Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crime and Punishment: Part Three Summary


Part Three Summaries

With Raskolnikov's mother and sister, Dunya, finally in town, Rask tells his sister that he does not want her to marry Luzhin for his sake, while Razumikhin falls for Dunya.  

The next day, Razumikhin updates Rask’s mother and sister on Rask’s mental health, and Pulcheria gives Razumikhin a note from Luzhin stating that he will see them, minus Raskolnikov.

Those Magical Words

Raskolnikov’s apologizes for giving away the money his mother sent him, but then he warns Dunia if she marries Luzhin, he will stop treating her as his sister.  In defense of herself, she said the magical words: 
“I’m not committing a murder!” 
Rask faints, again.  When he comes to, they show him Luzhin's letter; and to test Luzhin’s love for Dunia, she asks Raskolnikov to come to the meeting anyway.  He agrees to be there.

Sofia Marmeladov shows up to invite Raskolnikov to the family funeral and lunch following; he says he will try to go.  After Pulcheria and Dunia leave, Raskolnikov considers going to Porfiry's, the officer handling the case, regarding pledges he had given to the pawnbroker.  Rask considers the ramifications of giving information to the police: 
“Is it a good thing or not?  The butterfly flies to the light.  My heart is beating, that’s what’s bad!”

An Exception for Murder

At Porfiry’s, Raskolnikov is anxious that Porfiry is trying to trap him because he suspects that he may know the truth.  To make matters worse, Porfiry brings up an article Rask wrote on crime two months before the murder, and he asks Rask to elaborate on his thesis on the topic, greatly perplexing Razumikhin that his friend would even harbor such views.  

Basically, Rask believes there are two groups of citizens: those who are ordinary whose sole purpose is to be controlled and to keep the human race up; and the second, smaller group is extraordinary, above the law, meant to lead the masses, and who have the right to commit crimes for the greater good, like invasions, war, and mass murder...I don't know?

Before the young men leave, Porfiry questions Rask if he saw any painters in the building of the pawnbroker on the day he was there to do business with the old woman, but he considers it a trick and remembers that he did not see painters there two days before the murder.

The Stranger 

At Raskolnikov's place, the porter tells that a man was asking about him, and Rask catches up with him only for the man to call him a “murderer” and walk away.  He does not know the man and he won’t talk to Rask.  Back at his place, Raskolnikov talks to himself about his ideas, and he thinks maybe he is not cut out to be one of the extraordinary people in society who are above the law, though he argues, 
“I didn’t kill a human being, but a principle.”  
Then he falls asleep and has another nightmare that he follows the stranger to the crime scene only to see the pawnbroker in her apartment.  He picks up an ax to kill her, but she laughs at him.  Then he wakes up to find a strange man in his room. 

I have no idea who it is either.  You'll have to wait until Part Four Summaries to find out.

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