We are currently undergoing maintainence, please come back soon. If you are not a Subscriber, Subscribe Now! In September 1865, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was living in Wiesbaden, Germany, and couldn’t for and against capital punishment essay his rent.
Owing a considerable amount of money to his landlord, he hoped an advance for a new novel might shore his fortunes up. The action is topical, set in the current year. Western Europe, that would come to define the tenets of Russian radical thought in the 1860s. Russian students like Crime and Punishment’s antihero, the 23-year-old Raskolnikov, were bombarded with somewhat distorted and jumbled versions of English utilitarianism, French utopian socialism, and Darwinism. These various theories of social improvement became distilled for a Russian audience in the work of Nikolai Chernyshevsky, whose novel of ideas What Is to Be Done? Rational egoism relied on the idea that human beings, guided by enlightened self-interest, would ultimately choose to live in a fair and equal society.
Dostoyevsky was especially appalled by Chernyshevsky’s claim that actions taken in pursuit of a better society were themselves necessarily good. He saw in this seemingly innocent theory a potential justification for violence. Wasn’t Raskolnikov, in killing an avaricious pawnbroker who lent money at predatory rates and abused her sister, acting in the interest of the greater good? Some would argue that, with the election of Donald Trump, the American public made the most self-destructive and irrational decision in our nation’s history. Crime and Punishment amid an unprecedented upsurge in violent crime that was sweeping St.
Russian capital saw a massive influx of people seeking work. Severe overcrowding and limited opportunities for employment left many in a state of desperation. The novel certainly depicts the oppressive sense of corruption and misery plaguing St. Despite his tendency to rage at the amount of cruelty and greed to be found in 19th-century St. Shortly after the novel begins, Raskolnikov wanders into a tavern. He has just completed a trial run of the murder, visiting the pawnbroker and taking note of her apartment, its layout, her habits. In 1849, Dostoyevsky was tried for and convicted of crimes against the state.