Raskolnikov’s redemption is an essential element to the story. His interaction with Profiry is a catalyst for this change. Additionally, the psychological concepts and techniques used by the investigator are crucial aspects of the narrative. In fact, his entire investigation involves the use of psychology to lure out the murderer in what Raskolnikov refers to as a “cat and mouse game. ” Though Raskolnikov considers hi an adversary, his admiration for Porfiry’s intelligence and the good use to which he puts it are critical in redeeming certain aspects of his character.
Porfiry Petrovitch is an intelligent young man who works for the betterment of his country. He is greatly devoted to Russia and believes his nation has a bright future. He sees Raskolnikov as a bright young man who can contribute to Russia. Through the story Petrovitch comes to realize that Raskolnikov has fallen under the influence of radical new ideas. He is clearly not a common policeman; otherwise he would have arrested the young man much earlier in the novel. Indeed, Petrovitch’s advanced knowledge of psychological methods makes him come across as an open-minded intellectual.
He reads the article Raskolnikov had written about crime. He brings this up in their first encounter and Raskolnikov provides details on his ubbermensch theory. Porfiry concludes that the young student must have included himself in the theory, as he was the one who spread the new idea. He also uses other tactics, such as asking whether Raskolnikov noticed two painters at Ivanova’s apartment. This is an attempt to trap Raskolnikov, who realizes it because there were no painters on site until the day of the murder. However these clever mind games and exchanges provide the novel with a rich, compelling interaction.
Raskolnikov recognized Porify’s intelligence, and fears him as an antagonist. The investigator however looks at his suspect differently. Soon Petrovitch’s aim is to show Raskolnikov the error of his theory; that his ideas cannot serve humanity unless they are executed by humane people. Thus a person must employ both humanity and intellect simultaneously in order for their ideas to improve society. By discovering the inaccuracy of his theory, Raskolnikov can begin to accept blame and punishment for his actions.
Through suffering for his actions, Raskolnikov can begin his ehabilitation and progress towards becoming the valued addition to society that Petrovitch thinks he can be. Petrovitch believes that he can rehabilitate Raskolnikov into someone who can serve Russia in a useful way. This is exemplified by the final interview, in which he gives Raskolnikov additional time to confess to the crime and thereby reduce his level of punishment. Throughout their exchanges, Petrovitch pushes the main character to do the right thing by appealing to his intellect. His influence on Raskolnikov helps the young man to accept responsibility for his actions and move towards rebuilding his life.
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