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Word Count: 1,159
Fyodor Dostoevsky once stated Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience But nothing is a greater cause of suffering Eiermann Existentialism insists that human life is understood in terms of ones unique experience Thus being nothing or accomplishing nothing in life suggests failure and is a source of suffering A particular example is Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment where a young Russian student Raskolnikov murders an old pawnbroker to prove his Extraordinary Man theory which suggests that the extraordinary may transgress the law of ordinary or inferior men Immediately following his crime Rodya experiences severe illness and emotional conflicts as he confronts issues with his family the Marmeladov family and the police during his gradual steps to confession The motif of the need of suffering is used throughout the novel to produce the books theme great suffering leads to salvation and the expiation of mans sins In Crime and Punishment several characters undergo much pain and personal anguish binding the apparent motif of suffering to the theme and providing a strong unifying element throughout the story Though many readers often conceive Raskolnikovs suffering as having a direct relationship with his guilt over his crime the actual controlling idea behind his punishment is an indirect result of his dual personality and his obsession to prove his theory He is best represented as being either cold intellectual and isolated from society or as being warm and compassionate The murder is the result of his intellectual sides need to determine whether or not he fits his Extraordinary Man theory It was this aspect of his personality that developed the crime and executed his plan thus forcing the humane side to suffer for his actions It is important to note that Raskolnikov becomes ill and unconscious immediately following the murder signifying his ability to suffer greatly as The conviction that all his faculties even memory and the simplest power of reflection were failing him began to
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