Crime and Punishment By Fyodor Dostoevsky Summary and Analysis Part 2: Chapter 3

Summary

Raskolnikov remains in a limbo between consciousness and delirium for several days during which Nastasya and Razumihkin take care of him. When he awakens, he discovers a stranger in his room. The stranger has come to deposit with him 35 rubles that his mother has sent to him. Raskolnikov tries to refuse the money, but Razumihkin insists that he take it and still protesting, he signs an acknowledgment of the receipt of the money.

Razumihkin chides Raskolnikov because he has been so detached and distant from his landlady, who is after all, very shy and very nice. Razumihkin reveals that he has been able to cajole the landlady into being of great service to them. He tells also of the good attention by Dr. Zossimov who has been in constant attendance to him. He tells how Zametov, the police chief, has also visited him, and when Raskolnikov is upset, Razumihkin explains that Zametov only wanted to get to know him. He also tells how Raskolnikov has been almost neurotic about clutching his dirty socks while he was unconscious. Raskolnikov is bewildered by all of the attention being paid to him.

As Raskolnikov goes back to sleep, Razumihkin takes some of the money and goes out to buy new clothes for Raskolnikov, and with the help of Nastasya, they put his new clothes on him.

Analysis

Raskolnikov's illness supports his own theory in which he states that either illness or disease give rise to crime or crime is always accompanied by something akin to disease. Raskolnikov's state of illness, his psychotic desire to hold his bloody socks, his fever, and his delirium indicate the beginnings of his punishment.

Raskolnikov's attempt to reject the money again expresses his view that the Ubermensch (or extraordinary man or superior man) should not be obligated to anyone; he must be absolutely independent of everyone.

Zametov's visit and interest in Raskolnikov has absolutely nothing to do with his crime — instead, he is concerned about the complaints and summons that Raskolnikov's landlady has registered against him. The easy and affectionate way in which Razumihkin is able to handle Raskolnikov's landlady again emphasizes Raskolnikov's isolation and abnormality because of his failure to see with what ease he could have controlled her, thus obviating the summons from the police — a summons that ironically is served concurrent with the crime.

The recovery from the illness and the new clothes symbolically suggest that Raskolnikov will now begin his path towards recovery, redemption, and salvation.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

After his trial, where is Raskolnikov sent?




Quiz