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Crime And Punishment 6 Essay, Research Paper

Sonya s affect on Raskolnikov

Sonya, throughout the story had a great affect on Raskolnikov s changes. In the novel, Crime and Punishment by Fyoder Dostoevsky, this can be seen from all the things Sonya had done for Raskolnikov and what affect the cold person turned loving.

Sonya is the daughter of Rodia s friend that was forced into prostitution to provide for the family, but all is done willingly out of love. In Sonya, one can see a great sinner as Raskalnikov at peace with her and with God. Sonya s knowledge that God alone gives one worth allows Sonya to love others unconditionally, including Raskalnikov. Sonya also helps Raskolnikov to get rid of suffering from guilt. Sonya, being extremely religious, believes that everyone deserves a second chance. Sonya then shows Raskolnikov how to be forgiven in God s eyes. Then convinces Rodia to confess to everyone the murders of the old money lender so that in God s eyes will be forgiven.

Against Sonya s meekness and love, Raskalnikov begins to break. At first, Rodia is argumentative, mocking Sonya s childlike faith. ” She s a holy fool!” Raskalnikov thinks to, but yet Rodia is still drawn to Sonya s strength. At last, Raskalnikov begins to realize that he is not alone, and it is because of this realization that the great sinner began to confess to Sonya. It can be said that, in this confession, Raskalnikov s strength returns.

However, Raskalnikov s confession to Sonya is not enough, and Sonya knows it. Sonya “asks only one thing of her beloved: that he should acknowledge the reality of . . . mankind outside himself, and should solemnly declare his acceptance of this new . . . faith by an act of confession to all the people.” Sonya tells Raskalnikov to bow down at a crossroads, kiss the earth that Rodia had offended and say aloud ” I have killed!”

After repenting, Sonya says that Raskalnikov must face the consequences of the actions. Only through accepting guilt will Raskalnikov be healed, but Rodia is unwilling to do so. Raskolnikov is unrepentant and not absolved of guilt, but eventually, Rodia makes up his mind to confess and in a nervous fit, falls to the ground at the Haymarket crossroads and kisses it. But the words “I killed,” which had perhaps been ready on Rodia s lips had died inside. Raskalnikov is unrepentant still. Ego prohibits Rodia from total submission.

Yet, finally from Sonya s convincing and help, Raskalnikov submits to the authorities and is sentenced to prison in Siberia. Ever devoted, Sonya follows, but Raskalnikov is “ashamed before her” and treats her badly. Raskalnikov is still unrepentant, for Rodia thinks the crimes are “simply a blunder, the sort of thing that might happen to anyone,” but Rodia is ashamed by allowing guilt to come in. Although Rodia is physically in prison, Raskalnikov s real prison is spiritual. Raskalnikov remains a slave to guilt, and it is only through repentance that the chains will be loosed and Sonya in all aspect help Rodia through confession and finally feeling free from guilt that was in him for so long.


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