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BOWING DOWN TO ALL HUMAN SUFFERING: SCHILLERIAN IDEALS IN THE ROBBERS AND DOSTOEVSKY'S CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, AND THE ROLE OF FEMALE CHARACTERS AS CARRIERS OF TRUE MORAL VALUE BY DANIELA RIZZO A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Alina Wyman and Dr. Wendy Sutherland Sarasota, Florida May, 2012
ii Para Mi Abuelito Querido Pascual Zara Venturi (1935 2011) Te Extra o Para Latinoamrica Linda Y Miami
iii Table of Contents Introduction 1 Chapter I : Schillerian Idealism in Crime and Punishment 2 Chapter II : Dostoevsky's Novel Tragedy and Schiller's Bourgeois Drama 9 Chapter III: The Refutal of Schillerian Idealism through Male Characters in Crime and Punishment 19 Chapter IV : Women as Carriers of True Moral Value in Crime and Punishment 34 Conclusion 50
iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Alina Wyman, Dr. Wendy Sutherland, and Dr. Miriam Wallace for their guidance and support throughout the thesis writing process. I have become much more of a critical thinker and better writer because of you. I'd also like to thank every other professor who has invested time in me: Dr. Hettich, Virginia, Dr. Lipof, Dr. Cooper, Ms. Holmes, Mr. Socas. My dearest friend Claire Comiskey. She has been my guiding light and source of unconditional love. Te quiero mucho, mi jven revolucion aria. A mi familia, quienes me han hecho rer y llorar: Patty, Madrina, Zio Nicola, Uncle Larry, Samantha, Yayo, Zio Celestino Maury, Bryan, Cookie, Chanel, Bella, Abuelita, Abuelito (desde "el cielo de Dios"), Silka, Josue, Nelly, Nonna, Mom y hasta mi Pa A Carla Abad y a Celeste All por su apoyo, dulzura y amor. Las "re quiero" "boludas". To Emily Libecki and Sam, for "the lulz" and for the mutual support we shared in the darkest of times. And to every person who has made my life more beautiful, desde Venezuela hasta Miami y Sarasota. The SWER Dream Team, the Teach In group, my old friends and my new ones. I love you and wish I could list you all but it would take up too much space. Gracias al universo y a la vida por llenarme de suerte, salud y de gent e que me quiere. I am eternally grateful for every little thing that I have and every little moment I have lived. Gracias, grazie, thank you, merci. Caminante, no hay camino, Se hace el camino al andar.
v ABSTRACT Dostoevsky and Schiller produced works which reflected not only national identity but also the political and social climate of their time. Dostoevsky's relationship with Schiller is crucial in understanding some of his most celebrated works. Schiller's idealistic heroes paved the way for Dostoevsky to expand and expose their intricate, but problematic moral fabric. The female characters in Sc hiller's The Robbers and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment embody sacrifice, agape, and a strong sense of morality that is rationalized and lacking in the male characters. Without the presence of these women the male protagonists could never reach "redempt ion". The comparison of these two works allows for a deeper underst anding of Dostoevsky's reworking of Schiller's female characters Although these works be long in two different genres, Vyacheslav Ivanov suggests that Dostoevsky's works can be viewed as t ragedies with a goal of catharsis. Schiller's bourgeois tragedies and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment follow this model, helping to bridge play and novel. Dr. Alina Wyman _____________________ ______ Dr. Wendy Sutherland____________ _____ ______ Division of Humanities
1 INTRODUCTION Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Schiller are two of the most important writers in Russian and German literature respectively Schiller greatly contributed to the movement towards a German National Theater during his time, producing a number of bourgeois tragedies 1 but also contributing important philosophical writings like his Aesthetic Letters As one of the most studied German classical writers, it comes as no surprise that Dostoevsky would draw inspiration from the playwright. The timeless novel, Crime and Punishment build s on Schiller's aesthetics, yet his notion s of Romantic Titanism 2 earlier embodied by Karl Moor in Schiller's famous play, The Robbers refute these same ideas, which Dostoevsky deemed nave and problematic T hrough prot agonist Rodion Raskolnikov's schismatic ideali stic moral attitudes, which are closely related to those of Karl Moor Dostoevsky shows that Schiller's prototype of a romanticized extraordinary man when taken as a model of action fail s and breed s contrad iction as well as a false sense of morality While the male characters in both works hold corrupted as well as nave values, the female characters are portrayed as wise, forgiving, and sacrificial; in fact, their presence is essential for the male characte rs' consistent moral development moving away from egoism and towards God and compassion making the women the most crucial characters in the novel, as they are the carriers of true moral value. 1 Intrigue and Love or Kabale un d Liebe (1784) Bourgeois tragedies are characterized by representing the lives and ideals of the then emerging bourgeois class, where the protagonists are ordinary citizens as opposed to the aristocracy. 2 Prevalent in the Storm and Stress ( Sturm und Drang ) period and carrying over to the Romantic period, it is t he hero's undertaking of a "titanic" task. For example, Karl Moor's mission to uphold and abstract "justice" by becoming a Robin Hood like robber.
2 CHAPTER I Schillerian Idealism in Crime and Punishment Dostoevsky alludes to Schiller in a number of his works. His relationship with the German writer began w h en Dostoevsky was ten years old and he attended a performance of The Robbers which "a cted as an enormous stimulation for [his] spiritual development" ( K ostka 215). During his student years Dostoevsky became even more interested in Schiller, translating some of his works into Russian, and calling him a "thoroughly Christian poet" (K ostka 216), a curious observation considering Dostoevsky's view of Schill er in his later years. Young and ide alistic, Dostoevsky was drawn to Schiller's contributions to the philosophy of aesthetics and his faith in the Sublime and the Beautiful (a theme later ridiculed in Dostoevsky' s works). Schiller represented Romantic Tita nism at its best; his characters are often dramatic heroes with a mission It i s no surprise that Schiller would resonate with in the rad ical circles that Dostoevsky took part in where the shortcomings of the Russian government were discussed. Schiller 's philosophy was associated with Utopian Socialism; his works often preached brotherly love, the importance of man's freedom, and delved deeply into emotions and the purity of nature (two themes associated with the Storm and Stress literary movement under w hich The Robbers falls ) With this early philosophical influence from Schiller, Dostoesvky began to explore alternative political realities and clandestinely frequented radical gatherings like the Petrashevsky Circle 3 For his involvement with the Petrash evksy Circle Dostoevsky was sentences to hard labor in Siberia. E xperie ncing a mock execution and enduring ten long years in Siberia Dostoevsky 3 Clandestine, radical, literary discussion group composed of Russian intellectuals who discussed Western philosophy as well as banned literature. Active during the late 1840's.
3 emerged a new man. Th e young Schillerian idealist was transformed into a critical realist who, using Schiller as a point of departure creat ed an original concept of man (L yngstad 24 ). Dostoevsky's works have been characterized as complex in their exploration of human nature and relationships. Schiller's influence is crucial to our understanding of his works beca use it provided a basis for many of Dostoevsky' s most known and intricate characters. The underground man in Notes from The Underground spends most of his time ridiculing Schillerian ideas of humanity, brotherly love, and the existence of "extraordinary me n" who wish to foment universal love by committi ng crimes against love itself (L yngstad 17 ) Dostoevsky uses these same ideas, which inspired the Utopian Socialists of the 1840's and the Nihilists of the 1860's to explore their dire consequences, and to s how an inevitable contradiction in their most basic premise. In highlighting these discrepancies, Dostoevsky represents the inquisitive nature of man, and his constant struggle to find a consistent truth in the way of life. In Dostoevsky's major works, t hi s truth is often found through God, agape 4 and suffering In Dostoev sk y, Schillerian characters are manifested often as strongly idealistic, but they are thoroughly explored to reveal a deeper duality of character Crime and Punishment makes a number of references to Schiller that reinforce Dostoevsky's ironic treatment of the German writer. The first mention of Schiller occurs in Part I, Chapter IV when, after reading his mother's letter which informs him of his sister's intentions to marry Luzhin in or der to help him financially Raskolnikov expresses his indignation in regards to a marriage he fundamentally disapproves of : And that's how it always is with these beautiful, Schilleresque souls: till the last moment they dress a man up in peacock's feathe rs, till the last moment they hope for the good and not the bad; and tho ugh they may have premonitions o f the other side of the coin, for the life of them they will not utter a real word beforehand; the thought alone makes them 4 Theol ogical term for a limitless, spontaneous, unquestioning, self sacrificing Christian love (Frank 132)
4 cringe; they wave the truth away with both hands, till the very moment when the man they've decked out so finely stick their nos es in it with his own two hands ( 42) Here, Raskolnikov points out the navet of his mother and Dunya who, much like many of Schiller's character s (the O ld Moor in The Robbers ), believe in people's kindness even if they have reasons not to, and even "wave the truth away" which often causes them to get hurt Pulcheria Alexandrovna and Dunya know deep inside their hearts that Luzhin is a condescending and m anipulative man who only wants Dunya as a trophy but they willfully try to convince themsel ves and even Raskolnikov that Luzhin has good intentions, constantly justifying him to conceal the uncomfortable fact that Dunya is basically being sold to him In The Robbers much of what propels the plot forward is the sentim ental navet of the Old Moor in re gards to Franz Moor's accusations of his brother (A ct I scenes 1 and 3) E ven though Franz's lies could have been uncovered with some rational critical th inking the Old Moor is quick to let his emotion s overpower his reason and his failure to act become a catalyst for the tragedy that unfolds in the play. In Part VI, Chapter II of Crime and Punishment Porfiry Petrovich tells Raskolnikov: "Become a sun an d everyone will see you. The sun must be the sun first of all. Why are you smiling again because I'm such a Schiller?" (Dostoevsky 460). Raskolnikov confirms that Porfiry knows him to be the killer, and after a long game of cat and mouse in previous chap ters, he is finally confronted full force. Porfiry utters these words with a very idealistic and optimistic outlook on the punishment that will follow Raskolnikov's confession; he reassuringly adds: "you're not going to miss your comforts, are you, with a heart like yours? What matter if no one will see you for a long time? The point lies in you, not in time" ( 460) Porfiry recognizes Raskolnikov's ironic smile in response; he knows the answer he is giving Raskolnikov is simply too idealistic for such a com plex question. Porfiry's assertion implies that a man's soul is the only thin g that really matters in life (K ostka 227), but this is not enough. Actions bring about
5 consequences, and the suffering mu st be endured and experienced in order for the soul to pu rify itself. Earlier, Porfiry tells Raskolnikov to "just give yourself directly to life, without reasoning; don't worry it will carry you straight to sho re and set you on your feet ( 460) Again we s ee the romanticized, irrational advice which in some w ay diminishes the great weight that Raskolnikov's confession has on his own character Interestingly, this is spoken in relation to Porfiry's suggestion that Raskolnikov find "faith, or God"; this is an important overlap between Schiller and Dostoevsky. T he Russian writer perceived Schiller as a Christian poet and in this sense they share similar views in regards to the importance of God in man's life. In the preface to The Robbers Schiller writes: Every person, even the most wicked, is made to a certain extent in God's image, and it might even be that the greater villain has a shorter path to righteousness than the lesser. For morality keeps even pace with one's powers: the greater one's capabilities, the greater and more monstrous are one's errors and the more blameworth y is t he misuse of those powers. (301) Schiller suggests that despite the magnitude of one's errors (which are often caused by the misuse of power), every man is made in God's image, meaning that there is always opportunity for redempt ion. This applies not only to The Robbers but also to Crime and Punishment Karl Moor, a man of great capabilities and also great flaws, is able to redeem himself in some way by turning himself in at the end of the play. Likewise, Raskolnikov, who attemp ted to be a great man and failed, endures much suffering from his grave errors, but is ultimately rehabilitated through God. One of the most interesting allusions to Schiller in Crime and Punishment is made in an exchange between Svidrigailov and Raskolni kov in Part 6, Chapter III: And you talk to me of depravity and aesthetics! You a Schiller! You an idealist! Of course, it all had to be just like this, and it would be surprising if it were otherwise, but all the same it's strange when it really happe nsAh, what a pity there's no time, because you yourself are a most curious subject! By the way, are you fond of Sch iller? I'm terribly fond of him (471).
6 Ironically, Svidrigailov ridicul es Raskolnikov by calling him an idealist and a Schiller when Rasko lnikov himself derides the navet of these very same "Schillerian Beautiful souls" (K ostka 228); he laughs at Porfiry for being such a Schiller, and becomes impatient at his mother and sister's navet yet, as Svidrigailov points out, there is a Schiller in him too. To explain this duality we look to Raskolnikov' s name: it comes from the Russian word raskol a schism or split which symbolically alludes to the split and duality of his personality Raskolnikov is in deed split between two personas, one sid e possesses "underground" traits, scorning the Beautiful and the Sublime, and rebelling against the established moral social order The other is governed by kindness and charity. Raskolnikov exemplifies the antinomy between instinctive ki ndness, sympathy a nd pity, and proud, rational egoism (F rank 101). In several episodes, Raskolnikov demonstrated kindness, compassion, and selflessness (he gives money to the Marmeladovs, he protects a girl from potentially being raped, and defends Sonya when she is accused of stealing), yet a part of him regrets some of these acts, and even justifies and rationalizes egoism (an element that allows for him to commit the crime). It was important for Dostoevsky that Raskolnikov be split in such a way in order to demonstrate t he problem atic dichotomy between extremist Nihilism and radicalism, and the presumably altruistic aims of these schools of thought. In fact, Dostoevsky strongly believed that these aims stemmed from the innately Christian moral nature of the Russian people but that they had been tainted by a strict reliance on reason rather than the very emotions of pity and compassion from which they were severed (F rank 101) Thus, in this particular quote, Svidrigailov points the finger at Raskolnikov for his hypocrisy a nd idealism but later ironically (and comically) says that he too loves Schiller and reads him quite often Of course, this is a mockery; Svidrigailov enjoys challenging Raskolnikov's beliefs and actions in order to make him see the discrepancies, however Svidrigailov (as a foil to Raskolnikov) is not free from Schillerian
7 traits either he also shows kindness and compassion (especially towards Sonya before his suicide) despite his cynical, hedonistic views of the world. Kostka suggests that this dynamic between Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov is also a representation of Dostoevsky's own love hate relationship with Schiller (K ostka 229) an interesting suggestion given that Dostoevsky's criticism of Schiller fluctuated, while at the same time he regarded him as a great writer. In Part 6, Chapter IV, Svidrigailov and Raskolnikov find t hemselves once again arguing, as Svidrigailov shamelessly recounts a vile, sensual anecdote about his involvement with a young girl. To Raskolnikov's horror, Svidrigailov respond s: "Look at our Schiller, what a Schiller, just look at him! O va t elle la vertu se nicher? 5 And you know, I'll go on telling you such things on purpose, just to hear your little outcries. Delightful! (482). Svidrigailov clearly enjoys mockin g the Sch iller in Raskolnikov, so he confronts his intellectualized high morality by ridiculing him and unmasking his egotism, thus revealing a logical contradiction On ce again, Schiller's Beautiful S oul 6 is reduced to foolishness and impossibility. As Joseph F rank points out, Svidrigailov is the full blown manifestation of Raskolnikov's egoism. T he former has accepted amorality, but as is evident in the events leading to his suicide he shares the same moral psychic oppositions as Raskolnikov, since he acts in self pleasure, yet his enjoyments are tarnished by se lf disgust (Frank 129 ) Finally, Schiller is mentioned shortly after the previous exchange, again by Svidrigailov in response to Raskolnikov confronting him about his eavesdropping: Schiller is consta ntly being embarrassed in you. And now I'm told that one can't eavesdrop at doors. In that case, go and tell the authorities; say thus and so, I've had this mishap: there was a littler mistake in my theory. But if you're convinced that one cannot 5 "Where is virtue going to build her nest?" 6 Briefly put, a n individual characterized by passion and duty to a greater ideal. For more information s ee K ant's Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime (1764).
8 eavesdrop at doors, but can go around whacking old crones with whatever comes to hand, to your heart's content, then leave q uickly for America somewhere ( 485) This is a very important moment in the interactions between Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov because the lat ter confirms his knowledge about Raskolnikov's tainted morality by telling hi m that he knows he has killed. In a humorous tone more closely translated from the Russian as "the Schiller in you is constan tly falling into a puddle Svidrigailov challenges Raskolnikov's false morality, which allows him to perpetrate crimes (for purportedly altruistic reasons) yet at the same time blame others for their wrongdoings. This double standard stems from his division of humanity into "or dinary" and "extraordinary" men: the latter, to whom Raskolnikov wants to belong, are above morality altogether, while the former need to obey established moral laws. This ideology is problematic because it falsely attempts to marry altruism with the disregard of universal moral law (such as, "killing is wrong").
9 CHAPTER II Dostoevsky's Novel Tragedy and Schiller's Bourgeois Drama An important issue that must be addressed is the fac t that two different literary genres are being compared in this study. One is a German, Storm and S tress bourgeois drama from 1781, and the other is a Russian novel published in 1866. As it has been shown, Schiller had a profound influence on Dostoevsky's works, but more is needed to establish a strong, valid comparison; dramas a nd novels may differ in form and length, but it is possible for a novel to incorporate the trag ic aspect that characterizes dramas. First I would like to delineate some interesting parallels between German theater and Dostoevsky's own works. In Theater and Nation in Eighteent h Century Germany Michael Sosulski provides a history of the formation of the German National Theater, and its importance as a moral institution which sought to unify the fragmented German states. Aside from fostering national identity, the German Nationa l Theater was described by the great German playwright, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, as a school for the moral world and, as Johann Elias Sch l egel said, also one that as a mirror should reflect what is undesirable at the superficial level of social cus t oms and practices (Sosulski 36 ). The National German Theater had an important role in the philosophical field of ethics, since it sought to delve into the d eepest moral predicaments of humankind The Robbers was actually Schiller's very first play, and o ne that set the stage (pun intended), for the ethical role of theater in the formation of the German N ation. In the same vein of creating a unifying national literature, Dostoevsky's works are strongly representative of Russia and its people. His social c ommentary and reactions to what was occurring in Russia at the time truly resonate with the aim of the German National Theater. Dostoevsky's works are laden with moral commentary and ethical concerns not only as they apply to hu man kind but also as they pe rtained to his Russia. Schlegel points out that the
10 universal lesson of a drama is more effective if the plot and characters reflect a nation's o wn particular customs (S osulski 42 ), this is characteristic of Schiller's dramas and Dostoesvky's works. Theate r was also seen as a means of bridging econom ic, material, and social gaps (S osulski 43 ), thus i t can be said that Dostoevsky's works, even today, have had an incredible role in creating this univer sal bridge the way theater does, as Dostoevsky address es i n his novels di ffe rent socioeconomic classes, the large discrepancies between them, and his works were/are read by people on all ranges of this socioeconomic spectrum. For Schiller, the theater should reveal truth by imitating nature because nature sho ws the true essence of things (S osulski 56). He equated theater with law and religion because while religion provides the state's laws with a moral foundation, the theater acts as the most important witness to the truths that the law is meant to safeguard (S osulski 58). Schiller believed the theater is a tool of enlightenment which shows people acts of virtue and vice, demonstrating the value of law, and serving as a "courtroom of truth" which has the power to shape mor al feelings in human kind (S os ulski 58). He also emphasizes the importance of developing a shared empathy ( M ittleid" ) with the tragic hero of a drama to level the differences betwee n individual members of society. Dostoevsky focused more on bridging class differences rather than leveling differe nces between individuals, but the common denominator lies in the potential for literary works to function as bridges. Along this line Schiller comments: when the people from every circle, region, and estate, after having thrown off all the chains of arti fice and fashion and torn themselves free from the oppression of fate, have been made brothers by the force of one all inclusive sympathy, reunited into one family, having forgotten themselves and their own worlds, returning to their heavenly origins. Eac h person will then share in the delight of every other, which will be reflected back to him intensified and more beautiful in the eyes of others, and his breast will then be able to contain only one, single sensation namely: that of being a human bei ng. ( cited in S osulski 61). This quote exemplifies some of Schiller's ideal istic views of an abstract love for humanity as a mass which Dostoevsky ridicules in a number of his works To Dostoevsky, it is not simply a
11 matter or embracing the whole of human ity, but rather acknowledging each individual as a part of the whole Being capable of loving each individual as their own person is the only way to a chieve this "love for humanity", or Humanittsliebe Schiller speaks of. The concept of the Beautiful ( "d as Schne") and The Sublime ( "das Erhabene" ), which S chiller revamped in his own way, was originally introduced by Kant in 1764 in his essay "Observations on the F eeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime where he makes a link between aesthetics and ethics (this will later be at the backbone of the German National Theater and become more associated with Schiller than Kant ). Kant wanted to locate human virtue in a "feeling tha t lives in each human breast" (S osulski 39) ; thus, engaging in the Beautiful and th e Sublime would activate our moral sense. Unfortunately, this is a non empirical conclusion obviously reflective of the time period since Kant linked the ability to appreciate the Beautiful and the Sublime with biologically and racially determined temperam ents, or humors (blood; choler; black choler; and phlegm), gender, and national character. These predisposed humors supposedly varied primarily through nationality; however, it is interesting to note that Kant associated men with a feeling for the sublime, and women wit h a feeling for the beautiful (S osulski 40) According to Schiller, appreciating the Beautiful, means experiencing love and beauty both as an individual and a species; for example, being able to love not only an individual, but also all of ma nkind through that individual. The Sublime is that which is great beyond all measurement. These two concepts are directly associated with nature in aesthetics. Nature, according to Kant and Schiller, is the closest approximation to truth because we live in a world of appearances where nature is made up of shadowy reflections of the true essence of things and the perfect truth is revealed to man through t hese appearances in fragments (S osulski 56). Another
12 concept which Schiller placed great emphasis on was the ideal of moral psychological ambiguity and individual freedom (best exemplified in The Robbers) Dostoevsky reworks these Schillerian themes, especially focusing on moral freedom through characters like Raskolnikov, Svidrigailov, and Sonya. He intro duces the Schillerian ideals to the everyday life of a common man like Raskolnikov, and lets them unravel to show their inner workings; then he uses Svidrigailov, Porfiry, and Sonya to impart criticism and explain why these Schillerian ideals are impractic al More in depth analysis of Dostoevsky's reworking of Schiller will be found in the next two chapters. The goals of the German National Theater to create and showcase a unifying element for the still fragmented German states can be compared to Dostoevsk y's representations of life in Russia during his time Doestoevsky creates a literature th at depicts different aspects of life in Russia as well as interactions between different social classes, and the political and ideological movements that influenced t he Russian people at the time. Although the German National Theater produced a d ifferent literary genre than Dosto evsky, it is possible to see his works through a theatrical lens, giving them the qualities of a drama. In Freedom and The Tragic Life Viches lav Ivanov defines Dostoevsk y as a fine tragedian, and claims that whatever Dostoevsky had to express in his epic narrative style con formed to the laws of tragedy (I vanov 7). "Plato described the epic as a hybrid, or mixed, form, partly narrative or instru ctive, partly mimetic or dramatic the latter in those passages where the narration is interrupted with numerous and extensive monologues or dialogues" (I vanov 8); this definition conforms to the form of Dostoevsky's major works. The great Russian writer masterfully constructs his narration (especially in Crime and Punishment ), but also interjects insightful monologues and witty, prof ound dialogues at just the right moments In Crime and Punishment the narration is as crucial to our knowledge of Raskolnik ov as are his
13 monologues; what the monologues do not disclose, the narrator offers us. Ivanov sees no detail in Dostoevsky's works as superfluous, all particulars are a crucial part of the whole, and each of these particulars can be viewed as "acts" in an unfolding drama. The only way in which Dostoevsky departs from what Ivanov calls the "poetical form of tragedy" (the inner structure of the story), is by having us confront tragedy at every moment, as if it were seen through a magnifying glass, whereas in drama we may find events that lead to the grand tragedy. In Dostoevsky, every "cell" of the organism (particulars events) holds a tragic element w hich is reflective of the organism as a whole. Ivanov says Dostoesvky grants us "no delight or enjoyment" (I va nov 12), and that his exuberant humor does not bring good cheer. One must "drink the cup of bitterness before purification can be granted (catharsis). While this may be true of classical tragedies, I find that the humorous, witty moments in Dostoevsky (an d also in Schiller) do in fact bring good cheer, and add to the realism of the interactions between the characters. Even if these cheerful moments are minimal in light of the tragedy that hovers over us, they are mini catharses that alleviate the reader mo mentarily; I find these moments absolutely necessary (especially in a novel like Crime and Punishment and even in The Robbers, where the readers know the doom is imminent), and more like an exam ple of the reworking of an ancient art form from purely tragi c until the end, to a more "cushioned" form. The moments of cheer reflect the reality of life, which holds some light, even in darkness; this is reminiscent of the previously mentioned goal of the German theater to mimic life as realistically as possible. Iv anov is right in suggesting that Dostoevsky's works always bring catharsis, this is another reason we can call them novel tragedies. A crucial part of a tragedy's instructive goals come through catharsis, as it is also absolutely necessary for the reader to reflect and heal through this purification device. Even without the infamous epilogue, Crime and Punishment brings a
14 powerful catharsis in the very last moments when Raskolnikov finally decides to confess. This moment is uncannily simila r to Karl Moor s final lines and his epiphany whi ch leads him to turn himself in. Another way in which Ivanov's model is presented in Dostoev sky often comes through in his notorious get togethers. An avid reader of Dostoevsky knows very well what to expect when a party o r dinner scene is presented: a scandal An interesting application of the stage technique to the epic narrative is what conditions such expectation that some call monotonous and all too coincidental. Indeed, they are coincidental because as Ivanov says, th ey are classic techniques used in theater to create a dilemma or subject of a drama In The Robbers this is masterfully done by Schiller through the intrigue surrounding the false letter the Old Moor receives; of course it is convenient that neither he n or Amalia take a look at the letter (which would have given away its falsity through the handwriting), and also that the Old Moor reacts so dramatically without even questioning the letter from a son he boasted about minutes before the letter was received. Many other German dramas, like Schiller's Intrigue and Love and Lessing's The Jews utilize this technique to build intrigue. Ivanov's description of this theatric technique is as follows: The artificial juxtaposition of, for example, characters and eve nts in the same place and timethe presentation of every physical development in the form of catastrophic shocks, in passionate confessions and public disclosures made in circumstances that, although effective on the stage, lack all verisimilitude; the rou nding off of individual scenes by sheer coups de thetre ; and lastly at moments when the catastrophe has not yet matured and therefore cannot yet be enacted its anticipatio n in scenes of brawl and uproar. (Ivanov 14) This is everywhere in Dostoevsky, and specifically in Crime and Punishment ; from the moment Raskolnikov accidentally overhears a conversation suggesting that the moneylender ought to die, to the coincidental auspiciousness of the circumstances that allow Raskolnikov to commit murder and re main unseen, to the painter's unfortunate alibi for which he is w rongfully accused of the murder. Dostoevsky uses this technique to build up intrigue that leads to the tragedy.
15 The Oxford English Dictionary Online's definition of the word "tragedy" omits the role of destiny in this literary genre. The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary mentions it, but offers a vague definition. The most interesting and thorough definition of the word comes from Dictionary.com, which defines "tragedy" as a dramatic composi tion, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force as fate or socie ty, t o downfall or destruction." The interesting words here are "destined" and "fate" because they bring up an important aspect of tragedy, and one that is at the center of both Dostoevsky and Schiller's works the tension between necessity and free will as components of human destiny, as Ivanov points out. According to the dictionary's definition, the necessity component is governed by external forces like fate character flaws, and society; both Raskolnikov and Karl Moor stand in between these external forc es, and their titanic personalities which want to defy these forces to assert man's absolute free will. This will be later discussed in more detail. Essentially, Ivanov points out this dichotomy in order to present Dostoevsky's setting of the real tragedy in the metaphysical world, and also to make light of another dichotomy that is deeply rooted in Dostoevsky's works that of man's choice to be with or without God. By examining the metaphysics of Raskolnikov's murder, this Sophoclean definition of tragedy as guided by an inscrutable destiny becomes one that places man's will at the center, where in choosing God or not God he makes his destiny, "for only in God can man truly be known by man" (Ivanov 18); this goes back to my previous point on the evolution of tragedy through time. Another way in which Dostoevsky's works can be classified as tragedies lies in the metaphorical way in which the write r uses light to create an atmosphere. In theater, the placement and use (or lack thereof) of lights is crucial t o setting a mood and giving the audience information without anything having to be said. Monologues are often accompanied by a dimming of the
16 surroundings of the character speaking, with lights only illuminating them in order to create a sense of self refl ection. According to Ivanov, Dostoevsky, unlike Tolstoy, leaves a lot in the dark ; Crime and Punishment certainly has a gloomy feel to it, where characters find themselves in dark or dim places, and Raskolnikov has literal "blackouts" which the audience al so experiences. I find this to be one of the most interesting ways to see how a technical aspect of theater translates into the novel form. Ivanov's novel tragedy lens is merely one way to interpret Dostoevsky's works. Different scholars adhere to differe nt approaches, and clearly Ivanov's approach provides sound support for the case I am making in this chapter, but it would be unfair not to present Mikhail Bakhtin's own reading of Dostoevsky's works despite how different they are from Ivanov's Bakhtin who is often associated with the Russian Formalists, is regarded as one of the most important Dostoevsky scholar s of all time. In 1984, he published Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics where he examines Dostoevsky's works as "polyphonic" or representing many voices; yet, each one of these voices represents an individual with a unique place in the whole (this relates back to the notion of agape ). Rather than trag ic, Bakhtin sees Dostoevsky's works as related to the ancient Menippean satires, a genre which loosely emerged from the Socratic dialogue, which in a nutshell was concerned with the undertaking and testing of an idea. In Menippean satire, there is a comic element, and "the use of the fantastic and adventure is internally motivated, justified by and devoted to a purely ideational and philosophical end: the creation of extraordinary situations for the provoking and testing of a philosophical idea" (Bakhtin 114). Bakhtin also connects this satirical element with the problem of carnival and carnivalizati on in literature, which he explains as a "pageant without footlights and without a division into performers and spectators. In carnival everyone is an active participant" (Bakhtin 122). Carnival is not performed, it is lived, and "all distance between peop le is suspended"
17 (Bakhtin 123). The carnival is an eccentric, outspoken world, and often times, scenes of scandal in Dostoevsky's works are seen as representative of the carnival, since "the primary carnivalistic act is the mock crowning and subsequent dec rowning of the carnival king (Bakhtin 124). In Crime and Punishment this can be observed during the scandal at Marmeladov's memorial banquet, where Katerina Ivanovna tries to impress her guests (despite her obvious poverty), but is ridiculed by her German landlady. It is clear that Ivanov and Bakhtin have almost opposing views about the nature of Dostoevsky's works (albeit both rooted in ancient Greek influences), but Ivanov is most relevant for the purposes of comparing two different literary genres such as the drama and the novel. However, despite the differences between the two, Bakhtin cannot go unmentioned due to his ground breaking contributions to the interpretation of Dostoevsky's works. In the upcoming chapters, I will expand on the representation of Schillerian ideals in Crime and Punishment, and also explore the male characters' flawed moral fabric leading up to the role of the female characters as carriers of true moral value, and spiritually enlightened agents of change.
18 C HAPTER III The Refutal of Schillerian Idealism through Male Characters in Crime and Punishment. In The Robbers Schiller presents characters with distinct moral ideologies. The play is deeply rooted in the conflict of morality within the main characters an d the role of God in man's life and freedom. Although this play has closer ties with The Brothers Karamazov there are many parallels between the moral fabric of the characters in The Robbers, and those in Crime and Punishment. It is clear that Crime and P unishment closely examines The Robbers as well as Schillerian themes in what seems like a foundational step to ward Dostoevsky's last, most complex work. In The Robbers, Schillerian idealism is represented th rough the legendary Karl Moor, who leaves his c omfortable home to join a band of rogues who steal from and murder the rich to seek "justice" for the less fortunate. Though Karl is a serial murderer, he is portrayed as heroic, sacrificial, and loyal. He embodies Romantic Titanism through his emotional d ilemmas, and his desire to be an "extraordinary man like Napoleon, who can disregard common law and impart what he believes constitutes justice through his own means. Karl is not a believer; he thinks man alone can enforce justice, since the supposedly j ust God has allowed there to be evil in the world (Act II, scene 3). His crimes are justified as utilitarian and retributive. Much in the vein of Romanticism (and Sturm und Drang ), Karl lives in a melodramatic dichotomy of his desire for vengeance and his longing to be an innocent, pure child. Yet, he remains loyal to his band of robbers, and even murders the woman he loves to prove his brotherhood. This is the Schillerian, nave idealism that Dostoevsky is so critical of the kind that admires a murderer because he is able to be altruistic by turning himself in. Karl's "epiphany" is hardly a true, moral awakening compared to Raskolnikov's lengthier, more painful process. Dostoevsky uses the Schillerian blueprints to build more realistic characters that als o embodied the prominent, radical ideas of his
19 time, in order to reveal the inconsistencies and perils rooted in this dangerous ly abstract concept of man. The male characters in the two works exhibit similar ideologies. Dostoevsky expands on the Schilleria n prototypes by making his characters much more complex and morally ambiguous. Clearly, the novel form allowed Dostoevsky to fully extend and reshape the ideologies that Schiller embedded in merely five acts of his play. The protagonists of both works are male characters with problematic ideas of morality. Before the role of women as agents of true morality can be understood, the beliefs and convictions of these protagonists need to be explored in order to understand their fundamental flaws, and in turn, th e significance of the women's role in both works, especially Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov can be seen as extensions of Schiller's protagonists Karl and Franz Moore. This chapter will focus on comparing and contrasting the male character pairs in The Robbers and Crime and Punishment First, Karl and Raskolnikov (Dostoevsky's "equivalent" of Karl) will be explored as the "heroes" and protagonists of the works, and their moral and ideological fabrics will be examined Franz a nd Svidrigailov, the other minimal pair, will also be discussed as "equivalents" of each other and as "villains but their ideologies will then be compared and contrasted with those of Karl and Raskolnikov in order to better understand the notion of Schil lerian idealism. What Schiller did not touch upon in five acts, Dostoevsky built upon in almost six hundred pages. At the beginning of The Robbers Karl is described by his father and Amalia as "yearning keenly for every kind of beauty and grandeur" (Act I scene 1), as well as frank, and moved by any sight of others' suffering. His father recalls him as a wonderful son, and he tells of how, as a child, he would "toss the pennies he had whee d led from [Franz] to the first beggar he met" (Act I, scene 1). Thi s is the first impression of Karl before his appearance on stage, but it is
20 already evident that he, like Raskolnikov, is propelled by innate kindness and the desire for justice and retribution to become a benefactor of mankind. Like Karl, Raskolnikov is l oved by his family. Pulcheria, and Dunya, see him as all their "hope and trust" (30); and hope that through his educational pursuits as a u niversity student, Raskolnikov w ould eventually lead them out of poverty. The ounce heavy letter Raskolnikov receives from Pulcheria at the beginning of the novel "torments" him and even makes him cry. This letter informs him of the vulnerable position his mother and sister are in due to their lack of money to support themselves, and the need to support his studies. The letter informs Raskolnikov that after serving Svidrigailov and his wife for some time, his sister Dunya was planning on sacrificially marrying Luzhin (a base, self serving man) because he was offering her a significant sum of money that she intended to use to help Raskolnikov support himself. This enrages Raskolnikov as much as it moves him, so the letter become s fuel to the already existent motivations for his desire to murder. Similarly, Karl receives a letter crafted by his brother Franz to inform him th at he has been disowned by his father. The letter is also a catalyst for his desire for vengeance, and the formation of his band of robbers. Like Raskolnikov, Karl believes he can be an extraordinary man, like Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar, whom h e admired as a child. He feels separated from society and scorns man's hypocrisy, especially when it is masked by religion: "Fawn on the man who polishes His Highness' boots, and make life misery for the wretch they have no need to fear. Praise each other to the skies for the sake of a dinner, and would gladly poison each other when they lose a bedstead at an auction" (Act I, scene 2). This is one of the first utterances we hear from Karl, who also expresses disdain for the law: "I am supposed to lace my bo dy in a corset and straitjacket my will with laws. The law had cramped the flight of eagle to a snail's pace. The law never made yet a great man, but freedom will breed a giant, a colossus" (Act I, scene 2). However, he is later
21 described in the same scene by one of his fellow robbers (Spiegelberg) as a fellow "who has written enough on faces with his swords to fill three attorneys' books in a leap year ." The irony in these statements is representative of Karl's belief that he is above the ordinary men of s ociety, who adhere to th e law and thus stunt their own growth and potential. Raskolnikov shares these views with Karl, but his schism in beliefs is a lot more evident, and he expresses more insecurities than Karl in believing himself to be a colossus. Whe n Raskolnikov is first presented he is in a daze, questioning his own ability to commit the murder he has been contemplating for a while. Though it would be easy to assume he is suffering from some sort of mental disorder at this point in Part I, Dostoevsk y craftily reveals to the reader in Part III that Raskolnikov had written an article titled "On Crime" about two months before the events of the novel actually begin, in which he rationalizes the transgression of certain judicial and moral laws based on a hierarchical division of man which entitles some to this privilege. According to Raskolnikov, "extraordinary" men like Napoleon, for example, had their own right to commit crimes and transgress moral norms "for the greater good ," because they are above the law. According to Frank, these extraordinary men feel like they can justify their actions because they "seek the destruction of the presen t for the sake of the better" (Frank 108). Thus, a crime can be sanctioned by conscience in the name of a higher soci al good. An important fact to note is that the Russian word for "crime" ( prestuplenie) li terally means "overstepping". T his connects directly to Raskolnikov's suggestion that a certain type of man is allowed to overstep the laws delineated by society. Thu s, a crime really becomes "a protest against the abnormality of the social set up" (256), more than simply a manifestation of mental illness. From early on, it is understood that both Karl's and Raskolnikov's crimes are fundamentally ideological. As Joseph Frank points out, Raskolnikov murders "because of a purely selfish n eed to test his own strength"
22 (Frank 102), but he also "kill[s] the principle of the old moral l aw against taking human life" (Frank 128). Another curious connection between Karl and Ra skolnikov is shown when in The Robbers, Spiegelberg suggests that Karl formally bring the band of rogues together to do something grand, like building Jerusalem anew. In a similar way, in Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov expresses his belief in eternal wa r, "until the New Jerusalem, of course!" ( Dostoevsky 261). In the Book of Revelations, The New Jerusalem is the holy city of God. Also, the Saint Simonians, followers of the utopian socialist Claude Henri de Saint Simon (1760 1825), interpreted this vision as a foretelling of a future paradise on earth This idea reemerged in Russia in the 1840's ( Pevear and Volokhonsky 558), and it shows the idealistic nature of both Karl and Raskolnikov to move the world "toward a goal" ( Dostoevsky 261) in reality more like a secular apocalypse but this "God like" undertaking is representative of the "titanism" characteristic of Schillerian heroes, and embodied by these two characters. Conversely, Franz and Svidrigailov as a minimal pair represent the villains in each work, but they are also foils of Karl and Raskolnikov respectively they represent the dark side of both protagonists by incarnating the problematic aspect of their ideas. From the beginning of the play, Franz is portrayed negatively; he is jealous of hi s brother, selfish, and conniving. Like Svidrigailov, Franz is a self willed man; he acts as he pleases, indulges in hedonistic and sensual pleasures, and disregards the idea of a higher moral order. In Act I, scene 1, Franz presents us with some of his li fe philosophy, which affirms the survival of fittest, or as Franz puts it: "Swim whoever can, and let sink whoever is too clumsy!..What I can make of myself is up to me. Each man has the same right to the greatest and the least; claim destroys claim, impul se destroys impulse, force destroys force. Might is right, and the limit s of our strength our only law." These views essentially express a belief in self will the absolute
2 3 power of man to make of himself what he may. Franz acknowledges nature's role in t he life of man, but he is dissatisfied with his cut of the deal: "Why did nature burden me with ugliness?..I truly think she made a heap of the most hideous parts of every human kind in the ingredients for me" (Act I, scene 1). Despite his strong, deep sea ted conflict of inferiority and self disgust, which also plagues Svidrigailov, Franz believes in the power of man, and soon presents us with a philosophy that relies on a hierarchical division of humanity into the extraordinary men and the lowly insects: It is true, there are certain conventions men have made to rule the pulses that turn the world. Honorable reputation! A valuable coin indeed, one to drive a fine bargain with for the man who knows how to use it. Conscience yes, indeed! An excellent scare crow to keep the sparrows from the cherry trees! And a well written check to help the bankrupt, too, at the last moment. Yes indeed, most admirable devices to keep fools respectful and to hold down the mob, so that clever people can live in better comfort. It must be admitted, most ingenious devices! They remind me of the hedges my peasants plant so cunningly around their fields so that the rabbits cannot jump over no, no on your life, not one single rabbit! but their lord and master sets spur to his ho rse and gallops freely over the crops. Poor little rabbit! It's a sad part to play, to be a rabbit in this world! But your lord and master needs his rabbits! So, away we go! Fear nothing, and you are as powerful as if they all fear you. (Act I, scene 1) M uch in the same fashion as Raskolnikov and Karl, Franz is expressing his belief that there are "ordinary" and "extraordinary" men in the world; he calls the ordinary men "rabbits" who are contained and subdued by the ordinary men, the "lords and masters" w ho can gallop freely across the hedges that contain the rabbits. Franz also believes that an honorable reputation, conscience, and money are the devices these lords and masters use to achieve the subjugation of the ordinary men. It is interesting that he m entions "conscience" as one of these devices, and that he describes it as a "scarecrow to keep the sparrows from the cherry trees." Scarecrows are grotesque looking, deceiving devices; they embody something they are not. Because Franz hardly has a conscien ce, it is consistent that he would describe it as a tool, rather than the powerful, moving force that it can be. Interestingly, later in the play, when Franz plans to murder his brother, he says that "it is I who God and conscience will punish, if there ar e such things as God
24 and conscience" (Act IV, scene 2); Franz also comments later in the same scene that "our gouty, splenetic moralist of a conscience may chase wrinkled hags out of brothers and torture old usurers on their deathbed it will never get a hearing with me," showing that he believes himself to be capable of overstepping conscience in order to carry out his murderous plans. Although Raskolnikov actually goes through with the murder, it is precisely because he has a conscience that he fails to "successfully" carry out his plan and live with the murder. This is one of the most important aspects of the dilemma of ordinary and extraordinary men, and much of what this thesis seeks to explore. A conscience is a manifestation of morality and humanity. Unlike Franz, much of Svidrigailov's persona is explored later in the novel. The first time we meet Svidrigailov in the flesh, he appears in Raskolnikov's room as he is waking from a nightmare in which he revisits the scene of the crime only to commit th e murder again, though this time the old crone is not stirred by the blow of his axe, but rather laughs at him; every blow of his axe only makes her laugh louder. He wakes up and "strangely, it was as if the dream were still going on: his door was wide ope n, and a man completely unknown to him was standing on the threshold, studying him intently" (278). When Svidrigailov presents himself, Raskolnikov wonders if this can be "a continuation of [his] dream" (281). This surreal entrance not only gives Svidrigai lov a demonic aura, but also links him to Raskolnikov as an extension of his own self. Frank characterizes Svidrigailov as "someone who has accepted the thoroughgoing egoistic amorality" which Raskolnikov had been trying to incarnate. (Frank 129) Svidriga ilov, like Franz, comes from a wealthy background; he is a serf owner and a base, self willed man who has no qualms boasting about the atrocities he has committed He is depraved, cynical and sarcastic, but very calculating and cunning. When Raskolnikov co nfronts him about rumors that he hit his late wife Marfa Petrovna, he says: "Just think: I struck her only twice with a riding crop; there weren't even any marksPlease do not regard me as a cynic, I do
25 not know exactly how vile it was on my part, and so o n; but I also know perfectly well that Marfa Petrovna may even be glad of my, shall we say, enthusiasm" (283). Svidrigailov is suspected of having murdered his wife, and is also accused of abusing a young girl who committed suicide. He is portrayed as sedu ctive and sensual in regards to women, much like Franz, who repeatedly harasses Amalia and forces her to sleep with him (Svidrigailov also attempts to rape Dunya), calling her the plaything of [his] will" (Act II, scene 1); Franz gains pleasure from the fa ct that he has corrupted the virginal girl his brother loves. Both men attempt to buy the love of the women they want through elaborate plans; Svidrigailov intends to outdo Luzhin's offer, and Franz tries to take Amalia as part of his plan to dishonor Karl Svidrigailov is accused by Raskolnikov of coming to St. Petersburg to pursue women and indulge in depravity. Svidrigailov does not deny that he is indeed pursuing women, but refuses to ack nowledge that what he is doing i s depraved: "Call it depravity if you wish!..In this depravity there's at least something permanent, even based on nature, and not subject to fantasy, something that abides in the blood like a perpetually burning coalWouldn't you agree that it's an occupation of sorts?" (470). Most import antly, Svidrigailov shares Franz's views of morality and conscience. In a conversation with Raskolnikov, where he says he does not believe in an afterlife, Svidrigailov suggests the possibility of eternity being something "like a village bathhouse, covered with soot, with spiders in all the corners" (289), which he believes is a just vision of eternity, and certainly one that he accepts. This dark, banal view of the afterlife as just is similar to Franz's view; he, like Raskolnikov, believes in nothing afte r death, proclaiming: "man is born of filth, and wades a little while in filth, and makes filth, and rots away again in filth, till at the last he is no more than the muck that sticks to the soles of his great grandson's shoes. That's the end of the song" (Act IV, scene 2). There is a triteness and meaninglessness to Franz's vision that is expressed as justified as well.
26 Another thing that brings Raskolnikov, Karl, Franz, and Svidrigailov together is the idea of suicide. Although only Franz and Svidrigailo v kill themselves, all four characters entertain the thought at a certain moment. As Svidrigailov tells Sonya: "there are two ways open for Rodion Romanovich: a bullet in the head, or Siberia" (500). Indeed, Raskolnikov entertains suicidal thoughts through out the novel, first when he stands by the bridge and is interrupted by a woman who drowns herself. Though he quickly goes back home feeling apathetic, he deliberates on whether it is "a way out" or not, and decides he could end his life is he wanted to. M uch later in the novel, after he has his last conversation with Svidrigailov, hours before the latter shoots himself, Raskolnikov again contemplates suicide from a bridge. As Svidrigailov commits suicide, Raskolnikov spends the whole night out in the rain and decides to confess. Similarly, Karl entertains suicidal thoughts. In Act IV, scene 5, he plays a song about Caesar and his murderer, Brutus, meeting in hell after the latter commits suicide. Deep in thought, Karl deliberates between suicide and wantin g to satiate his "hunger for happiness": Why this ideal of unattained perfection? This looking to another world for what we have failed to achieve in this when one miserable touch of this miserable object (holding his pistol to his forehead) will make a wise man no better than fool a brave man no better than a rogue? There is such divine harmony in the world of inanimate nature, why such a discord in the world of reason? No! no! there is something more, for I have not yet known happiness. (Act IV, sce ne 5) In a rage, Karl says he does not fear the spirits of his slaughtered victims (although the stage directions say he is trembling), and quickly decides that "a man must not stumble," and, since he is his own heaven and hell, he must take it upon himse lf to end his own life as the ultimate act of freedom: "You can make of me nothing; of this freedom you cannot rob me" (Act IV, scene 5). However, when he asks himself the question: "And am I to die out of a fear of suffering? Am I to grant misery this vic tory over me? No! I will endure it! (throwing the pistol away) Let suffering yield before my pride! It shall be accomplished!" (Act IV, scene 5). Karl quickly decides that he exerts his freedom not through suicide, but by defying the despair that
27 lures h im into the very same thought. Interestingly, during one of Raskolnikov's exchanges with Porfiry, the latter alludes to the potential for Raskolnikov to commit suicide instead of confessing, though he admits he considers Raskolnikov "quite incapable of it" (462). Similarly, when Karl speaks to the priest in Act II, scene 3, the priest tries to convince him to repent for his crimes and turn himself in, and there is also an allusion to the idea of suicide as an expression of freedom and a way to escape fate. Franz's and Svidrigailov's suicides are closely related. By the first scene of Act V, Franz is beginning to lose his mind, consumed by the fear that his brother is coming for his revenge; he has a fever and is awaiting the pastor. As in Crime and Punishmen t dreams play an important role in The Robbers In a manic episode similar to the ones Raskolnikov suffers from, Franz begins to tell Daniel, his servant, about a dream he had in which, after a drunken feast, he is awoken by the sound of thunder only to r ealize it is Judgment Day and the world is up in flames. All sinners must cast their sins in a balance to be judged; when he casts his, the balance tips down to the pits of hell and God grants forgiveness to all sinners but him. After describing the grotes que nightmare, Franz asks Daniel why he is not laughing. He thinks he should be mocked, and that he is losing his mind for having such fantastic dreams. Daniel tells him that dreams come from God, and Franz begins a monologue in which he questions God's ex istence a s "the Avenger beyond the stars (283) He wonders if God does exist, and if he is just, then why do the innocent suffer? This is a theme Dostoevsky explores in more depth in The Brothers Karamazov but which is also alluded to in Crime and Punish ment. When the pastor arrives, Franz has convinced himself that there is no God, and that his belief will not be shaken. The pastor then wonders why Franz has sent for him, to which Franz replies that he did it out of boredom. This idea of boredom is als o expressed by Svidrigailov when he tells Raskolnikov about his intentions to seduce women. Raskolnikov thinks he is
28 depraved and tells him it is a disease, to which Svidrigailov replies that everything that goes beyond measure is a disease, but that it is mostly a subjective matter, and that even in the most vile actions, one must "maintain a c ertain measure and calculation," otherwise "one might perhaps have to shoot oneself," and that "a decent man is obliged to be bored, but even so" (471) This is iron ic, because when Raskolnikov asks him if he would shoot himself, he asks to change the subject and says he is afraid of death and does not like to talk about it, yet he commits suicide later in the novel. The idea of boredom as leading to questioning, or s uicide is present in both works, and it is important to note that this is not merely an emotional state, but rather one with an existential quality for both heroes, as they are bored and exhausted by life itself. Franz's "boredom" has also caused him to c ontemplate life, as he tells the pastor he is convinced there is no eternity and thus no comfort to place trust in. Once the body ceases to function, there is death and nothing else. He mocks immortality by saying that "if I have my seven palaces demolishe d, if I smash this Venus to pieces, then symmetry and beauty have ceased to exist. Look! There is your immortal soul for you!" (Act V, scene I). The fact that the most perfect beauty can be destroyed and that our physical bodies will rot upon dying, is pro of that death is the final frontier, and that there can be nothing to look forward to afterwards. The pastor challenges Franz by telling him that if he upholds this belief, then he should not fear death when it comes. He speaks of "wretches" he has seen, w ho like Franz, believed themselves to hold the truth, only to shiver at the sight of death. "I will stand by your bedside when you are dying I should so like to see a tyrant diethen beware, oh then beware, that you do not lo ok like a Nero or a Richard!" (Act V, scene 1). This is an allusion to Shakespeare's Richard III, who like Nero, saw the ghosts of his victims.
29 In Crime and Punishment and The Robbers the appearances of ghosts are very important, as they are revealing of inner fears and very often a form of punishment. Rask olnikov dreams of the old crone and Svidrigailov confesses to him that he is often visited by the ghost of Marfa Petrovna. Yet, the most tormenting visit comes to Svidrigailov in a dream he has the night before he shoots himself, w here he sees the girl for whose suicide he was allegedly responsible. As the city gets flooded, Svidrigailov tries to help a little girl who appears in his hotel room. As he puts her to bed, he realizes her face is that of depravity the face of a prostit ute who bursts into laughter. Svidrigailov wakes up agitated and horrified at thi s nightmare. This dream is similar to Franz's because it reveals an internal struggle, as both characters are being punished and tormented for their wrongdoings through their dreams. Svidrigailov's conscience punishes him through the images of his sins, and leads him to wake up the next morning and shoot himself in the head. As a self willed man, Svidrigailov took it upon himself to end his life after realizing that it was the only logical conclusion to a life of depravity, baseness, and indulgence. His amoral transgressions caught up with him, and unlike Raskolnikov, his only alternative was a bullet in the head. Dostoevsky expands on the Schillerian prototype of Franz through Svidrigailov to reinforce the idea that Nihilism, amorality, and cold logic are impractical and de structive ideologies. One cannot do wrong without being punished, by God through one's own conscience. Franz believes he can defy God because he does not bel ieve in eternity, but the moment he hears of the "fiery horsemen" (his brother and the band of robbers) coming for him, the apocalyptic vision drives him to fearful convulsions, and he clings desperately to the prayer he always rejected. He begs for forgiv eness, and says that he has been "no common murderer" who has never "stooped to trifles." Unable to cope and fearful of the band of robbers, he asks Daniel to
30 murder him, and when he refuses, Franz strangles himself with the golden cord from his hat as he envisions the robbers as snakes coming from the pit of hell to punish him. Franz's suicide is laden with religious imagery, and is focused on refuting a sort of proto Nihilism as a successful ideology. Svidrigailov's explores more deeply the problems with his amoral depravity; we do not see Svidrigailov haphazardly begging for mercy like Franz, rather, we see a calm and collected man who understands this is the only path he can follow. In general, what makes Svidrigailov such an interesting, rich character is that, unlike Franz, he is genuine and morally alert he is presented as a character that readers cannot help but sympathize with on some level. Svidrigailov performs certain acts of kindness; he leaves Sonya, as well as his fiance some money b efore he dies. Also, he seems legitimately to internalize guilt through his nightmare for all his wrongdoings. Franz, o n the other hand, has few redeeming qualities, and his grand finale is primarily pitiful, and not genuinely repenting. Fundamentally, the mal e characters in both works represent problematic ideologies. The problem with Schillerian idealism is exemplified through Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment as Dostoevsky's hero represents an extension of Karl who fails to fulfill his own beliefs, becaus e as Frank points out, it is impossible to "reconcile murder with morality (Frank 113) In doubting whether or not he was capable of committing the crime, Raskolnikov discarded the possibility of being an extraordinary man, because such a man has no doubt of his right to act on his own will, regardless of society's moral standards. A character like Karl Moor, who valiantly decides to turn himself in to a poor man who can claim the reward offered, may seem heroic, but is actually ideo logically inconsistent, considering he has murdered people. Dostoevsky develops the "skeletal" ideology of Karl and Franz into more flashed out, realistic characters like Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov, and exposes the great contradiction in Schiller's logic; the mere fact that Ra skolnikov and Svidrigailov coexist further exposes this contradiction.
31 In the Epilogue of Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov has a dream (very similar to Franz's) where he witnesses Judgment Day; this is a prophetic vision of a world where utopian socialis m and solipsistic nihilism run rampant and bring about chaos. Frank describes the plague of these ideologies in Raskolnikov's dream as resulting in "a moral amorality based on egoism and culminatin g in a form of self deification (Frank 146) Without a con science, there are no boundaries; nihilism and egotism combined with scientific rationality and a lack of belief in God make of inherently kind men like Raskolnikov and Karl, ruthless, cold blooded men like Svidrigailov and Franz. There is a good reason fo r why both of these characters commit suicide. There is only that one path for men like them. However, for Dostoevsky, with the embracing of God, and the recognition of a moral code (also rooted in the word of God), man can be saved. This is congruent with Frank's point that utilitarian reason cannot become the basis of morality over old fashioned bibl ical notions of good and evil (Frank 67) this is precisely what "befuddles" Raskolnikov. Frank also points out that in turning himself in, Karl "surrenders of his own free will to the higher majesty of God's law" (Frank 73) Karl also preaches an abstract concept of love of humanity that Dostoevsky censures by showing us that it is not possible to love "humanity" as an abstract mass, but rather that real love is deeply personal and individualized, because humanity is composed of concrete, individually embodied human beings. This notion of "agape" (Christian love) is very important to Dostoevsky, and it is only understood by the female characters in the novel. They represent and incarnate the "ideal ," and not merely the "idea" because they are moral beings, rooted in reality, rather than in some abstract, generalized concept of being.
33 C HAPTER IV Women as Carriers of True Moral Value in Crime and Pun ishment Crime and Punishment and The Robbers are works in which male characters outnumber the female characters. In The Robbers Amalia is the only female character in a male centered story. In Crime and Punishment there are a number of female characters but they still do not outnumber the men. Both of these works focus on the story of a man; in Crime and Punishment it is the story of a man who kills two women. Yet, although at first glance it is easy to dismiss these works as male centered, or as not fo cusing enough on the female characters, it would be a mistake to do so. Dostoevsky is especially effective at writing strong, positive female characters who, although may not be the "protagonists" of his works, have a profound effect on the male characters the plots, and the themes. Schillerian idealism in Crime and Punishment and the male characters' moral fabric have been discussed as central to the theme of the work, and to Dostoevsky's criticism of these idealistic and dangerous philosophies which he explored and re worked. In Crime and Punishment the female characters (especially Sonya) are the only ones who have a strong moral fabric; they are strong, resourceful, and become key influential forces which lead Raskolnikov to spiritual enlightenment. Examining Amalia's role in The Robbers will pave the way for better understanding of the roles of Dunya and Sonya in Crime and Punishment as more developed extensions of her. Although Amalia's role in The Robbers is not as developed as the female roles in Crime and Punishment which is partly due to the shorter form of dramas, she plays a crucial role in Karl's moral developmen t. Her unshakable love for Karl and her merciful nature make her the most morally developed character in the play. From the beginnin g of the play, Amalia senses Franz's conniving plans, unlike the Old Moor, who is gullible and easily emotionally manipulated. Amalia rejects Franz's advances, proving herself loyal, even when her chances of seeing Karl
34 again seem minimal; she is strong an d brave, speaking directly and sincerely to Franz, and is not easily moved by his elaborate acting. She constantly encourages the Old Moor and Franz to show pity toward Karl, regardless of what his situation is: "Oh, merciful, loving father, who will cast his son to the wolves and the wild beasts! While he at home is refreshed wish sweet, precious wine, and cossets his feeble li mbs in pillows of eiderdown, whi le his great and glorious son may perish! shame on you, inhuman creatures!" (Act I, scene 3, 204). In Act II, scene 2, Amalia is staring at the Old Moor, her father figure, as if he were a sleeping child and says: "How handsome, how venerable! venerable like the portrait of a saint no, I cannot be angry with you! Dear white head, with you I cannot b e angry! Rest asleep, wake joyfully I alone will go my way in suffering. (italics added) (214) Here we see Amalia's compassion and willingness to take suffering over Karl upon herself. She also forgives the Old Moor for disowning Karl and provides the emotional support he needs in his feeble state. When false rumors of Karl's death reach them, the Old Moor refers to Amalia as a "messenger of heaven" who has come to "free [his] soul" (Act II, scene 2). Amalia also makes numerous religious references thro ughout the play, showing that she has a close relationship with God, and that her faith in His goodness is strong. Like Sonya's devotional love for Raskolnikov (she suffers with him through Siberia), Amalia's love for Karl is so strong that she wishes to d ie to be with him once again. In a scene similar to that in which Raskolnikov asks Sonya to read him the Biblical passage about the r aising of Lazarus the Old Moor asks Amalia to read him the story of Jacob and Joseph, where a father is deceived about his son's death In Act III, scene 1, Amalia defies Franz's threats to send her to a convent if she refuses to become his slave; she slaps him, and even threatens him with his own sword. She is unafraid and always true to her convictions. In her last moments on stage, although Amalia's fears about Karl are confirmed, she still says: "Murderer! Devil! Angel I cannot leave you" (Act V, scene 2, 293), as she weeps for him while Karl is in disbelief.
35 Amalia's death scene is very powerful and tragic: when she re alizes Karl must choose between her and the robbers he made an oath to she wishes for death, and convinces Karl to kill her. It is common to see sacrificial female characters in German bourgeois dramas, but Amalia's death is not merely a conventional plot device characteristic of the genre to clear the way for the heroic male protagonists. Instead, it has a deep spiritual significance in the play. Amalia's death immediately propels Karl into despair and disgust. He says he has "killed an angel ," delivers a monologue of repentance, and walks off to finally turn himself in. Though Amalia's lines in the play are rather brief, it is evident that she is a positive, caring, and sacrificial character who is willing to suffer in the place of or alongside others; she has faith in God and believes in people's goodness. These positive features are i nherited by Dostoevsky's "saving females," Sonya and Dunya, who undergo a much deeper character development in Dostoevsky's novel tragedy. Dunya is a character who shows a strong moral fabric, and genuine love and care for those who surround her. In the letter Pulcheria sends her son, Raskolnikov, she confesses that Dunya has been "suffering much from the rudeness in Mr. and Mrs. Svidrigailov's house" (31), where she is a s ervant. She had taken money in advance just so she could send some to Raskolnikov. Both mother and daughter see him as their only hope and wish for him to continue his university education, this is why Dunya endures the suffering, and Pulcheria makes arran gements for her to marry Luzhin. Dunya is described by her mother as a "firm, reasonable, patient, and magnanimous girl" (35), who is also noble, "like an angel"; she loves Raskolnikov "more than herself" (39), and is obviously willing to sacrifice her hap piness for his sake. Like Amalia, Dunya is referred to as an angel by others. However, these allusions are not just compliments the word "angel" truly stands for a spiritual, deeper idealist, it evokes Biblical images of angels, radiating with light in a ll their beauty as messengers from God.
36 Raskolnikov knows his sister has "endured much" but he refers to her and Pulcheria as "Schilleresque souls" (42), idealists who may wave away a truth they know in hopes for the best. The truth in this case would be t he fact that Luzhin is a stingy, condescending man who, according to Raskolnikov "shares the convictions of our newest generations" (40) referring to the nihilist radicalism that is criticized througho ut the novel. However, although Raskolnikov uses the term "Schilleresque souls cynically to mock his mother and sister to Dostoevsky they are idealists in the best sense of the word, as they possess lofty moral ideals which they will not give up. Raskolnikov tells Dunya that he does not accept her sacrifi ce because he knows how terrible Luzhin is, and does not want his sister to marry him. One of the catalysts for the murder Raskolnikov commits is Dunya's sacrifice it makes Raskolnikov feel powerless, and angrier at his financial situation, since he is b asically being supported by others, but most of all it disturbs him to have to see his sister sell herself. It is interesting that Razumikhin, the voice of reason and Raskolnikov's loyal, good friend falls deeply in love with Dunya. As one of the few male char acters with good moral fabric, he is a good judge of character and his love for Dunya is an acknowledgement of her moral and spiritual virtues. When Svidri gailov and Raskolnikov meet at the tavern "The Crystal Palace" in Part VI, chapter 3, Svidrigai lov shares some personal stories, and talks about Dunya because he knows that is what draws Raskolnikov's attention. He tells Raskolnikov: You know, from the very beginning I've always felt sorry that fate did not grant your sister to be born in the secon d or third century of our era, as the daughter of some princeling or some sort of rule, or a proconsul in Asia Minor. She would undoubtedly have been among those who suffered martyrdom, and would have smiled, of course, while her breast was burned with red hot iron tongs. She would have chosen it on purpose, and in the fourth or fifth century, she would have gone to the Egyptian desert and lived there for thirty years, feeding on roots, ecstasies, and visions, she's thirsting for
37 just that, and demands to e ndure some torment for someone without delay, and if she doesn't get this torment, she may perhaps jump out the window. (475) Svidrigailov's comment is quite cynical, but he is correct in acknowledging Dunya's essentially sacrificial nature. Svidrigailov makes it out to be some sort of empty, p erhaps even rebellious act. A lthough it is true that Dunya is haughty and her sacrifice is slightly theatrical and emphatically heroic, it is not some sort of bullet point on a list that she must chec k off it comes from her heart. S he knows that as the only young woman in her family, she has monetary value, and she can use that to help her brother study so that he may then become the provider of the family. Joseph Frank suggests that part of this haughtiness in Dun ya comes from the fact that she will not admit that she is sacrificing herself out of charity (Frank 123). Of course, Svidrigailov, cynical as he is, has also been rejected by Dunya, so his characterization is colored by resentment When Dunya and Svidriga ilov meet in Part VI, chapter 5, he offers her to "save" Raskolnikov from his crime if she accepts Svidrigailov's sexual advances. Dunya defiantly fights back with a revolver, but misses her shots. When she realizes Svidrigailov would ra ther die than let her go" (496) she sacrificially accepts what is to come. Dunya's agency in defending herself and talking back to Svidrigailov is a sign of her active role. Her shunning of Svidrigailov is very similar to Amalia's brave shunning of Franz, who also wants to take her by force. Like Amalia Dunya is a victim of the patriarchal structures that threaten women through psychological and sexual manipulation. They are both used and abused by men with more power than them. Yet, Amalia and Dunya show unlikely agency i n defending themselves and withstanding their sufferings. When Raskolnikov confesses that he backed away from committing suicide, Dunya replies: "So you still believe in life thank God, thank God!" ( 517), but she also reminds him that he is ready to go and suffer!" (517) because it will "[wash] away half [his] crime," (518). Raskolnikov justifies himself by saying he only killed "a vile, pernicious louse who was of no use
38 to anyone" (518) he does not believe his crime will be washed away. Dunya despa iringly tells him that he shed blood, which he continues to justify, but eventually just asks his sister for her forgiveness. Dunya brings Raskolnikov closer to the realization that ultimately he is responsible for his crimes regardless of his justificatio ns. Amalia fulfills this same role by making Karl more lucid about his responsibility for his countless murders. While Raskolnikov is in Siberia, Dunya marries Razumikhin, a good man who truly loves her for who she is. The bond between these characters be comes very strong by the end of the novel. I have outlined a sort of map of Dunya's moral fabric, as a devoted sister, daughter, fri end, and woman. T he next s ection is dedicated to Sonya's role as a moral agent taking on the greatest and most humble of sac rifices. Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov 7 or Sonya, is introduced alongside Katerina Ivanovna (her step mother ) when Raskolnikov speaks to her father, Marmeladov for the first time. She is an eighteen year old who received little education, and was forced to sell her body in order to help her famil y. She rents an apartment alone and takes the rest of her salary home to her siblings, step mother and father. Marmeladov is deeply saddened that she has to prostitute herself while he wastes the little money she g ives him on alcohol. Sonya, like Amalia and Dunya, is also described as an angel by her father, and though Marmeladov recognizes that she is sinning by being a prostitute, he is convinced that God will come and ask: W here is the daughter who gave herself for a wicked and consumptive step mother for a stranger's little children? Where is the daughter who pitied her earthly father, a foul drunkard, not shrinking from his beastliness?' And He will say, Come! I have already forgiven you once...And now, too, your many sins are fo rgiven, for you have loved much (23) 7 An allusion to the Divine Sophia. Sophia is the Holy Wisdom of God. Associated with humility and the wisdom of the heart, this is the quality that grants one salvation in the East ern Christian tradition. In Dostoevsky's time, Sophia was associated with the feminine aspect of God in Russian popular religiosity.
39 He is sure that Sonya's sins will be forgiven due to her loving, sacrificial nature. Although she knows her father will always spend the money she gives him on alcohol, she still gives it to him without reproach something that brings Marmeladov to tears, and he sees as a heavenly act. O n his deathbed, he sees her in her prostitute's clothes for the first time, and "recognize[s] her humiliated, crushed, bedizened, and ashamed, humbly waiting he r turn to take leave of her dying father" (185). His last words are asking for her forgiveness, and he dies in Sonya's arms; this is the case with her own step mother as well, as Sonya is a constant source of comfort and love for many of the characters in the book. In Part III, chapter 4, Sonya visits Raskolnikov to invite him to her father's funeral and memorial banquet. She encounters Dunya and Pulcheria in the room with him and becomes very timid, especially since she is in her prostitute's clothes; she does not even feel worthy of sitting next to them, but Raskolnikov treats her as an equal, and even presents her to his mother and sister by her full name (a sign of respect). These gestures of respect are mirrored by Dunya, who respectfully bows to Sonya At this point, the narrator describes Sonya as "almost like a little girl, much younger than her age, almost quite a child" (238). In Dostoevsky 's works, children are often seen as the pure image of Christ, so it is no coincidence that Sonya would be des cribed in such a way. After this initial meeting, it is important to note that Sonya and Dunya become great friends as they suffer together with Raskolnikov. Their similar ideologies unite them to help him reach redemption. It is also important to point ou t that Sonya's humility comes through in her composure and "strength under fire even when she is accused by Luzhin of stealing money at the memorial banquet. Her step mother say s in her defense that Sonya would "strip off her last dress and sell it, and go barefoot, and give everything to [Luzhin] is [he] needed it that's how she is!" (396).
40 On his first visit to Sonya in Part IV, chapter 4, Raskolnikov supposedly comes to see her for the last time, but stays to speak with her for a while. At this point Sonya expresses her love for her step mother, Katerina Ivanovna. While Raskolnikov is very critical of Katerina Ivanovna Sonya understands that "she is just like a child" (317) who has los t her mind from grief. Katerina Ivanovna can seem like a difficult character to sympathize with because of her extreme irritability and her constant beating of her chi ldren and condoning of Sonya's prostitution, but Sonya understands that Katerina's i llness and her suffering in hav e caused her to act erratically. S he kno ws that Katerina has a good heart so she does not judge her The narrator even describes her at this point as having "some sort of insatiable compassionin all the features of her face" (318). During this first visit, Raskolnikov is extremely cynical, moc king, and not very empathetic towards Sonya's situation; he questions how much of her money she saves and coldly brings up Katerina Ivanovna's impending death, assuming that Polechka (Sonya's little sister) would end up just like her. To all this Sonya rep lies that "God won't let it happen" (321), and Raskolnikov tries to break her hope by suggesting that maybe there is no God. Sonya is horrified, and thinks he is losing his mind. Eventually, Raskolnikov kisses her foot, which shows that he understands the potential Sonya has to heal him. He tells her that he was not bowing to her, but "to all human suffering" (322), which is really just what Sonya represents in this novel. She goes through incredible suffering, but remains a loving woman who still believes in God's mercy. Sonya says she is a terrible sinner, and Raskolnikov agrees, but says she is only a sinner because she destroyed herself and betrayed herself in vain. He asks: "How such a shame and baseness can be combined in you beside other opposite and holy feelings? It would be more just, and a thousand times more reasonable, to jump headfirst into the water and end it at once!" (322). Here, Raskolnikov is projecting his own duality on Sonya, for he feels just this way as well (of course, they are also foils of each other) he cannot reconcile his murderous, egotistical side,
41 with his kindhearted, loving side, and he is disturbed by seeing himself in Sonya. However, it is important to note that in no way can Sonya's "sin" be compared to Raskolnikov's her "baseness" is not as morally deplorable as his, but this is not apparent to Raskolnikov. The reason why Sonya cannot go through with a suicide, though, we are told, it had at some point crossed her mind, is because she has her siblings and Katerina Iv anovna to live for, and it would be selfish to abandon them. Raskolnikov realizes that "all this shame obviously touched her only mechanically; no true depravity, not even a drop of it, had yet penetrated her heart" (323). Raskolnikov cannot comprehend how it is possible for someone like Sonya to talk as she does so hopefully. Sonya's strong faith is fully revealed at this moment, when she says: "And what would I be without God?" (323). Raskolnikov responds by asking what God has done for her, again tryin g to test her faith. Sonya thinks this question should not even be asked, that he is not even worthy, and that God does every thing. Raskolnikov calls her a Holy F ool 8 and ask s her to read him the raising of Lazarus, in the fourth Gospel of the Bible. Thi s is a very iconic scene from Crime and Punishment for many reasons. Firstly, the story Sonya is reading is that of a man who dies and is resurrected by Jesus, because of his strong faith; this is a symbolic reference to Raskolnikov's position: he is a fal len man, who wishes to be resurrected, but needs to believe first. Sonya is the path to his resurrection later in the Epilogue. She reads him the word of God and never questions her faith, even when Raskolnikov tests her. The narrator tells us that "the ca ndle end had long been burning out in the bent candlestick, casting a dim light in this destitute room upon the murderer and the harlot strangely come 8 In Eastern Orthodox asceticism a "yurodivi ", or Holy Fool, refers to one who deliberately and provocatively acts foolish ly in order to conceal perfection and avoid praise. However, this individual is perceived as saintly by the righteous people, but bizarre and mad to the sinners The Holy Fool imitates Christ by seeking humiliation and physical suffering. For more informat ion on holy fools see : Harriet Murav's Holy Foolishness : Dostoevsky's Novels and the Poetics of Cultural Critique Sergey A. Ivanov and Simon Franklin 's Holy Fools in Byzantium an d Beyond and John Saward's Perfect Fools: Folly for Christ's Sake in Catholi c and Orthodox Spirituality
42 together over the reading of the eternal book" (328). Frank points out that Dostoevsky uses the Church Sl avonic word for harlot ( bludnitsa ) to asso ciate Sonya with Mary Magdalene (Frank 131) The use of one candle illuminating the very dark, destitute room is a symbol of hope, even for the sinners, and it also refers back to the use of light in Dostoevsky's n ovel tragedy as a way to reveal a truth. Raskolnikov soon pays a second visit to Sonya, resolving to finally confess, but instead asks her who she would choose to die, if she had the power to do so, Katerina Ivanovna or Luzhin. Here, we get more insight o n Sonya's morality, as she answers: "Why do you ask what cannot be?" (408) Raskolnikov's questions to Sonya hint at his own insecurities and need to justify his ideologically motivated murder, but Sonya's answers only debunk his amoral thoughts. Sonya te lls him that it is not for humans to decide who gets to live or die, and she feels tormented by his suggestions. At this point, Raskolnikov is seeking Sonya's forgiveness, because he knows she is one of the few people who will never judge him, and will alw ays accept him, even as a murderer. Howeve r, like Svidrigailov, Sonya is p uzzled by the "Schiller" in Raskolnikov. She cannot comprehend how someone who could give away his last penny to help her with her father's funeral, can also kill in order to suppo sedly rob. This propels Raskolnikov to confess that he killed "a principle" out of his selfish need to prove himself an extraordinary man by murdering a good for nothing louse". As he comes to an understanding that "extraordinary" men would never question their right to act out their beliefs, Sonya tells Raskolnikov that he must kiss the earth, confess out loud that he has killed, and to "accept suffering and redeem [himself] by it." (420) Although he is hesitant because he believes he can continue to live without confessing, Sonya helps him move towards a rebirth, and he sees her as his "only hope and his only way out." (422) This is the moment when Sonya offe rs him her cypress cross (Jesus Christs' cross is said to
43 have been made from cypress), so they ca n exchange crosses as she wears a brass cross that belonged to Lizaveta. This exchange symbolically identifies Rakolnikov with his emphatically innocent victim. As in an iconic scene in The Idiot the exchanging of the crosses also represents an exchanging of suffering. Sonya knows she will now suffer with Raskolnikov, and he with her, through his punishment (hard labor in Siberia), so the crosses represent Christ's own suffering through the Calvary and crucifixion. Raskolnikov does not wear the cross just yet (he knows he has yet to truly confess), but rather he will wait until he goes to his suffering. Each visit, Sonya helps Raskolnikov come closer to his confession and punishment. Her strong faith disproves his rationalized, egotistical justifications f or murder. What Dostoevsky is telling us is that the moral laws rooted in Holy Scripture are truly moral, because man without God is nothing, thus in accepting God, one must accept t he moral laws dictated through His W ord. Killing is wrong, period. No inte llectual, utilitarian, nihilistic, Schillerian justification can ever change that. Sonya is the angel, the messenger, and the stronge st moral agent who illuminates, in every sense of the word, Raskolnikov's path to salvation, which involves embracing suffe ring that comes with sin in order to be purified and resurrected. Raskolnikov visits Sonya one last time, finally resolving to confess his crime and kiss the earth. At this point, Dunya and Sonya also discuss Raskolnikov's future, and the narrator explain s how close they had become to each other; Dunya looks at Sonya "with a certain reverence" (521), and Sonya feels unworthy at the sight of Dunya, but "the beautiful image of Dunya as she had bowed to her with such attention and respect at the time of their first meeting at Raskolnikov's, had since remained forever in her soul as one of the most beautiful, unattainable visions of her life" (521). In the meantime Svidrigailov, who has plans of his own to commit suicide, pays a visit to Sonya as well. Before shooting himself, he informs Sonya that her sisters and brother will be
44 provided for with money that he has left them. Sonya is so humble that she refuses Svidrigailov's money, but he insists that she and Raskolnikov will need it in Siberia. Sonya's humil ity and selflessness shines through once again as she refuses money that would greatly alleviate some of her problems. In Part VI, chapter 8, Raskolnikov pays his last visit to Sonya's home she had been waiting for him alongside Dunya in terrible anxie ty. The narrator only tells us that "we shall not relate the details of the conversation and the tears of the two women, or how close they became to each other" (521), but we know that Dunya finds much consolation in the fact that Sonya will be going to Si beria with Raskolnikov. In the meantime, Sonya worries that Raskolnikov may commit suicide, since, as Svidrigailov said, it would be his only other option unless he opted for Siberia. Raskolnikov appears and is ready to exchange crosses; Sonya crosses him and then herself. Although Raskolnikov still seems to see this confession as somethi ng he is doing to appease Sonya and still does not comprehend why she would cry for him, he realizes that he had isolated himself from humanity so much that he simply longe d "to look at a human being" in Sonya. (524) He does as Sonya asked, and kisses the earth on the Haymarket, where people think he is a drunka rd, but he endures the ridicule as S onya watches hidden in a wooden stall in the market square. The novel ends in Raskolnikov's confession at the police station, but the Epilogue tells us of Raskolnikov's time in Siberia. A discussion of the Epilogue would probably require anothe r, separate and lengthy article. For the purposes of this analysis, it suffices to say th at Sonya's role as a savior is capitalized in it. While in Siberia, Raskolnikov continues to rationalize his wrongdoing. The other prisoners show disdain for him and ostracize him while they praise Sonya, calling her "little mother ." In a sickness that las ts through the end of Lent an d Holy Week, Raskolnikov has a
45 prophetic, apocalyptic nightmare 9 where he s ees his nihilistic ideas propagate like the black plague. As Sonya recovers from a sickness as well, they come together and at this moment Raskolnikov weeps at her knee s his spiritual conversion has come: They were resurrected by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other. They resolved to wait and endure. They still had seven years more, and until then so much unb earable suffering and so much infinite happiness! But he was rise and he knew it, he felt it fully with the whole of his renewed being, and she she lived just by his life alone! (550) This is perhaps as revealing as it is controversial; "unbearable suffe ring" and "infinite happiness" do not seem to be compatible. Even though Dostoevsky suggests in this novel that suffering is the path to salvation, can it be equated with infinite happiness? This is one of the biggest problems critics and readers alike hav e with the Epilogue. Although this theme of suffering as salvation is a common one in Dostoevsky's novels, in The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov this theme reemerges and is looked at more critically, as it is possible for too much suffering to kill a mo ral being within us. This argument is reserved for another study reminiscent of the last lines of Crime and Punishment "it might make the subject of a new story but our present story is ended" (551). Sonya's role in Raskolnikov's entire rehabilitation is undeniably as import ant as his own thoughts. Often literary criticism focuses on Ra skolnikov's mind and his crime. I n fact, in my own experience, contemporary readers talk about the novel as if it were simply a story about a crime that is committed by a madman and the punishment that follows it, but few recognize Sonya's role in the process. Even the back cover of the Pevear and Volokhonsky edition summarizes the book as "a game of cat and mouse" between Raskolnikov and Porfiry Petrovich, the mastermind detective, but while this may superficially be the case, Sonya must be recognized as an indelible part of Raskolnikov, and one of the major voices of morality which disproves 9 For a discussion of the nightmare, see Chapter III of this study.
46 Raskolnikov's flawed ideology. She exemplifies the important notion of agape, or Christian love the kind that tells us to love humanity, but not as an abstract mass (the way Schiller perhaps proposed through Karl Moor), but rather as a whole made up of individuals, each to be loved in their own sins. The female characters in this no vel are endowed with great characteristics like strength, compassion, love, faithfulness, and acceptance; Dostoevsky's female characters are very strong. Though he is not necessarily referred to as a feminist, Dostoevsky should be read as a great feminist, for gifting the world with such strong, positive female characters who have a voice and a place during a time when it was not customary to do so. Schiller's first play was a prototype for many ideas that proliferated later not only in German culture, but also in other countries, like Russia. Although Amalia plays a small role in The Robbers assessing her character in contrast with Karl's brings to light an interesting observation on the nature of morality and the role of religion in its formation which i s expanded in Dostoevsky. Characters like Amalia and Sonya play a role as essential as those of Karl and Raskolnikov because they represent the solution to their problematic ideas. Referring back to Ivanov's novel tragedy, catharsis is the culmination of t he tragedy and the purifying agent that is needed. Without these female characters, catharsis would have been impossible in both works. Amalia's role can be easily overlooked as a natural theme characteristic of the genre, where female characters are often expendable, demonized, or led to suicide because their virtue has been tainted, but it is precisely these bleak roles that should be scrutinized in the bourgeois tragedy, especially since it is a genre that is suppos ed to represent the ordinary citizen al ong with the family values that would represent the German Nation through the public sphere. It is difficult to say whether Amalia's more subtle role of savior was an intentional move by Schiller or just a product of our retrospective, contemporary analysi s but it can be said that Dostoevsky wrote Sonya with this very specific purpose in mind. The latter
47 rethinks the role of female characters in Schiller and develops them into three dimensional beings, both intellectually and morally equal to their male co unterparts, and in most cases, spiritually superior to them 10 The larger implications of this work is simply to more carefully observe female characters in a literary history that has been male dominated for centuries, and to give these female characters more credit and a stronger voice than is sometimes attributed to them. 10 For more feminist analysis of Dostoevsky's female characters, consult Nina Pelikan Straus' Dostoevsky and The Woman Question and Jane Katherine Briggs' How Dostoevsky Portrays Women in His Novels: A Feminist Analysis.
48 CONCLUSION Dostoevsky's reworking and critiquing of Schillerian idealism in his works has a profound effect in the way one might approach his works. Schiller's pro totype of an idealist "extraordinary man" like Karl Moor, whose morality is based on rationality and a love for humanity as an abstract mass paved the way for Dostoevsky's Rasko lnikov, who takes these beliefs to the limit and unveils the logical contradict ion and the problematic aspect of constructing a morality on these principles. In his attempts to prove himself a great man, Raskolnikov fails and hurts himself and others in the process. It is not possible to divide humanity into a hierarchical dichotomy of "ordinary" and "extraordinary" members while at t he same time claim to aspire to justice. True justice and morality are born of a love for humanity that is unassuming and individualized, because every single person is part of the greater whole. Female c haracters like Amalia, Sonya, and Dunya understand this concept and embody true morality. Without their sacrificial and non judgmental love, neither Karl nor Raskolnikov could have achieved "redemption ." The rational, man centered idea of morality held by the male characters in both works, clashes with the biblically based views of the female characters, who Dostoevsky sympathizes with and creates in order to critique the radical, Utilitarian Socialists of his time who discredited religion and placed man at the center of moral structures. Despite the difference in time and genre of these works, they can be compared and contrasted in many interesting and enriching ways. Crime and Punishment becomes much easier to read after having understood the Schillerian themes that make up its structure. It is important to note that m uch of this analysis has focused on dialogue, primarily due to the nature of Schiller's drama but a lot of what makes Crime and Punishment such a great novel also lies in its exquisite narr ation and chronology. Nonetheless, very specific, and interesting comparisons have been made between these two works, especially on the topic of women as saviors. It is common to
49 think of The Robbers and Crime and Punishment and think of the "heroes" of th e story, Karl and Raskolnikov, but so much of what makes these works powerful is contingent on the female characters, the "sheroes ," that it important to recognize their agency, moral maturity, and crucial role in the development of the males. The female characters bring catharsis to the tragedies that unfold. As Ivanov noted, Dostoevskys works are analogous with the classical form of Greek tragedies. This is what bridges Schiller's bourgeois drama with Crime and Punishment's novel form. Also, Schiller's depiction of the emerging bourgeois class in a divided "German" nation which sought to create a unifying identity can be compared to Dostoevsky's depiction of the political and social climate in Russia during his time. However, these works are not merely anchored in a time and place in history; they are still read and studied today because they speak to the ethereal, dual and inquisitive nature of the human race. These works provide suggestions and considerations to different approaches to the impending qu estion s of morality human freedom, and the role of God in humanity's quest for a better future.
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