When we enter our house after a long day at work or a summer's vacation, we never think twice about how our physical environment plays an extremely significant role in our lives. The size of the house, the colors of the walls, the arrangement of the furniture, and the surrounding neighborhood seem to be impertinent parts of our daily routines. Even though many people occupy themselves with an idea that their house must be clean and well kept, they never once think of their physical surroundings as a direct influence on their daily decisions, actions, and overall lives. The location of a neighborhood generally incorporates the families" incomes, the size of the home, and the quality of the schools, which ultimately affects their values, beliefs, and personality. This theme, which draws clear connections between the physical environment and its affect on an individual's thoughts and beliefs, is present throughout Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky makes numerous references in his novel concerning the direct impact one's living quarters can make upon their life and it is these specific references that further illustrate Dostoevsky's themes and characters. .
The living space of Dostoevsky's main character, Raskolnikov, is a scene that holds a variety of significant events. Raskolnikov, as the title of the novel alludes to, commits a double murder of a despicable, old pawnbroker and her half-sister, Lizaveta. The theory of Raskolnikov, which suggests the existence of superior beings that possess the right and the power to transgress moral and written law to ultimately meet their means, eventually drives him to commit the crime and test his theory. After the crime, Raskolnikov is continually tortured by his conscience and realizes that he is not a superior being as he thought but rather a common simpleton - a realization that he simply cannot bear. His cramped, ill-furnished, and dark living space is the scene of his recovery and other degrading realizations.