In just the first page

19 Jul

In just the first page of Crime and Punishment I read that Raskolnikov is avoiding meeting his landlady, and I think to myself, “Uh, oh.  This is a character who has no money and is sneaking around to avoid paying his rent.”  I dislike him.

In just the first page of Crime and Punishment I read that Raskolnikov’s lack of finances makes him feel ashamed.  I feel pity for him, and he’s back in my favor.

In just the first page of Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov talks about his being so self-absorbed that nothing his landlady (or any other person) could say to him would elicit his concern.  My disapproval returns.

Is this how it’s going to be, Dostoevsky?  Are you going to play with my feelings about your main character throughout the entire novel?

Fellow readers, what are your impressions of Raskolnikov?


Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Crime and Punishment


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7 responses to “In just the first page

  1. Jeannette

    July 19, 2012 at 7:50 am

    He’s a “Rascal.”

  2. Sandy B.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I experienced that, too! And on the next page we learn that this is the second day that he has had almost nothing to eat; his thoughts are muddled, and he is very weak (so I’m feeling sympathy and compassion), but on the third page we find he has some kind of scheme in mind and realizes he shouldn’t be wearing such a noticeable hat because it will be noticed and remembered….

    • Christine

      July 20, 2012 at 7:22 am

      I’m right there with you. I feel a little like the author is toying with our emotions. I hope I develop some affection/concern for Raskolnikov quickly. It was had to push through Mme B when I disliked her character so much.

  3. Fanda

    July 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Will be following your thoughts… I have wanted to savour Dostoyevsky, but still don’t know which one I should read first.

    • Christine

      July 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Which ones are you considering? I think the only other one I’ve heard of is The Brothers Karamazov. The fact that I only know two titles demonstrates my need for the WEM degree.

  4. Steph (@FABR_Steph)

    July 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I like this post. It should prove to be quite interesting to find out if first impressions stick.

  5. Christina Joy

    July 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I go back and forth with him too, and sometimes can’t figure out what crazy part of me is rooting for the crazy man. I certainly didn’t cheer on Bill Sikes or Captain Ahab, but Dos. seems to have constructed this amazing Sinner/Saint character that I can’t help but sympathize with him.

    Jerry, on the other hand, can’t stand him.


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