Home Free Lab ReportsDostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is unique in literature as a book whose true villain is a theory in the mind of its protagonist

Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is unique in literature as a book whose true villain is a theory in the mind of its protagonist

Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is unique in literature as a book whose true villain is a theory in the mind of its protagonist. This theory of the ubermensch, or superman, is originated by the main character, Raskolnikov, who essentially claims that any breach of the moral law is permitted to those few “extraordinary men” who are destined to bring an increase of the overall justice of the world. Obsessed with this theory, Raskolnikov’s mind becomes dramatically conflicted, his good inclinations at variance with his desire to prove himself one of these ubermensch. Despite this obsession, the ramifications of his idea remain unclear to Raskolnikov until he meets the man, Svidrigailov.