Crime and Punishment, written by Feodor Dostoevksy, is an amazing novel with multifarious themes and messages. It is a psychological thriller, a murder mystery, and an intricate detective story all in one. It is separated into forty-one chapters with six books and it also has an epilogue. In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky delves deep into the life and mind of Rodion Raskolnikov, a destitute student and a resident of St. Petersburg in the early 1900s. His need to become great urges him to murder an old pawnbroker, Alena Ivanova, and her innocent sister, Lizaveta Ivanova. Throughout the rest of the novel, he is plagued by his guilt and faced with the extremely long and painful journey to redemption.
Rodion believes that a law of nature has divided men into two groups, the "ordinary" and "extraordinary." The ordinary group exists only to form the structures of the world and society. The extraordinary men exist to cross the structures and barriers created by the ordinary people and to advance society. "The first class of people preserve and people the world, the second move the world and lead it to its goal." Raskolnikov is fixated on the idea that he is a member of this superhuman race. He believes Alena Ivanova, the pawnbroker, is not a moral woman and preys upon the poverty of fellow humans. Thus, the murders he commits will make him part of this supreme society. He is deluded into thinking that he is advancing society by ridding it of this foul woman. After the murder, Rodion begins to come to the realization that he is a common man. Guilt overtakes him and he psychologically decompensates. .
Ironically, Rodion committed the perfect crime, as there was no physical evidence against him. However, the frailty of his human psyche puts him at risk of exposure. "The conviction that all his faculties, even memory, and the simplest power of reflection were failing him began to be an insufferable torture".