Blue Labyrinths

Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment highlights the turmoil, and tribulations of the societal exclusion of 19th century Russia’s lower class. Raskolnikov, Dostoevsky’s neuroses-ridden, eccentric wanders about the streets of Saint Petersburg while rubbing shoulders with the city’s cesspool of drunkards and the poverty stricken depressed. Alas, Crime and Punishment can be read as a Marxist text in which Raskolnikov becomes a proletariat figurehead driven by a Nietzschean, ubermensch ideology. Yet, in contrast to Nietzsche’s extreme philosophy of a Napoleonic will to power, Dostoevsky rehabilitates his characters with the whimsical, deus ex machina of Christian forgiveness. This paper aims to analyze Crime and Punishment as a literary piece that reveals Marxist class divisions in 19th century Saint Petersburg. Through this dissection, a follow up argument will be concluded in relation to Raskolnikov’s nature as a representative failure of communist ideals in which his effort to “crossover” with a Nietzschean god complex is…

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