Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Harsh Reality Crime and Punishment Essay - 1926 Words

A paragon of realist literature, Fyodor Dostoevsky harshly exposes nihilism in his novel, Crime and Punishment, published in 1866. He wields his knowledge of social psychology and pathology to weave the cautionary tale, borrowing liberally from his personal life. Its protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, is intelligent yet bitter and unfeeling, embodying the qualities of nihilism, the desertion of one or more meaningful aspects of life. The philosophical doctrine of nihilism is historically ubiquitous, particularly with the Nihilist Movement, one of Imperial Russia’s Great Reforms, and the growing apostasy and atheism of postmodernity; both instances highlight the abandonment of virtue. Raskolnikov is an impoverished ex-student living in St.†¦show more content†¦Raskolnikov has many intrusive thoughts about murdering the miserable pawnbroker. After a close encounter with his landlady, he thinks, â€Å"I want to attempt a thing like that and am frightened by these trifles’† (Dostoevsky 2). This is one of several duplicitous ideas that pass through Raskolnikovs mind. He is contemplating the death of an innocent solely for her money - the obvious motive - but to prove his superiority to society, which he blames for his crippling poverty. Even theoretically, he is a nihilist: a mere consideration of killing requires some moral abandonment. His dangerous intrusive thoughts manifest in reality; he â€Å"pulled the axe quite out, swung it with both arms, brought the blunt side down on her head...the body fell back...she was dead† (Dostoevsky 69). In addition to Alyona Ivanovna, Raskolnikov kills Lisaveta, as she witnesses him standing near her sister’s mangled body. Raskolnikov believes that by committing the murder of the old woman, he is rightfully removing â€Å"a louse...a useless, loathsome, harmful creature† from society, a mentality of political nihilists (Dostoevsky 358). This also demonstrates utilitarianism - an ethical doctrine that states moral decisions should be founded upon the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. It is imperative to note that Raskolnikov is acting on supremely selfish impulses. Although he wishes to purge society of its ills and be a â€Å"benefactor ofShow MoreRelatedPhilosophy of Punishment: Deterrence General and Specific1084 Words   |  5 PagesPhilosophy of Punishment: Deterrence General and Specific Sentencing Model: Indeterminate Sentencing For the philosophy of punishment I chose deterrence, specifically because of the goals and benefit this philosophy. The deterrence punishment is divided in to two separate categories. 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