Disclaimer: I made nicknames to help keep track of some of the characters, so I might use those instead of the actual names.
While this book was rather intense, and some sections were hard to get through, I really enjoyed reading Crime and Punishment. When I initially started thinking about what I was going to write for this post, I was going to write about the brilliant psychological element in the story. The intense, detailed internal dialog and struggle felt by Raskolnikov (Rascal) on his rambling walks, especially in the beginning and closely following the murders. The revelation of some of his personal beliefs through his works and external displays, such as his conversation with Razumikhin (Raz) and Zossimov or his article discussed with Pofiry Petrovich, and directly through the narration of his personal thoughts throughout the story. And especially, from a slightly broader view, Raz’s opinion on the police and court’s value of psychology in the murder investigation. Specifically this statement: “…that they are in a position to accept, this fact –resting simply on a psychological impossibility–… No, they won’t accept it” (pg. 138). With this, Fyodor Dostoevsky is almost mocking society’s lack of value for psychology at that time.
Anyway, the psychology is one of my favorite aspects of this book, and I was going to write about it. But then I read the ending and changed my mind. The epilogue is honestly the most beautiful ending to a story that I have read as of yet. I love it because of how peaceful and hopeful it is after all the turmoil and anxiety of the rest of the book. The new beginning and promise of redemption for Rascal and Sonia, the foreshadowing of the rest of their lives, is so lovely. But my favorite element of it all is how real it is. The emotions, actions, choices made, their reactions and feelings toward each other, the inexplicableness of the moment are not only incredibly raw, but are also very pure and relatable for individuals and for life itself. The ending is tangible and real for the reader, and that is what makes it so powerful and enduring.