Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky: crime and punishment pdf, crime and punishment summary, crime and punishment quotes, crime and punishment movie, crime and punishment pages, crime and punishment characters, crime and punishment how many pages, crime and punishment amazon


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Short Summary of the Book:

Chapter I
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young
man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S.
Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards
K. bridge.
He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the
staircase. His garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied
house and was more like a cupboard than a room. The
landlady who provided him with garret, dinners, and attendance,
lived on the floor below, and every time he went
out he was obliged to pass her kitchen, the door of which
invariably stood open. And each time he passed, the young
man had a sick, frightened feeling, which made him scowl
and feel ashamed. He was hopelessly in debt to his landlady,
and was afraid of meeting her.
This was not because he was cowardly and abject, quite
the contrary; but for some time past he had been in an overstrained
irritable condition, verging on hypochondria. He
had become so completely absorbed in himself, and isolated
from his fellows that he dreaded meeting, not only
his landlady, but anyone at all. He was crushed by poverty,
but the anxieties of his position had of late ceased to weigh
upon him. He had given up attending to matters of practical
importance; he had lost all desire to do so. Nothing that
any landlady could do had a real terror for him. But to be
Crime and Punishment
stopped on the stairs, to be forced to listen to her trivial, irrelevant
gossip, to pestering demands for payment, threats
and complaints, and to rack his brains for excuses, to prevaricate,
to lie—no, rather than that, he would creep down
the stairs like a cat and slip out unseen.
This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he
became acutely aware of his fears.
‘I want to attempt a thing like that and am frightened
by these trifles,’ he thought, with an odd smile. ‘Hm … yes,
all is in a man’s hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice,
that’s an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is
men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new
word is what they fear most…. But I am talking too much.
It’s because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is that
I chatter because I do nothing. I’ve learned to chatter this
last month, lying for days together in my den thinking …
of Jack the Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I
capable of that? Is that serious? It is not serious at all. It’s
simply a fantasy to amuse myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe
it is a plaything.’
The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the
bustle and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about
him, and that special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all
who are unable to get out of town in summer—all worked
painfully upon the young man’s already overwrought
nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot- houses, which
are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and the
drunken men whom he met continually, although it was a
working day, completed the revolting misery of the picture.

An expression of the profoundest disgust gleamed for a moment
in the young man’s refined face. He was, by the way,
exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim,
well-built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair.
Soon he sank into deep thought, or more accurately speaking
into a complete blankness of mind; he walked along not
observing what was about him and not caring to observe it.
From time to time, he would mutter something, from the
habit of talking to himself, to which he had just confessed.
At these moments he would become conscious that his ideas
were sometimes in a tangle and that he was very weak; for
two days he had scarcely tasted food.
He was so badly dressed that even a man accustomed to
shabbiness would have been ashamed to be seen in the street
in such rags. In that quarter of the town, however, scarcely
any shortcoming in dress would have created surprise.
Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market, the number of
establishments of bad character, the preponderance of the
trading and working class population crowded in these
streets and alleys in the heart of Petersburg, types so various
were to be seen in the streets that no figure, however
queer, would have caused surprise. But there was such accumulated
bitterness and contempt in the young man’s heart,
that, in spite of all the fastidiousness of youth, he minded
his rags least of all in the street. It was a different matter
when he met with acquaintances or with former fellow students,
whom, indeed, he disliked meeting at any time. And
yet when a drunken man who, for some unknown reason,
was being taken somewhere in a huge waggon dragged by a

heavy dray horse, suddenly shouted at him as he drove past:
‘Hey there, German hatter’ bawling at the top of his voice
and pointing at him—the young man stopped suddenly
and clutched tremulously at his hat. It was a tall round hat
from Zimmerman’s, but completely worn out, rusty with
age, all torn and bespattered, brimless and bent on one side
in a most unseemly fashion. Not shame, however, but quite
another feeling akin to terror had overtaken him.
‘I knew it,’ he muttered in confusion, ‘I thought so! That’s
the worst of all! Why, a stupid thing like this, the most trivial
detail might spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable….
It looks absurd and that makes it noticeable…. With
my rags I ought to wear a cap, any sort of old pancake, but
not this grotesque thing. Nobody wears such a hat, it would
be noticed a mile off, it would be remembered…. What matters
is that people would remember it, and that would give
them a clue. For this business one should be as little conspicuous
as possible…. Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why,
it’s just such trifles that always ruin everything….’
He had not far to go; he knew indeed how many steps
it was from the gate of his lodging house: exactly seven
hundred and thirty. He had counted them once when he
had been lost in dreams. At the time he had put no faith
in those dreams and was only tantalising himself by their
hideous but daring recklessness. Now, a month later, he had
begun to look upon them differently, and, in spite of the
monologues in which he jeered at his own impotence and
indecision, he had involuntarily come to regard this ‘hideous’
dream as an exploit to be attempted, although he still

did not realise this himself. He was positively going now for
a ‘rehearsal’ of his project, and at every step his excitement
grew more and more violent.
With a sinking heart and a nervous tremor, he went up
to a huge house which on one side looked on to the canal,
and on the other into the street. This house was let out in
tiny tenements and was inhabited by working people of all
kinds—tailors, locksmiths, cooks, Germans of sorts, girls
picking up a living as best they could, petty clerks, etc. There
was a continual coming and going through the two gates
and in the two courtyards of the house. Three or four doorkeepers
were employed on the building. The young man
was very glad to meet none of them, and at once slipped unnoticed
through the door on the right, and up the staircase.
It was a back staircase, dark and narrow, but he was familiar
with it already, and knew his way, and he liked all these surroundings:
in such darkness even the most inquisitive eyes
were not to be dreaded.
‘If I am so scared now, what would it be if it somehow
came to pass that I were really going to do it?’ he could not
help asking himself as he reached the fourth storey. There
his progress was barred by some porters who were engaged
in moving furniture out of a flat. He knew that the flat had
been occupied by a German clerk in the civil service, and
his family. This German was moving out then, and so the
fourth floor on this staircase would be untenanted except by
the old woman. ‘That’s a good thing anyway,’ he thought to
himself, as he rang the bell of the old woman’s flat. The bell
gave a faint tinkle as though it were made of tin and not of

copper. The little flats in such houses always have bells that
ring like that. He had forgotten the note of that bell, and
now its peculiar tinkle seemed to remind him of something
and to bring it clearly before him…. He started, his nerves
were terribly overstrained by now. In a little while, the door
was opened a tiny crack: the old woman eyed her visitor
with evident distrust through the crack, and nothing could
be seen but her little eyes, glittering in the darkness. But,
seeing a number of people on the landing, she grew bolder,
and opened the door wide. The young man stepped into the
dark entry, which was partitioned off from the tiny kitchen.
The old woman stood facing him in silence and looking
inquiringly at him. She was a diminutive, withered up old
woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little
nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly
smeared with oil, and she wore no kerchief over it. Round
her thin long neck, which looked like a hen’s leg, was knotted
some sort of flannel rag, and, in spite of the heat, there
hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur cape, yellow
with age. The old woman coughed and groaned at every instant.
The young man must have looked at her with a rather
peculiar expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her
eyes again.
‘Raskolnikov, a student, I came here a month ago,’ the
young man made haste to mutter, with a half bow, remembering
that he ought to be more polite.
‘I remember, my good sir, I remember quite well your
coming here,’ the old woman said distinctly, still keeping
her inquiring eyes on his face.

‘And here … I am again on the same errand,’ Raskolnikov
continued, a little disconcerted and surprised at
the old woman’s mistrust. ‘Perhaps she is always like that
though, only I did not notice it the other time,’ he thought
with an uneasy feeling.
The old woman paused, as though hesitating; then
stepped on one side, and pointing to the door of the room,
she said, letting her visitor pass in front of her:
‘Step in, my good sir.’
The little room into which the young man walked, with
yellow paper on the walls, geraniums and muslin curtains
in the windows, was brightly lighted up at that moment by
the setting sun.
‘So the sun will shine like this then too!’ flashed as it were
by chance through Raskolnikov’s mind, and with a rapid
glance he scanned everything in the room, trying as far as
possible to notice and remember its arrangement. But there
was nothing special in the room. The furniture, all very old
and of yellow wood, consisted of a sofa with a huge bent
wooden back, an oval table in front of the sofa, a dressingtable
with a looking-glass fixed on it between the windows,
chairs along the walls and two or three half-penny prints in
yellow frames, representing German damsels with birds in
their hands—that was all. In the corner a light was burning
before a small ikon. Everything was very clean; the floor and
the furniture were brightly polished; everything shone.
‘Lizaveta’s work,’ thought the young man. There was not
a speck of dust to be seen in the whole flat.
‘It’s in the houses of spiteful old widows that one finds

such cleanliness,’ Raskolnikov thought again, and he stole
a curious glance at the cotton curtain over the door leading
into another tiny room, in which stood the old woman’s bed
and chest of drawers and into which he had never looked
before. These two rooms made up the whole flat.
‘What do you want?’ the old woman said severely, coming
into the room and, as before, standing in front of him so
as to look him straight in the face.
‘I’ve brought something to pawn here,’ and he drew out
of his pocket an old-fashioned flat silver watch, on the back
of which was engraved a globe; the chain was of steel.
‘But the time is up for your last pledge. The month was up
the day before yesterday.’
‘I will bring you the interest for another month; wait a
‘But that’s for me to do as I please, my good sir, to wait or
to sell your pledge at once.’
‘How much will you give me for the watch, Alyona Ivanovna?’
‘You come with such trifles, my good sir, it’s scarcely
worth anything. I gave you two roubles last time for your
ring and one could buy it quite new at a jeweler’s for a rouble
and a half.’
‘Give me four roubles for it, I shall redeem it, it was my
father’s. I shall be getting some money soon.’
‘A rouble and a half, and interest in advance, if you like!’
‘A rouble and a half!’ cried the young man.
‘Please yourself’—and the old woman handed him back
the watch. The young man took it, and was so angry that he

was on the point of going away; but checked himself at once,
remembering that there was nowhere else he could go, and
that he had had another object also in coming.
‘Hand it over,’ he said roughly.
The old woman fumbled in her pocket for her keys, and
disappeared behind the curtain into the other room. The
young man, left standing alone in the middle of the room,
listened inquisitively, thinking. He could hear her unlocking
the chest of drawers.
‘It must be the top drawer,’ he reflected. ‘So she carries
the keys in a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel
ring…. And there’s one key there, three times as big as all
the others, with deep notches; that can’t be the key of the
chest of drawers … then there must be some other chest or
strong-box … that’s worth knowing. Strong-boxes always
have keys like that … but how degrading it all is.’
The old woman came back.
‘Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so
I must take fifteen copecks from a rouble and a half for the
month in advance. But for the two roubles I lent you before,
you owe me now twenty copecks on the same reckoning
in advance. That makes thirty-five copecks altogether. So
I must give you a rouble and fifteen copecks for the watch.
Here it is.’
‘What! only a rouble and fifteen copecks now!’
‘Just so.’
The young man did not dispute it and took the money.
He looked at the old woman, and was in no hurry to get
away, as though there was still something he wanted to say

or to do, but he did not himself quite know what.
‘I may be bringing you something else in a day or two,
Alyona Ivanovna —a valuable thing—silver—a cigarettebox,
as soon as I get it back from a friend …’ he broke off in
‘Well, we will talk about it then, sir.’
‘Good-bye—are you always at home alone, your sister is
not here with you?’ He asked her as casually as possible as
he went out into the passage.
‘What business is she of yours, my good sir?’
‘Oh, nothing particular, I simply asked. You are too
quick…. Good-day, Alyona Ivanovna.’
Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion
became more and more intense. As he went down the
stairs, he even stopped short, two or three times, as though
suddenly struck by some thought. When he was in the street
he cried out, ‘Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and can I,
can I possibly…. No, it’s nonsense, it’s rubbish!’ he added
resolutely. ‘And how could such an atrocious thing come
into my head? What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes,
filthy above all, disgusting, loathsome, loathsome!—and for
a whole month I’ve been….’ But no words, no exclamations,
could express his agitation. The feeling of intense repulsion,
which had begun to oppress and torture his heart while he
was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such
a pitch and had taken such a definite form that he did not
know what to do with himself to escape from his wretchedness.
He walked along the pavement like a drunken man,
regardless of the passers-by, and jostling against them, and

only came to his senses when he was in the next street. Looking
round, he noticed that he was standing close to a tavern
which was entered by steps leading from the pavement to
the basement. At that instant two drunken men came out
at the door, and abusing and supporting one another, they
mounted the steps. Without stopping to think, Raskolnikov
went down the steps at once. Till that moment he had never
been into a tavern, but now he felt giddy and was tormented
by a burning thirst. He longed for a drink of cold beer, and
attributed his sudden weakness to the want of food. He sat
down at a sticky little table in a dark and dirty corner; ordered
some beer, and eagerly drank off the first glassful. At
once he felt easier; and his thoughts became clear.
‘All that’s nonsense,’ he said hopefully, ‘and there is nothing
in it all to worry about! It’s simply physical derangement.
Just a glass of beer, a piece of dry bread—and in one moment
the brain is stronger, the mind is clearer and the will
is firm! Phew, how utterly petty it all is!’
But in spite of this scornful reflection, he was by now
looking cheerful as though he were suddenly set free from
a terrible burden: and he gazed round in a friendly way at
the people in the room. But even at that moment he had a
dim foreboding that this happier frame of mind was also
not normal.
There were few people at the time in the tavern. Besides
the two drunken men he had met on the steps, a group consisting
of about five men and a girl with a concertina had
gone out at the same time. Their departure left the room
quiet and rather empty. The persons still in the tavern were

a man who appeared to be an artisan, drunk, but not extremely
so, sitting before a pot of beer, and his companion,
a huge, stout man with a grey beard, in a short full-skirted
coat. He was very drunk: and had dropped asleep on the
bench; every now and then, he began as though in his sleep,
cracking his fingers, with his arms wide apart and the upper
part of his body bounding about on the bench, while he
hummed some meaningless refrain, trying to recall some
such lines as these:
‘His wife a year he fondly loved His wife a—a year he—
fondly loved.’
Or suddenly waking up again:
‘Walking along the crowded row He met the one he used
to know.’
But no one shared his enjoyment: his silent companion
looked with positive hostility and mistrust at all these
manifestations. There was another man in the room who
looked somewhat like a retired government clerk. He was
sitting apart, now and then sipping from his pot and looking
round at the company. He, too, appeared to be in some

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