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ENG150 - Crime and Punishment - Lecture Notes.docx

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William Robins

ENG150Y1 – LECTURE NOTES Monday, March 11, 2013 Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment – Lecture 1 - the idea of an out-of-sorts character is established here; an underground labelling - about resisting the labels - human will cannot be categorized - candide is a philosophical novel that uses satire and serious to convey ideas - Dostoevsky shows alternative options - Gives a representation of the protagonist’s interiority o Part of the defraction of personality - Like DQ, is broad, shows the whole society, presents different voices o DQ – multiple stories o CP – through the changing of voices - Polyphonic novel - Dostoevsky: “there is nothing in the world more profound and powerful than this fiction. If the world were to end and people were asked then, well what do you understand from your life on earth? And what conclusions have you drawn from it? Person could silently point to DQ and say, here is my conclusion about life” – his review on DQ o Apocalyptical meaning - Culminates the works we've been reading by showing the European tradition, shows the transitions of westernization - Being on the membrane of European society - Russia had a powerful autocracy - Dostoevsky participated in reforms against the Russian government o Was arrested for distributing work against the government o Was sentenced to death and then later sent to prison in Serbia for 5 years - The explosion of oppression in print is evident / influential - In its extreme, greed is good because it will benefit all of society, derived from English capitalism - At the time of publication of CP, Russia was thinking about its relationship with the rest of Europe - D: “a psychological account of a crime” // “divine justice and earthly claim their rights, and in the end he is compelled to give himself up … the felling of separation and isolation from mankind, which he has experienced since the crime was committed, torments him” - CP is a novel about conscience - Adopts a third person narrative Three storylines: 1. Rakolnikov and the pawnbroker a. Mystery novel b. Confession 2. Raskolnikov and marmeladov a. Social novel b. Drunkards c. Naturalism d. Shows the consequences of drinking, prostitution, poverty e. Drinks in order to be sad and sorrowful f. Logic of knowing what is good and refusing it g. Seeking out suffering that will give them a strange identity h. Seems to be a non-logic i. Apocalyptical tone 3. Rakolnikov and mother’s letter a. Family novel b. Melodrama c. The letter is an Imbedded text d. Callous of luzhin e. Chooses a poor woman (raskolnikov’s sister) to control her f. Sister’s situation is similar to marmeladov’s daughter g. Women are sacrifices h. Marriage is seen as a sacrifice to him; to be able to provide for him i. Egocentric view j. Prostitution is a symptom of the victims Interweaving of storylines: 4. The girl on the bench a. Themes of predators, prostitution, sacrifice b. Males preying on the victim c. Portraying the innocence of childhood being destroyed 5. The dream of the horse / coincidence in the haymarket a. Sense of self-torment and inevitability b. Theme of violence and brutally c. Theme of witness d. Knows that the dream is displaced; he knows that it symbolizes what he is contemplating on doing e. He will beat an innocent person, like the drunks beat the innocent horse in his dream f. He is already tormented even prior to the crime itself g. Part of the punishment h. His personality is split; contemplates crime, then thinks he could never do something like that i. Split of different reasonings i. Split between compassion for the misfortunate and contempt i. Gives money to marmeladov and his family, then regrets it ii. Gets the police to help the girl in the bench, then recants his instructions j. Perceives the coincidence of the lonely murderee as fate k. In the sleepwalking state prior to the murders 6. Rakolnikov’s ideas a. Question of motivation b. Nothing mentioned until chapter 6, a flashback when Rakolnikov overhears a conversation about a student rationalizing killing the woman pawnbroker c. One of the motivation is justifying the crime with utilitarianism, crime is outweighed by many acts of generousity d. Social arithmetic, a test by killing the woman e. Development of the idea of the past, and the sense of inevitability that he feels he can’t escape The crime: 7. The murders and the escape The aftermath: 8. Rakolnikov visits the police, faints a. Suspects suspicion b. Confess or triumph 9. Rasholnikov vists razumikhin, faints a. Doubts his motive b. Impossible to reintegrate in community  V. terras: “D was a master of montage. He covers the seams that join several distinct themes, genres, and styles of which the novel is composed”  What gives it is unity and sustains the reader’s interest is not to be sought in a linear dimension, bbut in the drama of each successive scene and the variety of particular effects that energize the text” Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Crime and Punishment – Lecture 2  What can be expected of man since hi is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing … may be by his curse alone he will attain his object – that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano key ~ Dostoevsky o The point is that human desire to have the freedom of the will is so great that it will act against its own interests; it will risk the sense of unity by having the will against itself o Self-identity is one’s own scope of freedom o About autonomy o This is a fundamental drive in modern existential predicaments o An expression of a subjective position o Dostoevsky diagnoses a problem o The will becomes divided in its quest for unity o Willing to abase oneself for pride o The Self separates from “me” to “them” o The self begins the process of objectification  R. girard: the will to autonomy gives rise to slavery but the man from the underground is not aware of it and does not want to be. We are equally unaware of it, or do not wish to be aware of it. We pretend to be free but we are not telling the truth. Dostoevsky presents a complex proble. The illusions he is denouncing are more powerful in our day than the illusions denounced by Cervantes  Raskolnikov moves from compassion to contempt, wants to feel autonomous, but feels contempt for his compassion  His desire to be autonomous leads him to a process where he objectifies other people o Sees himself better than the pawnbroker, thus justifying the murders  Also has an inter-subjective view of himself  Desire of autonomy + feeling compassion  Novel is about tension between objectivity and inter-subjectivity o Descartes: “I think therefore I am” o An interiority that grounds the sense of objectivity o Rasholnikov goes through this process  Novel is structured by the narrators close connections to the characters’ thoughts, dialogues and the different views  By killing the women, Raskolnikov demonstrates his autonomy, so he goes to his friend Razumikhin to have gratification for his autonomy, but he can’t because it’s a crime, so he leaves immediately  He rejects society as often as he can  When he faints in the police station, he faints; conscience is in the works o Contemplates confessing and denies guilt and perceives himself as greater than the policemen  A consequence of the crime is isolation from society; no longer a part of the inter-subjectivity  M. jones: it is Razumikhin who is the spokeman for the case against classification and objectification; has the gift of being able to express his character instantly and entirely, no matter what mood and people knew with whom they were dealing; to the extent that the novel may be said to illustrate the pitfalls of the objectification and classification of people, Razumikhin may be said to represent the norm of psychological and social health  Desire for autonomy corrodes his relationships with others such as his friend  In order to become a man, you have to stop being a human, says Razumikhin o Represents another mode of social being Structure:  Part one focuses on the antisocial protagonist  Part 2 and 3 open up into the social world, where many crowd in Raskolnikov’s apartment  We see the internal workings of his mind  In this parts, we see some sense of focalization (who’s seeing who)  The crime is played again and again  Others find the crime interesting  The psychological and the explanation of the crime drives the repetition of the story  Raskolnikov replays the crime too  The investigator is leading Raskolnikov on  He triumphs over the investigator/police clerk by confessing a non-confession  Raskolnikov is looking for an ending, for everything to be resolved  Time is a standard of measure, but the past and the present doesn’t exists but as memory and desires of the present; a personal view of time against the objective chronological time  Raskolnikov follows suite  Author uses anticipation and retrospection (flashblacks) o Temporal existence is fraught by the balance between desire and memory  There is a compulsive repetition of the past to stress that an end is nearing  Raskolnikov is struck by Marmeladov’s love for his children; has a new feeling of life; acts in a more compassionate social manner; lets the murder not dominate his thoughts; thinks he has risen above his guilt  Through his pride, he is trying to work t
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