Crime and Punishment Chapter 5
Raskolnikov wonders why he was heading toward Razumihin's place. Perhaps he was meaning to ask him for lessons. No, Raskolnikov tells himself he will go to Razuhmihn after it is over. Instead of going home, Raskolnikov, feeling an intense hatred for his little room, heads into town. On his way, he calculates how much money he had given away that day. He stops by a tavern to eat. He also drinks some vodka. While turning homewards, he feels exhausted and ends up falling asleep in some bushes.
In his distraught condition, Raskolnikov has a vivid dream. He dreams that he is a child about seven years old, walking through the country of his hometown with his father. They pass by a tavern which the young Raskolnikov abhors. He remembers that near the tavern is a graveyard with a church that his family frequents on their visits to his grandmother's and his younger brother's graves. Passing the tavern, young Raskolnikov notices a pitiful looking horse attached to a cart. A number of drunk people come out of the tavern and one of them, motions for the others to get in the cart. The crowd gathered laughs at the sight of a sickly old mare trying to pull a cartload of drunk peasants. The drunk owner and several young men start whipping the old horse. Young Raskolnikov runs toward the horse and gets a part of the whip. The drunk owner, now in a fury and intent on finishing the horse off, beats it with a shaft, then an iron crowbar. The mare dies. In tears, the boy makes his way to the horse and kisses it-the bleeding eyes and lips. In anger, he tries to attack the brutal killer, but his father intercepts him. Just then, Raskolnikov wakes up in a sweat. Raskolnikov realizes it is only a dream. Yet, a darkness lingers in his soul.
"Good God!" he cried, "can it be, can it be, that I shall really take an axe, that I shall strike her on the head, split her skull open...that I shall tread in the sticky warm blood, blood...with the axe...Good God, can it be?" Chapter 5, pg. 53
Raskolnikov wonders why he is still thinking of murder when he knows that he cannot possibly go through with it. He prays to God to deliver him from such morbid thoughts. Crossing the bridge at the Neva, Raskolnikov feels, after a month of delirium, that he is finally free of those monstrous thoughts.
But instead of taking the shortest route home, he goes by the Hay Market. Later on, he recalls that the incident there is a turning point in his decision. Inexplicable by reason, the chance meeting seemed to be his fate. As the markets are closing, Raskolnikov passes by a table where a vendor couple is engaged in conversation with Lizaveta Ivanovna, the dim-witted half-sister of the old pawnbroker. Raskolnikov overhears the couple invite Lizaveta to a meeting the next day at seven o' clock. Raskolnikov hears Lisaveta agree to come. This brings forth a mixture of feelings, of amazement and horror. Raskolnikov goes home "like a man condemned to death" (p. 56). His short-lived freedom is gone. There would be no better opportunity to carry out his plan than at seven o' clock tomorrow when the old woman would be alone.