Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Book Group- Week Eleven (Part 6, i-iii)

Well, only two more weeks of reading, which makes this the third last Crime and Punishment post! I feel excited about it. Anyhow, to the book..

An Overview--

-Razumikhin visits. He is frustrated and disappointed with Raskolnikov, and can't understand why he has abandoned his mother and sister. We learn that he does not suspect Ras to be the murderer.

-Razumikhin tells Ras that the murderer has been found-- Mikolka the decorator, and that he was told this by Porfiry.

-Porfiry visits. A long conversation ensues, in which Porfiry takes a new and baffling tact - apologising for having suspected Ras, for the real culprit had been found. Ras can't believe this, and is sure that Porfiry knows the truth. Still, he is lulled in to a false sense of security when Porfiry then starts dropping bombs again..

-Porfiry comes right out and says it at last: "Why, you are the murderer, Rodion Romanovich!". He implores Ras to give himself up now, so as to avoid a longer sentence. Ras though completely thrown, finds some composure and admits nothing, and says that there is no real proof.

-Ras is in a hurry to find Svidrigailov to find some answers. The thought has occurred to him that Svid is trying to trap him in order to force Dunya to comply to his wishes out of concern for her brother, ie, 'you come with me or I'll tell the police your brother is a murderer.' Raskolnikov resolves to murder him if this is the case.

-Ras goes to see Svidrigailov. They talk about the situation. Ras loathes him and criticises him his lechery. He threatens to kill him if he tries to take Dunya. Svidrigailov is pretty unfazed.


The biggest thing about this week's reading for me was finally hearing Porfiry come out and accuse Raskolnikov, not in a veiled way, but completely outright. i kind of wished after this though, that the noose would continue to tighten, that Porfiry would outline all the proof and haul him off to prison. But it seems there are to be a few more twists and turns yet..


This strange character continues to baffle. I am very eager to discover what his intentions are, and how he is going to impact Raskolnikov's fate. It is pretty clear that he is villainous, and that any appearances of trying to help people is a facade.


It is strange and jarring to still have Raskolnikov getting up in arms about Svid's lechery, as though he were in any position to judge. What are his morals? They seem incongruous - an ongoing concern about lechery, and protecting vulnerable women, and yet a lack of concern about murder! It also seems very strange to me that he doesn't at least feel more remorse and heartache about killing Lizaveta.

For Next Week-- Read Part 6, iv-vi


Drew said...

I loved the chapter with Porfiry and Ras' discussion. It was a ripper... Porfiry doesn't even accuse him, he just says 'I know it's you', and here's two possible courses of action. Lays it all out, shows him all his cards - except one. He says, I'll just keep one up my sleeve for now. Great suspense.

Interesting as well was Svidrigailov's talking about 'air, air, air' last week, and Razumikhin taking up the refrain, and then even Porfiry telling Ras that he needs 'air, air, air'... what was that about, I wonder?

I wonder if the only reason Ras cares about Svid's lechery is because his sister was a previous target?

Also, Porfiry makes some interesting comments about suffering. About Mikolka wanting to suffer, and Ras suffering, and there being some good in it... interesting yes? Particularly in view that Dosty himself served time?

Ben McLaughlin said...

Yeah it was a ripper. It amazed me how he starts off saying he no longer suspects Ras, and he's trying to make it up to him, and then somehow seemlessly he is suddenly saying YOU are the murderer!

Yeah the air thing baffles me.. surely Porfiry has not sopken to Svid??

Drew said...

I don't think he has - and Ras certainly doesn't think so, though he certainly must have noticed the repetition, because he told Razumikhin that he wanted to ask Svid what he meant by it (though he doesn't do it - he couldn't keep a straight train of thought if he was bolted to the rails).

So, presumably the air thing is something the author wants to foreshadow...