Notes on Crime and Punishment Themes

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Crime and Punishment Topic Tracking: Fate/Chance

Chapter 5

Fate/Chance 1: Raskolnikov thinks that somehow, fate has led him to overhear that Lisaveta would be out of the house the next day at a certain time. This, he believes, is an opportunity that he cannot pass up.

Chapter 6

Fate/Chance 2: Raskolnikov thinks back to the series of strange incidences that have led him to the decision to commit murder. It starts with the fateful day when he visits the old pawnbroker for the first time. Afterwards, while he is in a tavern contemplating the idea of murder, he overhears a student tell his friend of murdering the same old woman. Also, when he finally decides to go through with the murder, he cannot get the axe from the kitchen because Natasya is there. But by chance he finds an axe in the porter's room. He attributes this turn of fortune to the devil.

Chapter 7

Fate/Chance 3: There are several points where fate seems to aid Raskolnikov in making his escape. First, the visitor who is supposed to stand at the door impatiently goes down, giving Raskolnikov time to leave the flat. Second, just as some people are about to meet him at the stairs, Raskolnikov discovers an empty flat where he takes cover. Finally, when he gets back, he opens the door to the porter's room without knocking. Fortunately for Raskolnikov, no one is there, allowing him to put the axe back without anyone seeing him.

Chapter 12

Fate/Chance 4: Razumihin believes that the murder was committed by an inexperienced person who was undertaking a crime for the first time. His observation is based on the fact that the murderer left a huge monetary sum at the apartment. And only luck and chance allowed the murderer to get away.

Chapter 19

Fate/Chance 5: For an examiner like Porfiry, who is up to date on the latest theories of criminology, the fact that he chanced upon Raskolnikov's article, "On Crime," is of great importance. It is the article that provides Porfiry with the murderer's psychological profile.

Chapter 24

Fate/Chance 6: Svidrigailov happens to be staying next door to Sonia. And he happens to be present when Raskolnikov comes to talk with Sonia. He overhears Raskolnikov's confession, which he uses for his evil intentions on Dounia.

Chapter 34

Fate/Chance 7: Raskolnikov decides to go see Svidrigailov. But instead of walking to Svidrigailov's building, he walks toward the Hay Market. By chance, he finds Svidrigailov sitting by a window in one of the establishments. Raskolnikov tells Svidrigailov that this is a chance encounter. Svidrigailov calls it a miracle.

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