Crime and Punishment By Fyodor Dostoevsky Summary and Analysis Part 6: Chapter 3

Summary

After Porfiry's pronouncement, Raskolnikov hurries to Svidrigailov's. He feels that the man has some power over him, a feeling he cannot understand. At the same time he feels some repulsion toward Sonya and thinks that he must go his own way or hers.

As he walks towards Svidrigailov's room, he wonders if the man has talked to Porfiry and decides that he hasn't. He suddenly sees Svidrigailov in a restaurant. Svidrigailov appears as though he was anxious not to be seen or as if he was trying to avoid him, but he finally calls to Raskolnikov to join him.

Raskolnikov immediately warns Svidrigailov to stop all attempts to see Dunya and threatens to kill him if he tries again. Due to the overheard conversation between Sonya and him, Svidrigailov should know that Raskolnikov is capable of murder and will certainly carry out his threat. Svidrigailov pretends to be interested only in becoming better acquainted with Raskolnikov and in learning from him about the new ideas and new ways of enjoying oneself. Suddenly Raskolnikov feels oppressed by Svidrigailov's talk of debauchery and sensuality, and he begins to leave.

Analysis

Soon after his confession to Sonya, Raskolnikov is drawn to Svidrigailov without realizing that Svidrigailov represents one aspect of his character. Svidrigailov, since their first meeting, has frequently asserted that there was something in common between them. These thoughts cause him to be somewhat repulsed by the thought of Sonya. "He was afraid of Sonya. . .he must go his own way or hers." But Raskolnikov is also convinced that his and Svidrigailov's "evil-doings could not be of the same kind."

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