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Word Count: 698
In what ways are the characters of Emma Bovary and Raskolnikov like us modern people At first glance the characters of Emma Bovary and Raskolnikov can be classified as villains as one is an egotistical murderer and the other a self-pitying adulterer However on closer observation these negative traits are what define them as modern characters because they are confused characters whose complexity blurs the lines between moral and immoral thoughts and actions This complexity makes them realistic allowing the reader to relate to them through their flaws as well as their positive qualities One of the most obvious modern characteristics of the characters is that neither is satisfied with his or her current life This discontentment and inability to accept their lives leads them to extreme actions to try to change their lives for the better Raskolnikov through committing murder and Emma through committing adultery Raskolnikov is an intelligent individual who feels a need to challenge both himself and his surrounding environment When Porfiry Petrovitch discusses Raskolnikovs article about the consequences of committing a crime the reader is given an insight as to why Raskolnikov murders the old money-lender His published paper states that when a crime is committed by an ordinary man he should be punished for it when a man who is superior in intelligence commits the same crime however his greatness acts as a buffer between himself and the punishment thus excusing his crime From this paper the reader understands that Raskolnikiv committed the crime not only because he disliked the old woman but also because he wanted to simultaneously determine his own greatness and intelligence whilst proving the validity of his theory Thus Raskolvikovs modern unhappiness with his current position in life leads him to perform actions which physically try to change his life Another example of his unhappiness and discontentment with life is when he decides to drop out of university because he is unhappy with his role
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