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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free Booknotes
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PART II, CHAPTER 3

Summary

Raskolnikov falls seriously ill. He drifts between fever, delirium and semi-consciousness for more than four days. He regains full consciousness around ten one morning in the presence of Nastasya and Razumihin, who have been attending to him during his illness. Razumihin gives him 35 rubles that has been sent by Pulcheria Raskolnikov. At first Raskolnikov refuses to take the money, but later he accepts it. Raskolnikov treats Razumihin with disdain.

When he is alone, Raskolnikov jumps up from the bed and looks into the stove. He discovers the pieces of his torn pockets, which he had burnt so as to destroy the evidence of the bloodstains. Raskolnikov imagines that Nastasya, Razumihin and the others know about his crime. Razumihin returns with some cheap but wearable clothes and boots for Raskolnikov. Then the doctor, Zossimov, calls on Raskolnikov.


Notes

Raskolnikov's mental trauma and physical exertion before, during and after the murders have taken their toll. He now lies in a semi- conscious state for over four days. His illness seems to be a sort of escape mechanism, as well as a punishment or torture for his recent crime.

Razumihin is a true friend who helps Raskolnikov in his time of need. Though Raskolnikov teats him with contempt, Razumihin ignores such behavior and is the picture of devoted friendship.

Raskolnikov at first refuses to accept his mother's money, as he is too proud to admit that he is still dependent on his mother for his finances. The money has come too late to prevent the murders, as has Razumihin's friendship. Among the motives Raskolnikov later gives for his crime is the lack of money. Also, the morbid condition that caused him to plan the murders arose out of his loneliness and lack of good companions, such as Razumihin. Raskolnikov's nervous condition can be discerned from the way in which he worries about his blood-stained clothes. He has begun to suffer the first kind of punishment for the murders in the shape of his illness. This punishment is both physically debilitating and psychologically draining to Raskolnikov.

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