Presentation on theme: "Crime and Punishment Sam Holzman & Max Leopold. A Scene of Violence In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. How does the scene."— Presentation transcript:
A Scene of Violence In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. How does the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work?
Emotional vs. Rational The use of harsh violence serves the purpose of creating the same conflict in the reader’s mind as it does in the protagonist’s: the struggle between the emotional reaction to a display of brutality and rationalizing a violent action.
The Horse Dream A child in his dream The mare is killed for selfish reasons Clue to Raskolnikov’s true motivations Repulsed by idea of murder when he awakes “Can it be that I shall tread in the sticky warm blood, break the lock, steal and tremble; hide, all spattered n the blood…with the axe…” (62) Foreshadows and prepares readers for future violence Shows Raskolnikov as an observer
The Killing of Alyona Nervousness before the murder Emotional overcoming rational “Why do you look at me as though you did not know me?” (79) “hands fearfully weak” (80) Actual killing described as mechanical, effortless Brutal depiction mirrors horse dream “Then he dealt her another and another blow…The blood gushed as from an overturned glass” (80) Describing her as glass shows her lack of value to him
continued After killing his hands tremble again Emotion after, not during crime Examines her wounds in detail Reminder of the harshness of the crime “flung the crosses on the old woman’s body” (81)
Killing of Lizaveta Written like the slaughter of a helpless animal No gratuitous description or numerous blows “The feeling of loathing especially surged up within him and grew stronger every minute.” (83) Representation of innocence “did not even raise a hand to guard her face” (83) Opposite of Alyona; only motive is fear of being caught Ruins all the buildup of his rational mind state
Conclusion Rationalism Brutality Emotion -Struggle with rationalizing leads to emotional struggle. Again, the prompt is not asking us to discuss the idea of violence as an overarching theme. We are to look at violence in specific scenes and how those scenes act to contribute to the novel’s meaning.