Crime and Punishment by Fydor Dostoyevsky has been hailed as the greatest literary work in the Western hemisphere. Crime and Punishment was written in pre-Communist Russia under the Tsar. Dostoyevsky's writing shows insight into the human mind that is at once frightening and frighteningly real. His main character, around who all other characters are introduced, is Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov.
Raskolnikov murders an old pawnbroker woman for seemingly no reason at all. His sister and mother
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is inflicting upon himself, the acceptance that what he did was evil, his urge to confess to the world what he had done. Must the reader in the end admit that this horrible criminal is human? That Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov was neither brute nor hero, but one of us? Dostoyevsky leaves the reader who was looking to divide the characters with the sword of moral right and wrong with the sword pointing directly at himself.