[by Phillip Coates]
The discussion this week began with a review of sorts, of how far we have come with these characters, and how far we still have yet to go. We retraced the footsteps of the murder and subsequent fallout by discussing the discoveries we have experienced as opposed to what we expected to unfold in the book. After the review, we discussed a very explosive scene that takes place in part five of the novel that could be best described as the meal from hell. What is meant to be a meal to celebrate the life of a fallen character turns into arguably one of the most contentious scenes in Crime and Punishment. Katerina Ivanovna’s simultaneous derision and praise of her guests could have only lead to misery.
Another important moment is that Raskolnikov finally admits the truth to someone, even almost to himself. He goes through a rollercoaster of motives ranging from robbery, to bitterness, to glory (or a belief that true greatness is borne of violence), and even to simply daring. He eventually realized for him it wasn’t about the act of proving greatness to others, but trying for it himself. What ultimately remains true is that Sonya and Raskolnikov live in their own created realities, yet neither can truly empathize with the other. They can only pity one another. They are not a Venn diagram of intellect, or of agreeable consciousness, but two opposing forces.
Pity is a large motivation in this book. Raskolnikov even gives his money away to strangers out of pity, and not out of goodness, while pity manifests itself differently in Sonya through a savior complex. She relates to Raskolnikov with a hate the sinner not the sin mentality, but additionally I believe Raskolnikov is a person living psychologically and physically constricted. The murder is an eruption from how he could have, and was expected to, live his life.
Incite: Queer Writers Read
September 6, 2017
A new curated reading series for Queer writers hosted by Kate Carroll…
Francis Ford Coppola in conversation with Melena Ryzik of The New York Times
October 2, 2017
Tickets start at $15, available at Portland5.com. Francis Ford Coppola is an…
2017/2018 Portland Arts & Lectures
October 12, 2017
The 33rd season of Portland Arts & Lectures features some of the…
Bookmark: A Benefit for Literary Arts
October 25, 2017
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for our cocktail hour with dinner…
Joe Biden: American Promise Tour
November 30, 2017
Literary Arts will host Joe Biden on Thursday, November 30 in celebration…
The Moth Mainstage
December 11, 2017
The Moth returns to Portland on Monday, December 11. This extraordinary performance…