Crime And Punishment, Is Considered the First Great Novel of His “mature” Period of Writing

Crime And Punishment, Is Considered the First Great Novel of His “mature” Period of Writing

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Dostoevsky’s letter to Katkov reveals his immediate inspiration, to which he remained faithful even after his original plan evolved into a much more ambitious creation: the desire to counter what he considered dire consequences stemming from the doctrines of Russian nihilism. In the novel, Dostoevsky pointed out the dangers of both utilitarianism and rationalism, whose main ideas inspired the radicals, continuing with a fierce criticism that he had already begun with his Notes on the Underground.Dostoevsky used the characters, dialogue, and narrative of Crime and Punishment to articulate an argument against Westernization ideas. He thus attacked a peculiar Russian mixture of French utopian socialism and Benthamite utilitarianism, which had developed under revolutionary thinkers such as Nikolai Chernyshevsky and became known as rational egoism. The radicals refused to recognize themselves on the pages of the novel, as Dostoevsky pursued nihilistic ideas to their most extreme consequences. Dimitri Pisarevridicul√≥ the idea that the ideas of Raskolnikov could be identified with those of the radicals of the time. The radicals’ goals were altruistic and humanitarian, but they had to be achieved by relying on reason and repressing the spontaneous flow of Christian compassion. Chernyshevsky’s utilitarian ethic proposed that thought and will in man were subject to the laws of physical science.Dostoevsky believed that such ideas limited man to a product of physics, chemistry, and biology, denying spontaneous emotional responses. In the latest version of it, Russian nihilism encouraged the creation of an elite of superior individuals to whom the hopes of the future would be entrusted.

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