Crime and Punishment
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Crime and Punishment Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more. This week’s episode is Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Crime and Punishment (1866) | Written by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky |
Published by: The Russian Messenger
Crime and Punishment
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
What it do blood? Welcome to Thug Notes, yo main hookup for classical literature summary and analysis. This here yo boy Sparky Sweets, PHD. This week we keepin it real with Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. C&P is the story of one of the baddest white boys in western literature, mah boy Roskalnikov, or “Rodya,” as he like to be called. Now Rodya be livin a broke ass student in the hood of St. Petersburg. One day he rolls up to the house of some ol’ crusty pawnbroker hag to slang some of his bling for that rent money. After this ho does my boy straight dirty, he goes to the local pub where he overhears some other hustlas talkin mess about this old hag- how she abuses her sister Lizaveta and hordes mad cash.
Man, it sure would be cold and righteous if some badass mutha just went up and glocked that bitch. Do society a favor, and give her money to the po’. Naw mean? So Rodya steps up. Grabs his self an axe. Rolls up to the pawnbroker’s crib and BAM, he straight mercs that bitch like a cold blooded gangsta. Just when he bout to bounce, her sister rolls in. Now my honky be knowin you can’t be leavin no witnesses. Pop! Pop! That bitch goes down and Rodya bails before the po-lice arrive.
Days pass and mah boy Rodya tries to shake the funk of murdering someone. News comes that a detective by the name of Porfiry Petrovich wanna holla at our boy. Oh snap! So as our homie arrives at the police station, Rodya thinks about crackin down and confessing like a little bitch. Man just play it cool brutha!As soon as Porfiry meets Rodya, he whips out the big guns and recalls an article that Rodya wrote called “On Crime” in which Rodya theorizes that some playas be baller enough to kill for the sake of the common good. ‘Das right. Some ballas be thuggin so righteous that they have the right to ice a homie. But Rodya doesn’t fall for the trap and shakes off that player hater.
Still tortured by his whack-ass deed, Rodya seeks solace in the arms of some nasty trick named Sonya. Feelin all guilty, Rodya asks Sonya to read him the story of Lazarus. Next day, Rodya pays a visit to the fuzz. Porfiry Petrovich lays down the gauntlet and says “Rodya, stop frontin, I know it was you that killed these bitches.” Just when he bout to give in to the guilt and confess, some cracked out fool named Nikolai busts in and confesses to the murder. Porfiry don’t buy it but lets Rodya off the hook. Woo! That was close!Now that some other poor bastard is takin the fall for the murder, Rodya be buggin out hard core. So he goes back to that ho Sonya and admits that he is the murderer.
Sonya gets all crunk and tells him that he gotta turn his self in to the po-po in order for God to forgive him.So Rodya goes to the middle of the market and kisses the ground to beg god for forgiveness. Then he confesses to Porfiry and is pinched by the 5-O. Only the hard labor of prison life in Siberia can give our boy Rodya salvation.Whoa we ain’t finished yet, playa! If you wanna roll with da big dawgs, gots to do da damn thang and stick around for da critical analysis section.Now if yo bitch ass be paying attention, you mighta noticed that Rodya’s article “On Crime” sounds a lot like Nietzche’s writings on the Ubermensch in “Thus Spake Zarathrusta.” You might even say that Dostoevsky’s conclusion that one must embrace suffering to achieve redemption in the eyes of God is a big “fu** you” to Nietzche’s postmodern nihilism. Ya hear me?
Peep this motif, son: the recurring disjoint between contemplation and experience. At first, My dawg Rodya thinks he knows what’s up just cuz it sound all good and righteous in his head. Turns out this fool is just some punk ass poser that don’t actually know nuthin until he actually lives it. For example, homeboy think he can ghost a bitch and not trip. But, on the real, actually killin a bitch is too much for this pimpjuice to bear. Homie can’t be accepting Jesus just by thinking about it.
Naw, you gotta straight up suffer like Christ did in the bible. Preach!Yo this is real talk right here: the Christian symbolism is underlined by the pagan symbols of the earth. When dat ho Sonya tells Rodya to confess, she tells him to kiss the ground- acknowledging the earth as the baby mama of all men.
It’s like this stunna is making the transition from a cold, hard ass rationalist in to an red blooded human being. Ya heard?Some scholarly gangsta by the name of Berdyaev once said that “The case of Rodya illustrates the crisis of humanism, what its morality leads to, the suicide of man by self affirmation.” Now I haven’t the slightest clue what the hell that means, but what I think this baby dick mutha be trying to say is that if you be thinkin you special, that you above the law, then you sure as hell got another thing coming. And when yo thug ass hits rock bottom, you’ll be able to truly understand religious morality homie.
You also best be lookin out for Dostoevsky’s use of duality up in this heezy. First off, Roskalnikov’s name straight up means “schism,” which in basic english means divide. Now what this means is that my boy Rodya be playin both sides of the court in a whole bunch of ways throughout the book: sensibility and intelligence, self-sacrifice and self assertion, God-man and man-God, good and evil. I could go on, playa!Look, If you ain’t read this sh**, you best get yo ass to the library and get yoself a copy.
Thanks for tuning in to Thug Notes, blood. See you next week.