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Word Count: 627
A very brief background of Crime and Punishment is in order before I begin my discourse The novel was written in the late 1860s The main characters are lower middle class on the brink of poverty and most show the Russian affection for drink A young schooled Russian idealist named Rodion Raskolnikov has been expelled from university and is broke He contemplates committing the perfect crime to alleviate him from his current downtrodden status His perfect crime is to rob and murder the local pawnbroker at a time when he knows she will be alone in the shop He does not consider his act a crime for two main reasons One the woman he plans to kill is good for nothing anyway and does not contribute to society Two he will distribute the stolen goods among the needy including his mother and sister and of course himself He not only kills the pawnbroker but also her sister who stumbled upon the attack He is not caught and now must struggle with the guilt of his actions The passage in the textbook is a conversation between Raskolnikov his university buddy Razumikhin and Porifiry the investigator assigned to the murder case Porifiry is questioning Raskolnikov Rodya about an article he wrote and published on crime Rodya is now defending his position that humanity is divided into two groups the ordinary and the extraordinary Ordinary people are put on this earth or to reproduce their own kind and to obey it is their destiny Extraordinary people the thinkers and doers find it necessary to destroy what exists commit crimes in the pursuit of their ideas that are for the good of humanity Every new discovery and new law voids an existing one But if it is necessary for one of them for the fulfillment of his ideas to march over corpses or wade through blood then in my opinion he may in all conscience authorize himself to wade
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