Crime And Punishment Evil is a character in nature that is marked by bad moral qualities bringing about harm and misfortune. In a rational world, with a superior goal demanding righteousness and peace, evil disrupts society and results in sorrow, distress, or calamity. Evil is an almighty force of nature that has forever corrupted societies relentlessly, never to be halted. As far back as history will tell, evil has shown it’s wicked face. Evil has transgressed through centuries, hindering those who it has come to and sometimes the environment surrounding.
This dire forceful has seeded traits in mankind that have grown due to society. Forces of it’s strong antithesis, good, have fought to overcome and be rid of evil succeeding at times maybe in battle but never in the war. It seems that due to the caliber of its force and prevalence in society, man may never see an end to evil. Supporting this theory is the fact that there is a never-ending battle to resolve this sinister force. Evil has shown so overpowering that it is part of every creature and being in the known world.
It comes in many different forms, styles, and shapes. Everyday life consists of many types of evil showing forth, disguising itself at times or at other putting itself in a clear eye’s view. This all depends on the creature it is within. Those who consider or have been considered by society as “good” are the ones that have resisted and fought off this compelling force. On the contrary, as nature has revealed, evil in some creatures is too much a part of them for it to be held down.
Resulting factors illustrate the argument to the belief that evil results when man interrupts natural processes. (Americana 731) Philosophers and educated people alike, for centuries have argued the conflict of nature versus nurture as two possible causes of evil in man. The nature theory supports that man is inherently evil in a sense that there is no one to blame for his or her evil but oneself. On the other hand, the idea of nurture relays the cause of evil in man due to his society, environment, and peers. Instances throughout time, have brought evidence to support both theories defining why the conflict still exists.
In order to decide if the cause is nature or nurture in a certain occurrence, one can break the evil into three categories of moral, radical, and metaphysical. These broad categories entail different “kinds” of evil broken down into groups, putting them in order of harshness according to the form in which they appear. In the novel Crime and Punishment, the author Feodor Dostoevsky paints a picture of a man’s environment and how evil has affected him. This “environment” reveals a dark, depressing society lurking with instances of evil. Through his characters’ trials and tribulations, Dosteovsky answers the question of the cause of evil in man in the forms of moral, radical, and metaphysical.
Crime and Punishment portrays evil mostly in the main character Raskolnikov. This main character is constantly weathered with mixed emotions driving him at times almost to delirium. Dosteovsky focuses frequently upon the wicked, yet normal mind of Raskolnikov. Dosteovsky’s powerful appeal to our intellectual interests is most directly and naturally linked to the action. (Rahv 592) In other words, Dosteovsky is showing how a relatively intelligent person is vulnerable to indulge in such pure evil. Moral evil categorizes evil as wrongful actions done knowingly to misfortune or harm in a society consisting of moral principles.
Examples in past and present time include common traits such as greed, lust, and hate. Particular crimes associated with moral evil are robbery, rape, and extortion. These actions are subject to judgment and punishment, mitigation, and aggravation, repentance and remission. (Shattuck 76) The main character, Raskolnikov displays two instances of moral evil. Although, these occurrences are not in relation to one another; they still hold the same breakdown or category.
Raskolnikov through his confused state plots and commits the murder of a pawnbroker. During his past experiences doing business with her and due to the talk in the city, he became knowledgeable of her vast riches. In addition, he even knew where in her home she kept them. One day Raskolnikov overheard a conversation of two men on the street, “She is quite famous… She always has money to lay out. She’s as rich as a Jew, she can put up her hand on five thousand rubles at once, and yet she doesn’t turn up her nose at the interest on a ruble!” After fiercely beating the old woman to death, Raskolnikov crept into her room and began to rummage through her belongings, pocketing all the jewels and other riches he could find.
“Hastily he began turning everything over, and found a number of gold articles thrust in among the rags, bracelets, chains, pins, and so forth, probably pledges, some of them perhaps unredeemed. He began to cram them hastily in them pockets of his overcoat and trousers.” (Dosteovsky 76) This instance entailed the crime of robbery that stemmed from his personality trait of greed that overpowered his conscience. Peter Petrovich, Raskolnikov’s sister’s fiancé, displays his moral evil side by framing a young girl. Petrovich devised and followed through with a plan to accuse an innocent person of stealing by purposely planting evidence on them. His victim was Sonya Seminovna, who was a daughter of Raskolnikov’s friend Marmeladov.
Petrovich invited Sonya to his friend Lebezyatnikov’s apartment, where he gave her ten rubles (Russian currency) as a charity. He stealthily slipped a one hundred ruble note into her jacket as she was exiting the apartment. With this, he proceeded to enter a gathering at the home of the landlord of the building in which Sonya and her family dwell. At the gathering, Petrovich viciously accused Sonya of the crime, and even had her searched. With this, the supposed stolen money was found on Sonya resting Petrovich’s case.
Lebezyatnikov followed by stepping in and explaining the truth of the matter. This demonstrated how Petrovich set Sonya up, changing the surrounding people’s belief of Sonya’s alleged crime. Petrovich’s evil in this situation was greed. He wanted Raskolnikov’s sister and mother to loathe Sonya. Peter knew that this accusation would upset them, and cause them to think little of Sonya.
Also this would turn them against Raskolnikov. The reason being that Petrovich told the ladies that Raskolnikov had given the money they sent him to Sonya, not to Sonya’s family. Basically he was attempting to bring problems to who he hoped was soon to be his family. Raskolnikov reveals another type of moral evil without his physical actions included. Raskolnikov had a strong hatred for Peter Petrovich. After his sister lost her position as a governess, income situations for her, her mother, and Raskolnikov became tight.
Peter Petrovich was a wealthy bureaucrat, which enticed Dunya to marry him, knowing the benefits financially fo …