Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crime and Definition

Fyodor Dostoevsky's gripping novel, Crime and Punishment, not only plays to the human intelligence, but also speaks of a journey that many humans have to take. Whether the same journey taken as the characters in Dostoevsky's novel, or a journey of different limitations, the journeys can be similar, leading those who dare, down a road of self-discovery.

The plot takes place leading up to and following two murders, and discusses the psychological effects on the murderer, Raskolnikov. Hiding the secrets of his wrong-doings, Raskolnikov bears the weight of his sins on his shoulders, to keep the ones he is closest to out of harm. Because of the secrets he holds, he is able to find solace in a friend, Sofya, who withholds secrets about her past, and bears the burden of taking care of her siblings following her mother's death. By finding support from Sonya, who knows the crimes Raskolnikov has committed, she encourages him to come clean with the truth. Dealing with the truth develops Raskolnikov into a strong character, who finds comfort in the truth, allowing him to find faith and belief in God.

The definition of Raskolnikov is pivoted from the life of a murderer, to the life of penance. He finds faith and forgiveness, in the same way people can find definition and meaning from turning their own lives around. Reversing pass actions by seeking forgiveness, and living to make a difference in the world.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.

Harvey S. Firestone

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