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crime and punishment – the end

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 “But here a new story begins: the story of a man’s gradual renewal and gradual rebirth, of his gradual crossing from one world to another, of his acquaintance with a new, as yet unknown reality…”

Dostoyevsky, in “Crime and Punishment”

That could be a subject for another tale — our present one has ended. And we finished reading CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.

SPOILER ALERT. The burden of his crimes without a proper punishment became unbearable. A sudden realization that humanity wasn’t so bad and that he wanted to live a common life with common people led to his isolation in Siberia. But now he’s there to redeem himself, to learn about remorse, to learn about living, to cherish and wish a better life.

A gradual renewal. A gradual rebirth. Maybe a second chance? We’ll never know. Or that’s for us to decide in our judgement. What he did, what happens in this story, what we all read. Those things are gonna touch us somehow.

We might think he’s a criminal, a hypocrite, someone who doesn’t deserve a second chance. But we might understand him, and root for him, we might forgive his flaws.

That’s why Dostoyevsky leaves an open end, in my opinion. He did the hard work, he showed us the crimes, the punishment of the mind, the punishment of the society, family, and friends, and the final punishment of the law. But what happens next, is for us to decide. Based on our morals, values, ideas, empathy, whatever you want to use to judge Raskolnikov.

This work is wonderful. Thank you for joining me on this reread, I loved that. Next month, we’re gonna read WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Brontë together. I’ll talk all about it next week.

☕️ For now, what would be the subject for the “other tale” proposed by Dostoyevsky at the end of Crime and Punishment? Does Raskolnikov redeem himself? Does he marry Sonya? What happens to him in your opinion? Or what would you want to happen to him?

■ @beardbetweenthelines

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