January 6, 2013
Crime and Punishment end of Part 2
By the end of part two the confession had not been made. I am beginning to question whether he will ever confess to the police and if he does if they will even believe him in the first place. When he confessed to Zametov he called him mad and when Zametov told Razumhkin to keep an eye on Rodia Razumhkin told him he was ill as well. No one can realize the obvious fact that Rodia is the killer. It again presents the theme of society’s naivety. The question now coming to my mind is will the ever discover it or will this theme keeping presenting itself throughout the rest of the novel.
Another thing I wonder is who is Rodia really? A good man but yet he has killed someone and liked doing it. As person that tends to think of things as black of white, this novel forces me to change. It seems Rodia is in the gray spectrum neither good nor bad. Is this Fyodor intent to have his readers thinking more complexly? As the story deepens I questions Rodia’s intent all together. I wonder whether he is earnest or whether he has an ulterior motive in mind. I feel that questions will only be answered through interpretation and we may never really know how complex a character Rodia really is. For part three I wonder how much the plot will thicken and whether Rodia will confess his murder to the police.
January 6, 2013
Crime and Punishment Part 2 Chapter 7
In chapter seven of part two the reader, yet again, is presented with another side of Rodia. When Rodia rescues Marmeladov off the street and offers the family money he appears to them as a rich, selfless man. Last chapter no one would have thought those things of him. Last chapter he was deemed crazy and perceived ill, but this chapter he had changed. He appeared calm, collected, caring, and generous; a side we had not seen before. It made me wonder if it was really earnest or was it an unconscious strategy he was using so he wouldn’t have to go through with his confession plan? Was he merely staying with the family to avoid the task? And did his euphoria only develop because he realized he wouldn’t have to follow through with his plan? Because of the Rodia’s character I cannot help but question his kindness.
What was also interesting was the character Katerina. As the wife of the drunkard, Marmeladov, she took care of the children, supported the family, cleaned, and worked. She was the “man of the household” and even during her husband’s last breath she stayed collected. She knew her circumstances and she did not need a priest to tell her to pray to God for salvation. She knew the kind of person she was and what she stood for. It was interesting that Fyodor choose to use a strong female character, for during this time women were not seen as equals to men.
The duality of Rodia can not be denied. As you said it is a split between good and bad, however, in your analysis I believe that you overlooked an important detail that determines where Rodia is standing within his pendulum of actions and that is guilt. Rodia seems to be, or at least one time, have been a good and honest person. He is perhaps arrogant at times however, guilt drives both of these qualities. Starting with your examples of when he helps others such as the young girl and the poor drunk, here he feels guilt for the victims. He feels guilty not helping them, even he gets angry with himself for his sympathies explaining how he can’t change the world, however, this rationale idea does not outweigh the guilt as shown by his later actions. After committing the murder Rodia is stricken with guilt however now we see it in his physical health.
I’m not sure if Rodia truly represents all of us and I’d like to hear more as to why you believe that. I do think that his character may be symbolic for something, otherwise Dostoevsky would not have written this rather long novel, however, I myself do not know. I do believe that as of now it could represent how guilt fuels us through our lives and can also be the weight that drags us down as it appears to take a strong grasp of Rodia’s life. Furthermore, I do believe that the article Rodia wrote plays a vital importance in understanding his character and mentality and I hope that it and its symbolism is more deeply discussed within this group.
What the hell? The first true mental justification appears for Rodia to kill within Chapter 5. Although it is not specifically said that Rodia believes he is one of the elite that are morally able to kill, the mere presence of such an article does convey this subconscious thought. Is is insanity, some form of extreme egotism, or something in between but Rodia appears to find himself allowed to murder because of his higher status then others.
This is actually fascinating because we all, or at least some of us, did talk about how in part 1 Rodia had a sense of arrogance as if he believed he was better then the others. Now it appears that, at least through his symbolic article, that he may very well believe he is. However, he still feels that guilt when he does commit the murder, is that realization that he possibly isn’t above murder? In most stories or movies where this kind of scenario occurs guilt is not shown over the deaths however, usually only the truly wicked are killed.
Dexter only kills murders
Boondock Saints only kill mobsters and murders, however, they even bless those that they kill.
Does Rodia’s guilt then come more from killing the innocent? And does that mean that his “elite” qualities are misguided? Furthermore, while all of this is going on it is discovered that a neighbor may suspect Rodia of the crime thus increasing his anxiety and leaving him questioning weather or not he should confess. I’m excited to see what happens next and how this all develops especially psychologically for Rodia.
December 9, 2012
Reaction to Spencer’s idea on Obsession
I thoroughly agree with Spencer when he compares the definition of obsession to the plot of Crime and Punishment. Throughout all the chapters I have read Rodia has been utterly obsessed and immobilized by the murder and his guilt. He is so obsessed with the murder that it causes him to be ill for sever months which then leads his friends to worry. The guilt consumes him causing him to be bed ridden and crazy for most of the story.
Later in the story Rodia’s obsession is revealed even further when he is appalled by the clean up of the crime scene. He cannot believe that everyone is trying to move with their lives and that the apartment is being sold. This is because the event is still very real to him. I further agree with Spencer when he addresses the absurdity that nobody catches on but Razumkhin. What is even more surprising is that Razumkhin catches on when he is drunk. I wonder when everyone else will come to the realization as well. It astonishes me how no one realizes the obvious truth and I feel it will only be so much longer before they connect “two and two” realizing that Rodia’s obsession proves his guilt of the crime.
December 9, 2012
Analysis of Rodia’s character
Throughout the whole story I have felt a complexity within Rodia. Fyodor presents Rodia by revealing many different characteristics. From the beginning I felt that Rodia had two different sides to him. When he first committed the crime he was pleased and had satisfied his impulsive urge, but after he was consumed by guilt. This caused me to question what kind of person Rodia truly is. As the story continued Rodia committed further acts of kindness saving a distressed woman from preying men and giving an old drunk money. These acts of humanity made me feel that Rodia may have a split personality: one side of him that is pure evil, victim to impulsivity, and another side that is good, wanting to please everybody.
As I reached part two of the story my inference changed. Now I believe that Rodia does not have a split personality disorder but in fact may represent a symbol of the “angel and the devil” or “ying and yang”. Rodia has both the id (the devil) telling him to kill people and the ego and superego (the angel) telling him to feel guilty what he has done. I believe Fyodor creating such a complex character to make the reader questions: who does Rodia represents in society? The scary thing is, he represents all of us. All of us have that urge to commit acts of crime and follow “the voices of the id” the difference is though not all of society follows those voices only some like the criminals in our world today choose “the dark side.”
I can think of multiple cases where celebrities have not spoken to their family or friends for years because their family did not support their career choice and way of life. What about high school sweethearts that get divorced after decades of marriage because they are different than they were before? I don’t know if this is only me, but I have realized after self inspection that I love people for not only who they are at this moment, but how they make me feel about myself, and the good memories they make with me. If my older sister got a completely different personality and made me feel awful about myself, I don’t believe I would love her, but I would love the person she was and I would love the memories we had made together when we did get along. I’ve seen multiple couples get divorced or break up recently. I had always wondered why it hadn’t happened earlier because they had been unhappy for a long time. I now realize that they stayed together not because of their happiness at that moment, but because of the happy memories they once made together, which kept their bond in tact. To elaborate on that, it was not only the memories, but the hope that those memories could be recreated or matched one day. Those memories could only be recreated or matched if each person in the couple changed back to who they had once been when they were sublimely happy together. The author who I believe speaks of conditional love in many of his stories is Kafka. Kafka speaks of conditional love in both “The Judgement” between father and son, and “The Metamorphasis” between the huge bug and his family.