Crime and Punishment Part I, chapter 6
Raskolnikov is reminiscing about how the previous winter a fellow student told him of the pawn broker Alyona Ivanovna. Rask is repulsed by the woman from the first time he sees her.
Then…a chacter from my literary past jumped out and startled me. It was Ahab!
The Crime & Punishment text says, “A strange idea was pecking at his brain like a chicken in the egg, and very, very much absorbed him.”
I was instantly reminded of a line from Moby-Dick. Thankfully, the kindle was willing to help me in my search.
Moby-Dick Chapter 38 “The Quarter-Deck”
D’ye mark him, Flask?” whispered Stubb; “the chick that’s in him pecks the shell. ‘Twill soon be out.”
The mates are talking about Captain Ahab of course.
Perhaps Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov should have had the middle name Ahab.