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

Summary

Lebezyatnikov has come with the information that Katerina has been evicted from her apartment, has gone mad, and is now wandering madly around the town with the children dressed in outlandish and absurd costumes. She is forcing them to sing and beg from strangers. Her speech is virtually incoherent, and her behavior is incomprehensible. Sonya rushes to her but suddenly, Rodya feels repulsed by Sonya and questions himself why he had come to her.

Raskolnikov returns to his room where he finds Dunya waiting for him. She explains that she better understands his situation because Razumihkin explained how Raskolnikov is troubled by the police and their false suspicions. She offers him her complete loyalty and love and will come to him any time that he needs her. Raskolnikov longs to tell Dunya the truth but cannot.

As Raskolnikov wanders aimlessly about the city, he comes upon Katerina. She has attracted a large crowd who have gathered to watch and laugh at her crazy antics. She is forcing the children to beg and, is arguing with strangers on the streets, and is trying to force her way into strange houses. Then as she runs through the streets, she stumbles, falls, and cuts herself. She is carried to Sonya's room nearby. A doctor is sent for, but Katerina is dying. She maintains that she needs no priest or doctor, and as she dies, Svidrigailov, who lives in the next room, enters and volunteers to undertake all of the arrangements. He tells Raskolnikov that he will use the money that he was going to give to Dunya to apply it to the care the children and will settle a large sum upon Sonya also.

By using the exact phrasing and terms that Raskolnikov used in making his confession to Sonya, he thus subtly reveals to Raskolnikov that he overheard the entire conversation between him and Sonya, and he reminds Raskolnikov that "I told you that we should come together again — I foretold it."

Analysis

The dual aspect of Raskolnikov's personality is exemplified again when Raskolnikov is drawn to Sonya enough to make his confession, but after having done so, he is suddenly repulsed by her. Part of his repulsion is due to the fact that he dislikes her ideas about suffering and more importantly that he needs to go to prison.

In addition to confessing to Sonya, he also wants to confess his crime to his sister. The idea of confession has been constantly with Raskolnikov since moments after the murder.

The death of Katerina leaves Sonya responsible for the children. Rodya had foretold this to Sonya and now it is true. Consequently, Svidrigailov shows up, and the money he had once intended for Dunya will now go to Sonya and the children, which will free Sonya financially to follow Raskolnikov to Siberia.

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