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Marxist Theory on Crime and Punishment Essay

Marxist Theory and Crime and Punishment Throughout human history countless philosophers have risen with what they thought to be the best form of government for society as a whole. Karl Marx may be the most influential philosopher in Russian history. According to The Free Dictionary, Marxism is the concept that “class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society”. With this theory, Marx had a great impact on Russian literature; specifically, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. According the the Marxist theory, one would interpret Crime and Punishment as a perfect example to the rise of communism. This novel embodies the Marxist theory because it is a proclamation of a proletariat, being that Raskolnikov is out of place in society, struggling from a paralyzing poverty and has a craving for fighting for the common good among a society of unjust people. According to the Marxist theory, deviance is an understandable response to poverty. Throughout the novel, there are many instances where Raskolnikov, along with other characters in the novel, suffer from poverty and in return take drastic measures. For instance, Sonya Marmeladov, a good­willed, religious beauty, turned to prostitution in order to help her family stay afloat. Even laying down, “thirty rubles on the table”, could stop the children from crying from starvation, and keep a roof over their heads a little longer (1.2.20). Furthermore, poverty becomes a part of Raskolnikov


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