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

Summary

Luzhin asks to speak to Sonia. Luzhin tells Sonia that after her visit to his room, a one-hundred-ruble note was missing from the table where he had kept it. He accuses Sonia of taking it and asks her to return it to him immediately, if she does not wish to face harsh consequences. He tells the guests how he had called Sonia into his room to give her ten rubles as charity. He also attacks Sonia's character.

Sonia denies having taken the money. She offers to return Luzhin's ten rubles to him. Katerina Ivanovna takes it and flings it into Luzhin's face. She defends Sonia's character. Luzhin demands that Sonia be searched. Katerina Ivanovna turns out Sonia's pockets. From one of Sonia's pockets, the missing money appears.


Luzhin now offers to forget the whole matter. Lebeziatnikov, who is present in the room, now speaks out. He reveals that Luzhin had carefully slipped the hundred-ruble note into Sonia's pocket while simultaneously handing her the ten rubles. He accuses Luzhin of being a slanderer. Raskolnikov now tells how Luzhin was at one time betrothed to his (Raskolnikov's) sister, Dounia, and how after the engagement was broken, Luzhin had developed a hatred for Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov reveals how Luzhin had earlier attempted to defame both himself (Raskolnikov) and Sonia. The crowd now begins to realize Luzhin's true nature. As Luzhin tries to slip away from the room, one of the guests throws a tumbler at him. The tumbler hits the landlady instead, who now demands once again that Katerina Ivanovna vacate her flat immediately. Katerina Ivanovna leaves the flat after telling Polenka to take care of the younger children. Sonia has already left and Raskolnikov follows her to her lodgings.

Notes

Luzhin's true character is now exposed. His hatred of Raskolnikov has led him to attempt to frame Sonia on a false charge. Fortunately, the truth prevails: Lebeziatnikov has seen Luzhin drop the money into Sonia's pocket. The funeral reception turns into a disaster, as Katerina Ivanovna is asked to leave the house. It is the last the reader shall see of Luzhin. Raskolnikov now leaves for his fateful visit to Sonia's house. This rather tawdry scene serves as a sort of pre-climax before the tension builds once more to the great confession to follow.

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