Crime and Punishment Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How seriously is Raskelnikov thinking about his unnamed idea?

He still regards his idea as a proposal to consider, not a serious plan upon which to act. The prospect of making it a reality is both profoundly disturbing and exciting to him.

2. What does the first chapter say about Raskolnikov's character?

The first chapter shows Raskolnikov's disdain for the ordinary masses of people when he reacts angrily to the dirty streets. His inner dialogue, nervous habits, and quick mood swings show him as a highly intelligent but unstable and insecure person.

3. What does the letter show about Raskolnikov's relationship with his family?

It show the close bond he has with family. The letter tells him Dunya is ready to marry for her brother's welfare, while his mother sends her generous love and support.

4. What does Raskolnikov think of his sister's fiance Luzhin?

Luzhin's motivations for marrying Dunya appear generous, but Raskolnikov suspects that the lawyer desire to marry a poor woman is not born of generosity but of a desire to hold power over her.

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