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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free Booknotes
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PART II, CHAPTER 2

Summary

Raskolnikov wonders whether his room has already been searched by the police. He rushes into his room, but finds that everything is in order. He realizes that the hiding place behind the wallpaper is not good enough and removes the pledges. These include two pairs of earrings, four Morocco cases, and a chain. He stuffs these into his pockets, along with a purse he had taken from Alena Ivanovna's body after the murder.

He leaves the house intending to throw the pledges and the purse into the canal. However, he changes his mind and instead buries the evidence in a deserted yard under a huge block of stone. He is filled with gladness at this deed.

He discovers that he has reached Razumihin's house. Razumihin is surprised to see Raskolnikov and notices that he is ill. Raskolnikov acts strangely and expresses a desire to leave soon after he has arrived. Razumihin feels insulted and demands that Raskolnikov stay for a while. He gives Raskolnikov an article in German to translate, along with a three-ruble advance. Razumihin demands to know where Raskolnikov is staying, but Raskolnikov walks out without saying a ward.

Raskolnikov walks on Nikolayevsky Bridge and is struck by a coachman for disregarding the coachman's warnings. While standing at the parapet of the bridge, Raskolnikov is mistaken for a beggar by an elderly person who gives him a 20-kopeck coin. He reaches home after some six hours of wandering. As he lies in bed, he dreams that his landlady is being beaten up by the police. He is woken up by Nastasya who brings him a mug of cold water to drink. After taking a sip, Raskolnikov loses consciousness.

Notes

Raskolnikov's failure to assess the value of the goods he had stolen stands him in good stead. Later (in the epilogue) when the jury convicts him for his crime, they consider that he was not of sound mind, and therefore, failed to take advantage of the stolen property. Raskolnikov feels the need to hide the pledges and the purse because they are pieces of evidence. Once these are buried under the stone, there is no solid evidence to prove that he is the culprit, nor are there any witnesses who saw him at the scene of the crime. He therefore feels a sense of relief after burying the stolen goods.


Raskolnikov then wanders aimlessly. Svidrigailov describes Raskolnikov's walk: he tells how Raskolnikov started out of his house with his head held high, but soon it began to droop. Raskolnikov is oblivious to the occurrences around him. He often talks to himself on these walks. The wandering condition of his mind is evident in the manner in which he calls on his friend, Razumihin. He wishes to leave soon after he has arrived, which is almost an insult to Razumihin.

Razumihin is a true friend, who from the first time the reader sees him, is always willing to help Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov has need of company, and so he finds himself at Razumihin's house. However, when he is with Razumihin, he wants to leave him and does not even thank him for giving him work (the article to translate). One can attribute such behavior to Raskolnikov's temporary insanity or to his ungratefulness. It also demonstrates that no matter how Raskolnikov may see himself, he is not the intellectual, criminal mastermind who is somehow above other men. In any case, Raskolnikov has sunk to new levels of degradation. He is taken for a beggar and is struck with a whip by a passing coachman. His long walk has obviously tired him, and he falls unconscious on his arrival home.

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