“The major character is a representative of the view that any powerful man is a master to himself, and everything is permitted to him. In the name of his personal superiority, in the name of the fact that he is a force, he deems that he has the right to commit murder, and he actually does so. but suddenly a matter that he considered only a violation of a meaningless law and a daring challenge to social prejudice turns out to be for his personal conscience somehow much greater–a sin, a violation of intrinsic moral truth. A violation of the external law receives legitimate retribution outwardly in exile and hard labor; but the inner sin of pride, of self-deification, separating a powerful man from humanity and leading him to murder, can be atoned only be an inward moral act of self-abnegation. Boundless self-assurance must vanish before a faith in that which is greater than self; and self-made justification must become humble before God’s supreme truth, living in those very simple and weak people upon whom the powerful man gaze as upon worthless insects” (Soloviev, The Heart of Reality, Trans V. Wozniuk, p. 10).
4 thoughts on “Soloviev: The meaning of Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment””
who is the real hero of the novel?
I don’t know if I’d use the word ‘hero’ in reference to the novel, but Sonya is the ‘Christ-figure’ in it. She is the means by which Raskolnikov finds redemption.
Raskolnikov is the “real hero”
Here is a little more on Dostoyevsky: