Two Sides to the Same Coin

06 Aug

I really don’t know what to think of Raskolnikov (or Rodya, or Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, or as I like to nickname him, “Rascal.”)   What a waffler!   He seems to have initial impulses and thoughts that are, for the most part honorable, but then his second thoughts, or his actual actions are negative.   Sometimes he seems to almost force himself into bad patterns, both mentally and physically.   What’s going on?

I felt an almost physical pat on the back to know that Razumihin agrees with me.   He quotes in Part III, Chapter 2, “…it’s as though he were alternating between two characters…”   Thanks, Razi – it’s good to know I’m not alone in questioning Rascal.   How about you, readers?   Are you often wondering which Rascal will show up next?

Perhaps there is a turning point at the end of Part II.   Rascal has the following quote after Marmeledov is killed:

Life is real!  Haven’t I lived just now?  My life has not yet died…Now for the reign of reason and light..and of will and of strength…and now we will see!   We will try out strength!…Strength, strength is what one wants, you can get nothing without it, and strength must be won by strength – that’s what they don’t know.

So now Rascal thinks he will be strong and decisive.  Wonder what that will accomplish for him?   We will see. Personally, I’m still expecting the waffling.


Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Crime and Punishment


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7 responses to “Two Sides to the Same Coin

  1. Norma carey

    August 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

    i have decided that one of my problems with this novel is that I just can’t relate to “Rascal” – I don’t know any mentally deranged people and I just can’t whip up any empathy for this character.

  2. Jeannette

    August 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Maybe that’s my problem, Norma! I’ve been blessed to encounter mostly sane and rational people. 🙂

  3. Stacy

    August 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Oh, dear. I can relate to him on a startling level. Have no fear, however. I just waffle about things like whether to make my kids peanut butter sandwiches or to just rather hand them a granola bar with “added vitamins” and call it good. Then I waffle about whether I should confess this dastardly mothering decision to my sister or whether I should just tuck it into the darkest recesses of my mind.

    My point, I guess(!), is that evil is evil is evil. Maybe.

  4. Christina Joy

    August 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I agree with my sister. Granola bars are a much easy lunch.

    Oh, and also that I’m a huge waffler, and the good I want to do, that I do not do, and that which I do not want to do, that I do.

    So, I guess it’s not just a family trait. Either that or we’re direct descendants of St. Paul.

  5. Amy

    August 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I’d say Dostoevsky agrees with you, too.
    From the front of my book:
    The name Raskolnikov comes from raskolnik, a schismatic, from raskol, schism (the Raskolniki are members of the sect of Old Believers, who broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in the seventeenth century); the root verb is raskolot, to split.

  6. Jeannette

    August 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Wow! That is so cool, Amy! Thanks for sharing. I do always wonder how/why authors pick their names for characters, but it’s a little more difficult to figure out when one doesn’t speak Russian. 🙂

  7. Jeannette

    August 8, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Oh, and Stacy and Christina, I bet there is not one bit of waffling in your lives on the really important things.


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