In Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov develops the theory of the superman: a man who is superior to other humans, and therefore above the moral rules that controls the rest of society. In the beginning of the novel, Raskolnikov firmly believes in his theory, however he slowly loses faith in his theory as time progresses. By the end of the novel, he ceases to believe in his own theory.
In the beginning of the novel, Raskolnikov firmly believes in his own theory of the superman. He also believes that this theory applies to him. He dedicates a lot of his time and thoughts to this theory, and even publishes an article on the matter. This theory, in fact, was what motivated him to kill the landlady. He believed that the murder would ultimately be beneficial to humanity, therefore he considered the murder to be justifiable. He also believed that he could be the one to carry it out, since he believed that he was superior to other humans. In fact, he was so obsessed with his own theory and his own feeling of superiority that it caused him to become completely isolated from the rest of society. This theory of the superman seemed to make perfect sense to Raskolnikov, thus enabling him to apply it to his own life. .
However, after the murders, he began to doubt as to whether or not his theory was valid. He originally believed that a true superman would feel no remorse or no guilt for his crimes. Even though Raskolnikov did not openly regret killing the landlady, the matter was obviously affecting him. It succeeded in weakening both his physical and his mental health. The effect that the murders had on him was in complete contrast to what should have happened if he were a true superman. If he was truly superior, and above the moral standards of society, he would have never thought about the murders again. The physical and mental repercussions of the murders began to plant the seed of doubt in Raskolnikov's mind.