Chapter 39 Notes from Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment Chapter 39

While Sonia and Dounia were waiting for Raskolnikov the night before, they comforted each other with the hope that Raskolnikov was safe. Now, alone in her room, Sonia harbors troublesome thoughts. Raskolnikov walks in. Sonia could see the distress in his eyes. "I have come for your cross, Sonia," Raskolnikov proclaims (p. 450). He goes through the motion of crossing himself and offering up prayers. It occurs to him that Sonia is planning to go with him and he rejects her, saying that he will go alone. On his way to the Hay Market, he wonders how different things will look later when he is a prisoner. He makes his way to the most crowded section of the market and there, he remembers Sonia's words to bow down to the earth, kiss it, and proclaim that he is a murderer. He bows down and kisses the earth. Some bystanders make comments about his strange behavior. Raskolnikov notices Sonia watching from a distance.

He makes his way toward the police station. It is already settled in his mind that he will go to the explosive lieutenant, Ilya Petrovitch. The police station is rather empty, but he sees the man he is looking for. Ilya Petrovitch apologizes for his behavior during their first meeting. He begins to talk about the character and state of Russian society, mentioning that a certain man by the name of Svidrigailov had shot himself. Raskolnikov is starkly affected. He gets up to leave but at the entrance, Raskolnikov finds Sonia, staring at him in agony. After a minute of standing still, he walks back into the building. Raskolnikov sits himself in front of Ilya Petrovitch and finally confesses:

"It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta with an axe and robbed them." Chapter 39, pg. 458

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