Doubles of Raskolnikov in F. M. Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment
The main work - “Crime and Punishment” - is popular all over the world. At the same time, most of the foreigners still do not understand some of the ideas of the author, which is associated with inaccuracies in translation and a different mentality. We offer to get acquainted with one of the most difficult moments - Raskolnikov's twins, to find out who it is and what their role is in the plot outline of the text.
The main character of the novel is the student Rodion Raskolnikov, who is in search of himself. He came up with an absurd, from the point of view of Dostoevsky, theory about the division of people into two groups:
- "Trembling creature" - simple modest people with their problems.
- “Those who have the right” are strong personalities with whom fate itself grants a chance to achieve something in life.
According to the writer's idea, all the heroes of the novel somehow fall into one of these categories, illustrating Rodion's theory.And the reader begins to feel involuntary sympathy for the first group of characters, humiliated and insulted, but ready for self-sacrifice, deprived of meanness and contempt for others. It is these people who are full of sympathy, compassion, kindness and decency. These are the Marmeladov family, Dunya, Rodion's mother, the sister of an old woman counselor.
Antithesis in the work
Dostoevsky actively uses the method of antithesis, comparing his main character with other people from his world. It is practically possible to say that Raskolnikov is compared with all the characters in the work, both positive and negative, or contrasted with them, but not all become his doubles. Comparison with scoundrels and immoral criminals shows how deep the main character might have gone down, if he stayed true to his theory. On the contrary, when comparing it with positive characters, Dostoevsky shows a pure and bright soul.
Raskolnikov's twins are both from one side and the other, they help the hero understand the inconsistency of his theory, its fallacy.The well-thought-out provisions, based on world practice, in fact turn out to be just fiction, self-deception, illusion. Who is double Raskolnikov? First of all, it is Luzhin and Svidrigailov, individuals who have managed to step over others, are moving towards their intended goal, regardless of the pain and suffering inflicted on their free and involuntary victims.
But can they be called strong, compared with Napoleon or other great historical figures? No, their death will remain invisible, society will not change (which happened after the suicide of Svidrigailov), life will continue to go on as usual. Therefore, the very essence of the theory of the protagonist is debunked through the images of its twins - these people "stepped over", but did not become great from it. A crime as a way to prove first of all to oneself one’s belonging to “real people” loses its significance, because these twins Raskolnikov is perceived as something ordinary.
In the science of literary works there is a special term - the “black twin”, the essence of which is as follows. The author intentionally enters the storyline of the text of a certain hero, in which certain qualities are maximally exaggerated.He helps to emphasize the main characteristics of the key character, to clearly demonstrate his weaknesses, to debunk the main ideas. This technique was actively used by F. M. Dostoevsky in his great work Crime and Punishment. The peculiar "clones" of Rodion Raskolnikov, in which the hero's traits are hyperbolized, help not only the reader to understand the inconsistency of the theory, but even to convince the main character of this.
That is, thanks in large part to his disgusting "doubles" in Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov comes to a long-awaited repentance, followed by forgiveness. Of course, the hero will go to penal servitude for the crime committed, but he was freed from mental anguish.
The image of Luzhin
Petr Petrovich Luzhin is the clearest demonstration of where the passion for selfish theories can lead. This court advisor lives on the following principle:
Love first all you alone, because everything in the world is based on personal interest.
Why is Luzhin the double of Raskolnikov? There are several reasons for this:
- Easily and without hesitation oversteps the moral and ethical standards.
- Driven solely by personal gain.
- He enjoys his power over people. So, it is this hero who wants to “bestow the favor” of a poor girl by marrying her, in order to humiliate and humiliate her later.
That is why Luzhin is the double of Raskolnikov. Of course, he is not guilty of murder, he would not even think of smearing his hands with blood, but, according to Dostoevsky, his guilt is much worse. This man killed a man in himself.
Acquaintance with Svidrigailov
This hero lives on the following principle:
Solitary villainy is permissible if the main goal is good.
This idea is very similar to the main idea of the key character in the novel, which is why it can be said with complete certainty that Svidrigailov is a double of Raskolnikov. The distinctive traits of this person’s character are:
- The highest degree of immorality.
- Able to commit a crime, which commits (murder of a servant). Violation of the law makes it equal to the main character, but Raskolnikov himself is disgusted by this comparison.
- There is no remorse for him.
He does not consider himself an evil person; capable of committing noble deeds, to help his neighbor. This double of Raskolnikov in "Crime and Punishment" is a demonstration ofwhat another interpretation of his theory can lead to: a strong personality, ready to help the weak, eventually commits terrible acts, ignoble acts with an orphan girl, engages in cheating. Guilty this hero and the death of his wife.
He understands both Luzhin and Raskolnikov, he sees both through and through, because in something he is close to both.
Comparison of key characters
We considered why Luzhin is Raskolnikov's double. This hero is specially used by the author to visually show to what depths of moral decline can bring the fascination with anti-human ideas, which are the basis of the theoretical postulates. This person is only at first glance clean, because his hands are not stained with blood, but in fact, his thoughts are black.
Raskolnikov's second double, Svidrigailov, is a criminal man, he is familiar with the burdens of prison life, he learned both sides of life — luxury and poverty — during his quest he came to the conclusion that he can afford everything. Even his appearance repels him, and his blue eyes look heavy and gloomy. Recall that poor Sonya, the embodiment of sacrifice and spirituality, is also the owner of blue eyes, but her eyes are light and bright.From the first appearance Svidrigailov appears to be a certain mysterious figure, in the past there are a lot of dark spots.
It seems at first that this hero is much worse than another double of Raskolnikov, Luzhin, but gradually the reader gets the idea of Dostoevsky - this terrible person, a criminal, managed to find in his soul a spark of kindness, he is capable of noble deeds. But alas, his lack of spirituality has gone too far; he has no place among the living.
These two heroes help to understand the essence of the main character’s ideas more deeply and clearly, they both crossed the line, but they do not give the impression of strong personalities to admire.
Value of doubles system
Why does Dostoevsky introduce two bright twins of Raskolnikov into the plot fabric at once? They help to debunk his theory, show the inconsistency of the postulates:
- Luzhin despises society and does not feel any sympathy for the disadvantaged. It does not help them, although he could do it.
- The principle of permissiveness Svidrigailov only leads to the fact that the hero has nothing to do with himself. His empty soul is unable to enjoy the charms of the world, so the only thing left for the hero is suicide.That is why Svidrigailov is a double of Raskolnikov, he also has to go through mental anguish.
Interestingly, Raskolnikov finds out about the suicide of his opponent on the way to the police station with recognition. This technique is used by the author to clearly demonstrate the absurdity of the theory of his character, to finally debunk it.
Torments of conscience in the novel
We considered why Svidrigailov is Raskolnikov's double, but there are not only common but also differences between these characters. So, Arkady Ivanovich is not tormented by the torments of conscience, he commits unseemly deeds, sometimes even crimes, but he does not consider himself guilty, he lives by the principle of permissiveness. Raskolnikov committed a serious act, deprived the old woman of life, even if it was harmful and “useless,” so Dostoevsky skillfully demonstrates his moral sufferings.
And Luzhin? He also does not know what conscience is, sincerely pleased with himself, believing that he is doing everything correctly. Right from the point of view of Luzhin, because in his interpretation the whole world revolves around his person, and the interests of other people, be it Dunya or her brother, or someone else, do not care about this person at all.He is imbued with selfishness and self-love to the bone and can not but cause disgust.
These characters are different from each other: the black "twins" do what they want and do not feel remorse, but the main character could not do that, it is valuable to both the author and the readers - it’s very good for Rodion’s soul that he remained "below the line." His illness and further hard labor symbolize spiritual purification through suffering.
Among the doubles of Raskolnikov there are not only negative characters, the embodiment of immorality, impiety, and extreme selfishness. Among them are good people, who, according to the absurd theory of the protagonist, are “trembling creatures”. But it is they who are endowed with such qualities that cannot be found in the "right to have." Such is, for example, the unfortunate dyer Mikolka, who is ready to take on someone else's guilt and incur an undeserved punishment in order to purify his soul.
Such is Sonya, a deeply religious girl, forced to step over herself, to trade her body, which is more than disgusting to her, but only in this way can she support a family. These people are also included in the system of Raskolnikov's twins, they illustrate the best aspects of his soul, not affected by the corrupting influence of absurd and inhuman theory.Some researchers of Dostoevsky’s creativity, Sonya, are called the “divine twin”, because she is shown to be strong-willed and strong, sacrifices herself, does not wait for help, but is ready to provide it. However, there is a significant difference in the heroes - if an unhappy girl lives solely with her heart, then Rodion is driven forward by the mind and the power of thought.
These are the doubles of the protagonist in the novel Crime and Punishment, they help to penetrate more deeply into the author's intention and make sure that Raskolnikov's theory is cruel, senseless and inhuman.