Reading Guide Part V chapter 1

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IB English III

Crime and Punishment

Reading Guide – Part V
Chapter 1

-This chapter takes place in Andrey Lebeziatnikov’s (let’s call him Andrey) apartment. Remember that he lives across the hall from Katerina Marmeladov where the preparations for the funeral luncheon are taking place. Also remember that Luzhin (Pyotr Petrovitch) is sharing the apartment with him while his apartment is being prepared for his bride. This is the morning after he and Dounia called the wedding off.

1. Pay close attention to his character. I think Dostoevsky wants us to dislike him more and more with each passing chapter. What is he doing while he and Andrey discuss nihilism? As you read this chapter, first notice the motives behind Luzhin’s wanting to be friends with Andrey, and then note exactly how he feels about him.

-Andrey is Dostoevsky’s creation of a nihilist who doesn’t understand the impracticality of their philosophy. One critic says: Andrey “emerges as a doctrinaire, naive, foolish man who believes that theories can be easily translated into pragmatic solutions for the complex problems that beset the Russia of his day. Only an artless, unsophisticated man could propose such simplistic answers for the tangled troubles of his world.” As you read, note the many “revolutionary” or “rebellious” ideas that he has. Remember Dostoevsky was arrested for nihilism in the early 1850s, faced a firing squad, and spent time in a Siberian prison.

2. Pay close attention to what Luzhin says to Sonia when he sends Andrey for her. But more importantly pay close attention to what he does. Why do you think Andrey says “I heard and saw everything. What did he see? Read on.

Chapter 2

-This chapter details the funeral luncheon for Marmeladov. Note the careful description of the details Dostoevsky gives to highlight the ridiculousness of it. Here is a woman—a widow with consumption with three small children to care for—who spends nearly all of the 20 roubles that Raskolnikov gives her for this luncheon. Note the many references to her pride. Also pay close attention to the rising animosity between Katerina and her landlady. Pay attention to Raskolnikov and Sonia and their behavior also.

-Just as tensions rise to an almost fight, notice that Luzhin enters the room. He has been discussed several times during the dinner because of his suggestion about the pension, but we know from what he told Sonia earlier that he has no intention of helping Katerina.

Chapter 3

1. Luzhin enters and accuses Sonia of what? Pay close attention to the events that unfold. How does Luzhin set up Sonia? How does Andrey save Sonia except for one detail; and what role does Raskolnikov play in solving this mystery?

2. When Luzhin leaves, Andrey asks him to vacate his apartment immediately. Who throws a glass at Luzhin? And whom doe sit accidentally hit? How does she react? Where is Katerina at the end of this chapter and what is she doing? Where is Raskolnikov headed?

Chapter 4

1. This is an intense chapter. Raskolnikov leaves Katerina’s apartment with her landlady evicting her and Katerina leaving in search of justice. If the scene were not so pathetic, it would almost be funny. I guess in a way pathos like this is funny. How? Anyway, Raskolnikov goes directly to Sonia’s apartment where he finds her waiting for him.

2. Pay close attention to what exchange happens between them. I think Sonia knows full well what he is going to tell her. Do you think so? [I ask that because about half the time when I read this chapter I don’t think Sonia knows at all.]

3. This is a good place to try to come to terms with Raskolnikov’s motivation for murdering the pawnbroker. What does he tell Sonia was the reason for his murdering the pawnbroker? Does it make sense to you? I know you don’t condone it, but can you understand where he is coming from? I hope we discuss this in class.

4. What do you think of Sonia during this emotional scene? Is she consistent with what you have noted abut her character throughout the book? Is she being a good Christian by loving him as she does? He says he clearly feels her love? Does Raskolnikov love her? What advice does Sonia give Raskolnikov-what does she suggest that he do? He says no, of course. Do you think he will do this?

5. The chapter also talks a great deal about suffering. What are your thoughts on suffering?

Chapter 5

1. Lebeziatnikov tells Sonia that Katerina has gone out of her mind. He then begins discussing some of his nihilism philosophy, and Raskolnikov leaves and walks home. He reflects on what he has just told Sonia when Dounia interrupts his thoughts. She tells him that Razumihin has told her how the police harass him about these pledges, etc., and that she understands his dilemma. They part and both of them fear that it will be their last good-bye. Is this foreshadowing of anything?

2. Katerina passes out and there is blood everywhere. She is transported to Sonia’s room where she dies. Notice that Svidrigailov is there. What does he propose to do with the 10,000 roubles that he wanted to give to Dounia? How do you feel about that? Isn’t that noble of him? Or does he have some ulterior motive?

3. Look carefully at what he says to Raskolnikov when he tells him this news. Whose words is he quoting almost identically? What does that lead you to believe about him and what he knows? [When you read these final paragraphs of the chapter did it not make your skin crawl?]

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