Literary Analysis: Prose
Read the following excerpt from Fyodor Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment. In a well-written essay, convey the authors rhetorical stance that when one commits a crime, a guilty conscience and un-confessed sin cause more torment and anguish than physical punishment. You may include other references in addition to your comments on this excerpt. (Tip: For enrichment, read the whole text of Crime and Punishment.)
If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment-as well as the prison
Siberia. On the banks of a broad solitary river stands a town, one of the administrative centers of Russia; in the town there is a prison. In the prison the second-class convict Rodion Raskolnikov has been confined for nine months. Almost a year and a half has passed since his crime. There had been little difficulty about his trial. The criminal adhered exactly, firmly, and clearly to his statement. He did not confuse nor misrepresent the facts, nor soften them in his own interest, nor omit the smallest detail. He explained every incident of the murder, the secret of the piece of wood with a strip of metal which was found in the murdered womans hand. He described how he had taken her keys, what they were like, as well as the chest and its contents; he explained the mystery of Lizavetas murder; described how Koch and, after him, the student knocked, and repeated all they had said to one another; how he afterwards had run downstairs and heard Nikolay and Dmitri shouting; how he had hidden in the empty flat and afterwards gone homeThe sentence, however, was more merciful than could be expected, perhaps partly because the criminal had not tried to justify himself, but had rather shown a desire to exaggerate his guilt.
In prison, how it happened, he did not know. But all at once something seemed to seize him and fling him at her (Sonias) feet. He wept and threw his arms round her knees. They were both pale and thin; but those sick pale faces were bright with the dawn of a new future, of a full resurrection into a new lifeUnder his pillow lay the New Testament. He took it up mechanically. The book belonged to Sonia; it was the one from which she had read the raising of Lazarus to himBut that is the beginning of a new story-the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story
Criteria for writing this essay:
Minimum of 2 pages
Be sure to analyze tone, metaphor, simile, diction, stylization, and most importantly, the core meaning of the selection (for definitions of these terms, click \”help files\” on the upper right of this module page).
As you work on the assignment, please review the note on plagiarism if you have any questions as to what you may or may not use from the presented materials and/or outside sources in your paper.
Glossary of Module Terms
Tone: The attitude of the writer towards a subject.
Diction: The choice of words used by the writer or the author.
Syntax: The organization of sentences into a particular pattern by the writer to convey
Authors point of view: Reveals the authors position or perspective within the story.
Example: a first person point of view would communicate an internal, personal point of view.
Structure: The order or organization of a written work.
Imagery: Vivid language that conveys a mental picture.
Dramatic context: An overview of the setting and theme of the story or written work.