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Free Study Guide-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky-Free Booknotes
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PART III, CHAPTER 4

Summary

Sonia enters Raskolnikov's room. Raskolnikov is embarrassed by her presence, as he has just finished explaining to his mother that he barely knows Sonia. Sonia has come to invite Raskolnikov to her father's funeral and to a reception afterwards at Katerina Ivanovna's apartment. Dounia and Pulcheria Alexandrovna then leave for their lodgings. They invite Razumihin to dinner that evening.

As they walk along the street, Pulcheria Alexandrovna tells Dounia that she is worried that Luzhin might break off the engagement if he learns that Raskolnikov has been invited for the evening meeting. She also worries that Raskolnikov is keeping bad company by seeing Sonia. Dounia, on the other hand, asserts that Sonia is perfectly respectable and that Luzhin is a "wretched scandalmonger."

Meanwhile, back in his room, Raskolnikov tells Razumihin that he wishes to meet Porfiry Petrovich because he had pledged two of his belongings to Alena Ivanovna. These belongings, a ring and a watch, are now in Porfiry's possession, and Raskolnikov wishes to recover them because they have sentimental value. Razumihin is delighted that Raskolnikov has at last spoken up about his connections with Alena Ivanovna. He had begun to suspect that Raskolnikov was involved with the murders, because during his illness, Raskolnikov had muttered something about chains and rings. Razumihin apologizes to Raskolnikov for having thought that he (Raskolnikov) could in some way be involved with the crime. As the two friends approach Porfiry Petrovitch's house, Raskolnikov begins to tease Razumihin for having dressed up in order to impress Dounia. Raskolnikov enters Porfiry Petrovitch's house laughing heartily at his own joke.


Notes

Raskolnikov at first is embarrassed by Sonia's presence in his room, but later he feels sorry for her, as she is extremely humble and has suffered immensely. He treats her with respect, inviting her to sit between his mother and sister. Apparently, Sonia harbors feelings of love for Raskolnikov. Dostoevsky describes how "a whole new world of vague feelings entered her soul." She is followed home by Svidrigailov, who has arrived in St. Petersburg two days before and lives next door to Sonia. He has been watching Raskolnikov's home.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna displays her motherly anxiety about the nature of her son's social relationships. She is not as open-minded as Dounia, and she tends to judge people on the basis of their social standing, rather than on their personal merit. When Raskolnikov makes Sonia sit down between his mother and sister, he wants her to find acceptance in his family.

Raskolnikov, who has already heard that the names of Alena Ivanovna's clients were written on the wrappers of the pledges kept in her house, now tells Razumihin that he was one of her clients. Thus, he hopes to prove to Razumihin that he is concerned only with retrieving his precious family heirlooms, the watch and the ring, and that he has nothing to do with the murders. Raskolnikov knows that Porfiry Petrovitch is conducting the investigation into the murders. He makes it appear as though he has come forward of his own accord to meet this official. Raskolnikov shows tact and strategic thinking by entering Porfiry Petrovitch's house in an apparently light-hearted mood. This disguise of calmness reveals that Raskolnikov has both the cunning and rationality to deceive others.

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