Posted: June 5th, 2021

Crime and Punishment: Suspense

Suspense begins in Roskolnikov’s thoughts There are times where we find ourselves living in suspense, feeling insecure about what possibly can occur next. So many things that surround us, at times, foreshadow what may happen next. When this happens, we crave to know what is the next event that will arrive. In the book of Crime and Punishment, there are many parts in which the story becomes suspenseful. Well, how does Dostoyevsky achieve and sustain the suspense in his novel?
It all starts right when we find out that Roskolnikov creates feelings of hatred towards Alyona Ivanovna, and creates some sort of plan to kill her. Even though in his thoughts laid the plan, he wasn’t completely convinced by his own being in actually completing with a crime. But once he was at the bar, where he overheard a conversation about Ivanovna and how she were better off dead, he decided that it was best that he were to do their request. This is before the suspense comes into play.
Overhearing the conversations about Alyona Ivanovna persuaded Rokolnikov that it was his destiny to murder her. The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea. This is where we can see a bit of suspense growing, because as a reader, what can we expect from a man who has never committed a crime such as killing? While Roskolnikov was a bit insecure about his decision in doing murder, he planned to use an ax to murder Alyona Ivanovna. He got his ax, and went his way to her door, waiting the moment where he can take action.

It’s possible to imagine that in this moment, Roskolnikov probably tensed up in his body, possibly shook out of being nervous, and sweated heavily because he was going to do something he has never done before. The thoughts that lurked in his head of killing another person seemed right to him, because supposedly it was his “destiny”, but somewhere deep inside of him, he knew the act of murder brought consequences. This is where suspense begins to grow. Roskolnikov appears at her door, waiting for her to be in his presence.
She opens the door to find him at her doorstep, and allows him to come in. Roskolnikov offered her something to distract her from seeing him get out his ax, and he was successful. The suspense by now has grown to a whole another level, where we read to find out if Roskolnikov is really capable of killing another person, or not. This part of the book ends with letting us know that he was libertine, and when the chance was presented to him, he got out his ax, and lacerated her until she lied on the floor, dead.
Dostoyevsky, the author of Crime and Punishment, was successful in bringing in suspense to this part of the story. He was able to grasp for the reader’s attention, in wanting to know more of what Roskolnikov was capable of doing, what would have been his next move, and leaving them in shock when they come to find out what he ends up doing. This had to be one of the times in the book of Crime and Punishment where suspense was presented. Works Cited Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment

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