Friday, October 25, 2019

Suffering Idealized Essay -- Religion, Raskolnikov

Universally feared, pain and suffering are typically detested and avoided at all costs. Raskolnikov is humanized in Crime and Punishment due to his fear of suffering and avoidance of it. However, due to the social and economic ruin of Russia during the setting of the novel, many characters seek out suffering. Inspired by Christianity and the self-sacrifice of the Savior, people turn to the religion as a security blanket, which adds meaning to their existence. These characters not only welcome suffering, but also search for it and throw themselves into adversity. Ironically for the time period, female characters in the book represent Christian symbols, sacrificing themselves for what they love. Raskolnikov’s own sister, Dunya, acquires a very Christ-like position due to her extensive self-sacrifice. Having grown up in the same environmental situations as Raskolnikov, there is still a distinctive difference in their personalities. This difference allows Dunya to be adored by those around her as contrasted with Raskolnikov who, when at school, was mentioned to have â€Å"no friends†¦Ã¢â‚¬  and â€Å"nobody liked him† (63). Here Raskolnikov’s differentiation from society is clearly demonstrated. Dunya takes her role a step further and is described as someone who â€Å"demands to accept torment for someone else’s sake as quickly as possible.† (567). The connotation of the word â€Å"demands† conveys her self-brought on obligation to undergo hardships. The word â€Å"quickly† demonstra tes just how frenzied her need to suffer for others is. An akin female who also craves suffering is Sonya. This is most clearly validated by her occupation as a prostitute. A prostitute typically sacrifices all they physically have for the sake of others. Her life is meager...’s a real pleasure!† (575). This simple delight is Svidrigailov’s way of enjoying suffering without being harmed himself. Like, Raskolnikov, it stems from his subconcious’s need to expereicne repercussions. Suffering is highly idealized as a positive situation in St. Petersburg, Russia at this trying time. Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov find their positions to be aggravating and painful. Those around them take suffering in strife, and with pride. Yet these two cannot let down their walls and allow the punishment in. As a result, Raskolnikov is suffering greatly from lack of air and falls deeper into delirium. His life function begins to falter. The two men are lost, Raskolnikov in his failed theories and Svidrigailov in the trials of his being. Eventually suffering reaches a point where it must be acted upon for everything to run its natural course.

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