Crime and Punishment By Fyodor Dostoevsky Summary and Analysis Part 2: Chapter 5

Summary

Dunya's fiancé arrives at Raskolnikov's room dressed to the hilt ("starchy and pompous") and introduces himself as though everyone already knows who he is. As Luzhin makes feeble and awkward attempts to explain who he is, Raskolnikov remains sullen and silent. When Luzhin tells of the living accommodations he has made for Dunya and Pulcheria Alexandrovna, everyone immediately recognizes the apartment as "a disgusting place — filthy, stinking, and what's more, of doubtful character." Luzhin excuses this because he is also new in town and does not know his way around. Then, when Luzhin tells that he is living with Lebezyatnikov, a name that Raskolnikov had heard from Marmeladov in an unfavorable light, the trend of the conversation returns to the murder.

Razumihkin announces that the police are "examining all who have left pledges with her [Alyona]." As soon as the conversation can be turned to Luzhin's engagement, Raskolnikov accuses him of trying only to make Dunya feel indebted to him. Luzhin protests that Raskolnikov's mother has misrepresented him. At this point, Raskolnikov threatens to "send him flying downstairs" if he ever mentions his mother again and orders him to "go to hell." As Zossimov and Razumihkin notice this sudden outburst, they also notice that Raskolnikov takes an immense interest in the murder.

Analysis

The arrival of Luzhin is not propitious at this time. First, it is the end of Raskolnikov's illness; second, it interrupts the discussion about the murders; third, Raskolnikov has already developed a dislike for him from his mother's letters; fourth, Luzhin arrives at Raskolnikov's cramped and small quarters dressed in clothes too new, too formal, too pompous, and his behavior is snobbish, patronizing, and condescending. And then, fifth, when he tells of the living quarters he has obtained for his fiancée and her mother, he reveals himself as a cheap, penny-pinching miser. According to Razumihkin, the hotel is "a horrible place, dirty and stinking, and its character is suspect." Our future exposure to Luzhin reveals that Raskolnikov is entirely correct in his violent dislike for the man, who will later stoop to utter villainy in accusing Sonya of stealing from him and trying to frame her and disgrace her.

Raskolnikov also learns that Porfiry is examining all of those whose pledges were left with Alyona Ivanovna. If he had thought everything out before murdering the pawnbroker, he would have taken time to search out and destroy his own pledge, affirming once again that Raskolnikov committed murder before he had "all of the details worked out." He also realizes that he must take the initiative and go himself to confront Porfiry, his perceived antagonist.

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