Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from 10 years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing. Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov, in an attempt to defend his actions, argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a vermin. He also commits the murder to test a theory of his that dictates some people are naturally capable of such actions, and even have the right to perform them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov compares himself with Napoleon Bonaparte and shares his belief that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.