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FREE Barron's Booknotes-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free
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CHAPTER 3

The physical and emotional collapse that Raskolnikov suffers in the next few days-a nervous breakdown we would call it today-makes him totally dependent on others. The chief architect of his recovery is Razumikhin, the person to whom he had turned in his wretched reaction to the murders.

Razumikhin has taken charge: it is a role he will maintain for Raskolnikov's family for the rest of the story. He has brought a doctor, cajoled the landlady, and got necessary information from the police to retrieve the damaging IOU. With the money Raskolnikov's mother sends, he buys the young man an entirely new wardrobe.


As Raskolnikov begins to realize how many people have been around and how sick he's been, he grows desperate to know if, in his delirium, he has revealed his guilty secret. He may be part of society again as far as other people are concerned, but still considers himself separate. And he knows how important it is to keep his secret. This tension even keeps him from enjoying Razumikhin's rather infectious humor. He longs to be alone, even to run away to America (a place Dostoevsky uses frequently in his fiction as a goal for all sorts of disreputable people!).

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FREE Barron's Booknotes-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free
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