Study Help Essay Questions


1. What concepts of Law are prominent in Crime and Punishment? What new legal techniques and psychological methods does Porfiry employ?

2. What concepts of Christianity are prominent in Crime and Punishment? Why didn't Raskolnikov read the story of Lazarus himself or why did he ask Sonya to read it to him?

3. Discuss briefly the rationale by which Raskolnikov considers himself a superior man.

4. What are the laws governing the extraordinary man?

5. How might Raskolnikov answer the objection that his theory is only an attempt to justify unrestrained self-will?

6. How does Dostoevsky forestall the reader's assumption that his central character is simply mad?

7. How is Svidrigailov shown to represent one aspect of Raskolnikov's character?

8. When Raskolnikov is with Svidrigailov, what repulses him about the man?

9. What attracts Raskolnikov, the intellectual, to the simple and uneducated Sonya?

10. Why does Svidrigailov commit suicide?

11. How do dreams function in the novel?

12. What is the function of the Epilogue?