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[REQUEST] Realism in Crime and Punishment

Permanent Linkby masondillon on Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:27 am

This is a new request which hasn't been taken on by any user.

The main literary movements with their outstanding characteristics are romanticism, classicism, and realism. These literary schools received their beginning in different epochs of literary development. Realism started developing as a literary style in response to the societys unspoken demands of that period. Many narrators-realists from the entire globe enriched the world literature with the literary works telling the truth about life in the countries. There is a row of talented writers-realists such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emile Zola, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, and others. All of them had courage to share their observations and thoughts about the world they lived in highlighting merits and demerits of the contemporary surroundings and society.
Realism is a peculiar literary movement and style where narrators strive to depict the actual life historically right, in vast variety of its contradictions and complexities. The authors-realists consider literature as a textbook of life that is the reason they are eager to comprehend the depth and meaning of life. They are more preoccupied with a desire to understand a human beings nature in different aspects such as physiological, social, economic etc. The authors of Realism become thoughtful and careful observers of the surrounding world, social conditions and contemporaries. They scrutinize details of daily life, analyze and comprehend peoples behavior penetrating inside human mind. Emile de Vogue, a French writer of the XIX century, considers realism as the development of art of observation rather than of imagination, which portrays everyday existence as it is in its integrality and complexity with minor intervention from the author. The new literary movement seeks for the tools to imitate nature. Searching new ways of reflecting the actual life, the realists frequently used social conflicts, interpersonal relations and disgusting, dark sides of the human nature.
The essay will focus on realistic tendency referring to Dostoyevskys Crime and Punishment. Having given a definition and description of Realism, one will specifies its certain peculiar distinguishing characteristics and their presence by example of Crime and Punishment. Realism involves depiction of the character in interaction with the surrounding community and world. It is attentive to details of the interior environment. Realistic effect can be achieved by giving portraits and landscapes for reflecting the age, the epoch of the described events. Furthermore, the realists attract various characters typical to the epoch they write about. They demonstrate characters portrayals and events in dynamic. Moreover, they refer to historically concrete society and timing. There is always a conflict between a personality and a society in the spotlight in the realistic narrative stories. The abovementioned features are favorable to gain the realistic effect. Accuracy, truthfulness and credibility become dominant factors of Realism. A person is demonstrated in interplay with the surroundings and in certain environment under certain circumstances. One can supervise and evaluate to which extent the society may affect a person. The readers witness complex conflicts and dramatic collisions that the characters face in the narrations. The protagonists and circumstances interact with each other since the character is not only affected with the circumstances but also feels amendments and transformation.
Dostoyevsky refers to all above-stated tools of realistic narration for writing Crime and Punishment. The work is known as a drama of sin, guilt and redemption that transmutes the horrible story of an old womans murder by a desperate young man into the profoundest and most compelling philosophical and psychological novel. Realism of Dostoyevsky starts developing in the period when the capitalistic relations progress. Characters, ideas, thoughts, and idols of his novels date back to the Russian social realm. An inclusive social environment of semi-educated, urban post-reformed Russia becomes the basis of the authors novels, and Crime and Punishment is not an exception. Raskolnikov, Sonya Marmeladova, Razumikhin, Svidrigaylov, Luzhin, Lizaveta and other are the characters born by the Russian cruel reality of that time with a dramatic contrast of the society and its vividly sharp division on the poor and the rich. Despite one may state Dostoyevsky is more occupied with the internal world of the poor, the insulted and humiliated, the author is more concerned with puzzling out the characters sufferings, moral tortures, and emotional turmoil. Given the portraits of the characters line, Dostoyevsky introduces society with its class discrepancies and contradictions typical for the second half of the nineteenth century. The characters serve for developing the plot; moreover, their presence is intended for conveying epoch signs that confirms a realistic tendency in the novel.
The story of Raskolnikovs crime and his internal moral struggle is spread over the pages of the novel in the background of St. Petersburgs life. One may notice the images of drunken ex-clerk Marmeladov, his wife Katerina Ivanovna, who suffers from tuberculosis, Raskolnikovs mother and sister Dunya, who have had the experience of being humiliated and have gone through difficulties of the poverty, humiliation, scorn and negativity. The reader keeps a watch on the students, police officials, numerous pubs, and street fellows. Dostoyevsky creates various pictures of the psychological stresses of a poor person who is constantly in financial difficulties. Raskolnikov, Sonya, Katerina Ivanovna, and Marmeladov demonstrate the life of a person that is always at the edge of survival and struggle for existence. Such a battle impoverishes them physically and morally to the great extent and makes their lives unbearable and measurable.
Dostoyevskys characters live in St. Petersburg of the 60-ies in concrete streets which remain recognizable for the contemporaries of that time as well as for the readers nowadays. The main trade district of St. Petersburg called Sennaya is surrounded with dreary streets and alleys where petty officers, traders, moneylenders, and craftsmen reside. The narration portrays the life of boulevards, snack bars, and taverns. Dark even mournful pictures of St. Petersburg transmit further depressive mood of almost entire narration. The novel is full of multiple concrete signs of that time. Its contemporaries could perceive many pages of the book as almost physiological accurate description of 1865 years summer in St. Petersburg. The readers could feel that unbearable heat and dusty sultry air, see a plenty of taverns and cheap beerhouses in Sennaya district, shabby cab drivers, drunken men, and German flat owners.
One may contemplate the habitual trivial life that even coincided with the topics of St. Petersburg newspapers in 1865. In the novel, Raskolnikov is looking through the periodicals referred to that time. In his speech, Lebezyatnikov reminds about the book published in St. Petersburg in 1866 that was one of the newest editions. Dostoyevsky has an idea to reflect and depict inimitable signs of the current existing reality. Precise descriptions of St. Petersburg and variety of signs typical for that time knitted inside the narrative allow immersing oneself into the atmosphere of that time. Moreover, it serves as the demonstration of the inextricable connection between the social and moral problems and the society of the nineteenth century. The writer testifies that such a city sight with its traditions and lifestyle can generate not only poverty and lawlessness but also fantastic nightmarish illusions and awful ideas in human mind.
Dostoyevsky puts simple, distinctive and expressive facts of St. Petersburgs daily life. The author takes the readers to the citys streets in order for them to wander along the embankment of the Ekaterininsky Canal or Neva River, pass the Yusupov Garden or the Summer Garden, and hurry up to Vasilevsky Island or Sennaya Street. Dostoyevsky creates topographically accurate pictures of the city realities where his characters live and suffer going through the pangs of remorse, moral transformation and spiritual rebirth. The image of St. Petersburg is organically integrated inside the characters destinies. Dostoyevsky considers the life of St. Petersburg as the most fantastic and penetrative personification of all contradictions existing in the Russian social life in the nineteenth century. Scenes with St. Petersburg also serve for achieving realism in the descriptive parts of the novel. Realistic effect is intensified due to authentic pictures of the Russian capital of the XIX century.
The author brings characters interconnected with each other to different extent though they are easily recognizable and understandable for the reader. Raskolnikov and other characters exist in this world. There are many features in Raskolnikov typical for an intellectual and intelligent youth of the second half of the nineteenth century. He is a student forced to work along with his studies for his living as well as for his family. Raskolnikov is contrasted by other narrative options: his friend Razumikhins path of independent and common sense, Svidridaylovs dissipation and further suicide, Luzhins pragmatism, Sonyas self-sacrifice. Characters such as Sonya Marmeladova and Dunya Raskolnikova represent a type of young women who constantly suffer from shortage of money, become an object for humiliation and sexual abuses but in a different way, manage to resist. Svidrigaylov and Luzhin belong to a wealthy class of society though with mean moral values. Dostoyevsky strives to distinguish his characters by age from different social classes.
All the characters of the novel agonize over the idea about sense of life, about ones mission. The author joins to the novels characters and seeks a reply to this question together with them. Raskolnikov, Marmeladov, Sonechka, and Svidrigailov experience their life puzzles, they make personal theories for choosing this or that way out to justify their behavior and deeds. The novelist combines the characters in certain groups of the society. Raskolnikov, Sonechka, Marmeladov, Katerina Ivanovna, and other represent the lowest underclass whereas Svidrigaylov, Luzhin, and Lebezyatnikov represent a class of wealthy people. The characters accumulate the common features for various groups of the society typical for that time and assist in reflecting an actual objective reality that is the main aim of Realism.
Simultaneously with creation of various typical personalities, Dostoyevsky builds up plot lines that contain conflicts between the characters and the society. Coming back to Raskolnikovs destiny in the novel, one may state that the protagonist becomes an outrage in the society voluntarily not only due to his poverty but also to disgusting and unreasonable committed crime. With a committed crime, he hopes to find a solution and implementation of his theory and instead, he finds himself in a trap of mental anguish. Raskolnikov works out a theory of crime concluded in the idea that humanity is divided into two sections: the great people who are allowed to commit their sets of crimes for a higher purpose. The second category is represented by the common people, those who had to submit to positive law and to the restrains of the social convention and morality.
Raskolnikov is naive to assume that he is capable to evaluate all details of the crime, and that helps him to avoid punishment. He mistakenly thinks that the crime will not change him and will not alter his attitude to the environment. His confidence in his rightness makes him commit murder to clean the world from the horrible pawnbroker and simultaneously grant him the desirable freedom and power. Instead of his theory implementation, he terribly suffers from physical, moral and mental torments. He is willing to accept a verdict from the society that provoked him for overstepping the laws of humanity fearing to announce his one. He is a victim and a judge joined in one person. Raskolnikov has a feeling to being dissociated from to the society after committed murder. However, after he identifies that his suffering is natural to lots of humanity, he reunites the society. One may notice the conflict between a personality and the community and the torturous internal conflict inside the human being. A story of Marmeladov is typical for that time, and it demonstrates a conflict between a person and the society. He blames the society for his alcoholism and squalid existence. Laws of this society make him unemployed, desperate, homeless, and miserable. Together with his job, Marmeladov loses his dignity, a feeling of security and social necessity. Lacking strength of mind and being a weak-willed person, he obediently bends to circumstances. He states: poverty is no vice... drunkenness is also no virtue...but destitution is a vice. In poverty you may still preserve the nobility of your inborn feelings, but in destitution no one ever does. Numerous life stories help Dostoyevsky in reflecting the confrontation between people and society from different angles. Dostoyevsky succeeds in manipulating the readers feelings and consciousness causing compassion from the reading audience to the fallen characters despite their mental instability or the dreadful nature of the crime.
To make the novel sound realistic and close to the reader, Dostoyevsky actively uses endless continuing dialogues between the characters. The dialogue is organically interlaced in the Crime and Punishment narration. One may hear the voices of Raskonikov, Marmeladov, Sonechka, Svidrigaylov, Luzhin, and Porfiry Petrovich sharing their thoughts and doubts that reflect ones confused and disturbed mind, pangs of remorse or conscience of guilt. Linguistically and tonally, the dialogues reflect the human soul and serve for apprehending each character and conceiving the consciousness. The reader comes to know about the characters, their internal struggle and feelings through the dialogues. For example, listening to Marmeladovs drunken outpourings, one gets to know about Sonechkas and Katering Ivanovnas life stories. Dialogues participate in the development and discovering the novels plot. Dostoyevsky prefers to use dynamic form of narration; he makes the reader travel from one place to another, following the characters. One may see Raskolnikovs stuffy room, a police station, outdoors, a tavern, or Svidrigaylovs apartment. It helps in expanding the framework of the novel. Some scenes are shown in presence of the numerous casual bystanders and strangers. The readers may almost feel the atmosphere of a big city, hear its noise, movements, and voices. The bareness of many contradictions becomes trivial and does not cause any sympathy never before had he seen or heard such unnatural noises, such howling, screaming, snarling, tears, blows and curses, people coming up, knocking, slamming doors, running.
In the course of writing the essay, one could come to know about a literary movement of Realism. It is considered a truthful description and authentic reflection of the actual environment. One highlighted the main distinct features the realists refer to achieve the goal of the realistic narration and demonstrated their practical usage in the novel Crime and Punishment. Therefore, Dostoyevsky provides the readers with well-constructed set of portrayals of the complicated psychological and mental state of the criminals mind, by taking us through his actions, interactions with other people, his inner monologues and rants during his frantic walks along St. Petersburgs streets. Consequently, one may conclude that Dostoyevsky masterfully constructs the plot lines and achieves the realistic effect involving the pictures of the old St. Petersburg, creating typical images, and interlacing various conflicts and characters inside the canvas of the novel. His active use of dialogues creates polyphony multiple voices that energize the novel and keep a reader in tense. Availability of the features specific for Realism may allow one to consider Crime and Punishment a novel of Realism.
Mason Dillon is an essay professor reviews writer. His hobby is to describe his thoughts on paper sheets.

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