attempts to win her back and discredit her brother by framing and slandering Sonya, but it does not work. Alyona Ivanovna- This is the pawnbroker whom Raskolnikov sets out to murder and rob.
Usually referred to as "the old crone," she is hateful and quite rich, though she hoards up her money like a miser. After his first business encounter with her, Raskolnikov becomes obsessed with the question of whether it is more just to let her live or to kill her and use her money for the benefit of the many who could use it. Lizaveta Ivanovna- This is the half-sister of Alyona Ivanovna.
Lizaveta is virtually enslaved by her half-sister. Because of her honesty and fairness, she acts as a middleman for poor families which need to sell their things and make a profit. Lizaveta walks in when Raskolnikov is busy robbing Alyona Ivanovna, having murdered her. Desperate, he kills Lizaveta as well. Later he finds out that she had been a friend of Sonya's.
This only stirs his guilt even more. Katerina Marmeladov- Katerina is the unfortunate wife of Marmeladov. She had been born into something of a more upper-class family, married a first abusive husband, had three children by him, and then was rescued by the pathetic Marmeladov.
Katerina Ivanovna nevertheless slaves over her family and loves them all, including her irresponsible husband, and her stepdaughter Sonya, whom she had put into prostitution for the sake of the family. Katerina Ivanovna is extreme in her loves and hates, mocks those whom she considers inferior by birth, places great emphasis on breeding and lineage, and tends to exaggerate the importance of herself and her friends.
On the day of her husband's funeral and memorial meal, chaos erupts and, having been kicked out of the apartment by the landlady once again, Katerina Ivanovna rushes out and drags her children onto the street to sing for money.
She collapses, and is rushed to Sonya's apartment, where she dies. Her death is one that does not need much morning.