[by Phillip Coates]
As opposed to reviewing what we have read thus far, this week started from the end and we worked our way backwards. One of the first questions we had was, what was the purpose of the epilogue? Throughout the later-added ending the tone alters, the writing style shifts, and the message most of us had assumed is superimposed with an even larger message. Our guide Lucas Bernhardt mentioned that the most written and discussed part of this novel would have to be the epilogue, and we can see why that might be. Without giving away the ending entirely, we couldn’t help but wonder if this could be considered the last big idea of Crime and Punishment. The epilogue is the only way for the lead protagonist and all those supporting characters around him to have their lives tied up nicely in a bow.
Something I am grateful for in taking this delve adventure was how my opinion on the fate of the character Svidrigailov changed throughout our discussion. Going into our final night I found his development misused and his misfortune abrupt. However it was through our group that I realized Svidrigailov story is contentious because his character from start to finish was shrouded in mystery. His ending also very much mirrors Raskolnikov’s beginning. His feeling of being trapped, his fears and desires for Dunya, and the very delirium to which he inhabits shortly suggest a deeper level and shading to his character. One might even argue his character is the most complex to decipher of the whole novel. As opposed to Svidrigailov becoming more and more important to the story as it progressed, Luzhin seemingly dwindled away. The truth is, however, that Luzhin beyond the other lead characters had a life to lead outside the lives of the Romanovich clan. He would leave their company and continue with his life. Yes, he had some setbacks, but he was the only one with the mental capacity and the fortune to recover. Like the readers of this book, we go on.
One Page Wednesday
April 4, 2018
Writers, escape the solitude of your desk. Readers, come hear great fresh…
Everybody Reads 2018
April 5, 2018
In partnership with Multnomah County Library and The Library Foundation, Literary Arts is…
LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE: Sloane Crosley in Conversation with Chuck Klosterman
April 19, 2018
This event is free, but space is limited. Pre-order a $26 copy…
Oregon Book Awards Fiction and Poetry Finalists reading
April 25, 2018
Featuring: manuel arturo abreu Omar El Akkad Samiya Bashir Allison Cobb Wayne…
April 26, 2018
Come celebrate Portland’s creative youth during our seventh annual Verselandia! poetry slam.
Oregon Book Awards Ceremony 2018
April 30, 2018
Join Literary Arts’ annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in…