In the beginning of January, I was sitting down at my favorite local Mexican joint, enjoying a cold cerveza, and trying really hard to concentrate on the hefty read I had in front of me. I don’t know what it is about the onset of winter, probably that the cold weather forces me to spend many hours indoors, but I always find myself making a list of classics I want to read before beach weather. I was approached by a man who said “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but why did you choose to read Crime & Punishment”? I proceeded to tell him that I was looking to read a bunch of classics that I feel as though are constantly referenced in conversations. And he joked, “Conversations with English Lit majors? Because that’s about all that major was good for…discussing Dostoyevsky…case in point…(pointing to himself)!”
Ok. I realize that this should have probably been read in high school, or college. When it’s expected that you have to read absurdly long, dry books with numerous ponderings and monologues and soliloquies. When you have the time to do it and when being introduced to the philosophies of most classics is fresh and new and exciting for you. And you have others to discuss it with.
Not gonna lie…this was an arduous read. It does feel like an accomplishment that I finished it!
This book tackles the human conscience.
It follows the protagonist as he commits 2 murders and lives with it, a prostitute practicing against her will and a rich scoundrel preying on unsuspecting young women.
It shows how humans cope when their actions go against their moral values.
- Turning to Religion
- Making Gods of themselves – above it all; consider themselves someone to whom more is permitted than to others
- Justification – others have seized power through awful, dishonest means & have not been persecuted for it, why can’t I?
- Trying to make amends by doing more good things to make up for the bad.
It portrays the difference between characters who feel remorse vs those who feel no remorse.
And for the character that doesn’t feel remorse, the end of the book promises the possibility of a resurrection, or a new life view. Life replacing logic.
Interesting discussion points, but not certain what the big deal was with this book!
Get the cliff notes if you haven’t read it and want to speak intelligently about it…