Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment is a treatise on the Russian justice system written in 1866 by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Along with most of Dostoevsky’s works, it is often wrongly attributed to other Russian authors such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoievsky, Fyodor Dostoevski, and on rare occasion, Tsar Feodor I of Russia. The book is one of Dostoevsky’s many that show his morbidly disturbing obsession with murder.

Many classes on criminal justice and law have required students to read the book despite that it has little to do with explaining the court system. This is assumedly punishment for any criminal offenses the student might have committed at one point in their life. However, the reason literature courses also require reading such a book is unclear.

It was recently discovered that Fyodor Dostoevsky plagiarized Crime and Punishment from Comrade Stalin 's book Crimethink and Joycamps, and filled it with crimethink, subliminal anti-prole messages, and capitalist propaganda. Dostoevsky was declared an evil capitalist saboteur in league with Goldstein Trotsky who was attempting to vandalize true literature. Thus, Comrade Stalin bravely saved the proles from the grasp of another evil traitor. To commemorate his victory, he was awarded the rank of Greatest Author Ever by himself. Comrade Stalin's great book was provided to everyone so that they could admire his genius. It, like all of Stalin's books, is the greatest piece of people literature ever written and won the Stalin Prize.

Background[edit | edit source]

The book was written in a hurry because the rent was due and Dostoevsky had lost most of his money, jewelry, clothes, and furniture in a huge gambling spree that did not turn out as well as he had hoped. Some say this is shown clearly in the book, and others say it shows vaguely, while still others have not heard of Fyodor Dostoevsky at all and are consequently useless in such matters. Lastly, there is an emerging theory among literary and comic book scholars that Comrade Dostoevsky was the alter ego of crime-fighter extraordinaire and executioner galore, Judge Dredd.

Intentions[edit | edit source]

The text was initially written with the intention of explaining in full detail the inner workings of the justice system, but at some point it had acquired a long, winding plotline that never really touched upon the court system. Others have contended that Dostoevsky intended the book to act as a punishment for criminals who bought the book under the impression that it would help escape the law; however, in doing this he would have confused dedicated readers and scholars who believed the book to be educational.

The book was also originally intended to be published in two installments, Crime and Punishment. However, Dostoevsky felt that the book, at 520 pages, was too short to be released in two parts, much like Leo Tolstoy had felt about War and Peace. Thus, he decided to publish the entire manuscript as one. Dostoevsky’s decision angered his publisher, who wanted two books, and the author was forced to write The Gambler, a book examining regular betters. It quickly became a standard text for casino employees and managers who think a million dollars or so is not enough money.

Wordplay[edit | edit source]

In the original Russian text, the names of the major characters in Crime and Punishment have something of a double meaning. No one knows why. It is supposed that this is because Dostoevsky couldn't think of proper names for his characters as he wrote the book. When he finished, he might have come up with real names but, since has he did not have a "find and replace" feature on his computer, he decided quite simply that changing them wasn't worth the effort.

Name Word Meaning (if applicable)
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov raskol split personality
Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin luzha stone
Alexander Grigorievich Zamyotov zametit ------
Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov marmelad depressed
Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov Svidrigailo -----
Dmitri Prokofych Razumikhin razum faithful

Division[edit | edit source]

As it was intended to be released in two parts, there are two distinct sections in the book. First is the Crime: the murder of an old woman and her sister. This takes up about fifty pages. The other 450 pages or so is the Punishment, though it is not certain whether the punishment is for the murderer or the reader. However, some have claimed the book to have no crime section, saying that reading the whole book itself is punishment, while the “crime” is Dostoevsky having written it. These claims are uncertain.

Some of the many lines of symmetry tested by the scientists.

Symmetry[edit | edit source]

For many years, Crime and Punishment was said to be a symmetrical. However, in the early 1900s, a team of reputable scientists proved this false by slicing the book in two and observed that the halves were not identical. Further observation showed that the title itself was not symmetrical and that the second half of the book is not the first half written backwards. Many different line of symmetry were attempted, but each proved that, despite its rectangular shape, the book was not symmetrical in any respect.

Dismayed at these results, many literature figures repeated the experiment themselves and were shocked to find that the book was not in fact symmetrical. This was one of literature’s greatest revelations to date, along with the sudden realizations that fire is hot and water is wet. The brilliant scientists later went on to prove that Francisco Franco is still dead and were assassinated by an angry mob of Spanish fascists who were no longer allowed to believe their leader was in hiding without automatically being idiots.

Since then, people who claimed the book to be symmetrical have suggested that the book be renamed "Crime and Punishment tnemhsinuP dna emirC", have its cover redesigned, and that a mirrored version of the book is added at the end of the original so that they don’t look like idiots.

Inconsistencies[edit | edit source]

Dostoevsky wrote the book hurriedly over the course of a couple weeks in order to get an advance from his publisher, as he had just lost a great amount of money gambling. As such, the book contains many inconsistencies, even in the spelling of characters’ names. Even the language in which the book was written is inconsistent; Dostoevsky often switches to French and German without warning, which has made translating the book a pain in the ass for those who only speak two languages and reading the book a greater pain in the ass for those who only speak one language.

The police department also constantly changes floors, though it is not known whether this is a real inconsistency or Russian policemen just really enjoy the experience of moving hundreds of filing cabinets and desks for no real reason whatsoever.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Evil attempt to unlife Comrade Stalin and proles.

The book starts with Raskolnikov, an atheist asshole who thinks he’s better than everyone else and does not have to abide by the law, as it was put in place to keep his idiot slaves in line. To prove this, he kills some woman and her sister. Turns out he was wrong. But before that, he meets a titular councilor (whatever the hell that is),[1] who is immediately killed off so that his young teenage daughter (who happens to be a prostitute) can fall in love with Raskolnikov because of his arrogant demeanor and blatant asshattery. Raskolnikov then decides to go absolutely curtains and jumps around St. Petersburg acting batty, asking painters about blood and blabbing to everyone that he killed that nasty pawnbroker woman and no one can prove it. No one finds this suspicious or even slightly odd, as nobody called to have him taken to the loony bin. However, after several months, people begin to decide that the man might be a little unwell. Raskolnikov then confesses to a police clerk in a crowded restaurant that he had indeed killed the pawnbroker woman and her sister. The police note this and begin to take a slight amount of suspicion. Finally, after Raskolnikov visits his friend Razhumuumuureallylonganddifficulttopronouncenamekhin while a police inspector was present and heatedly discusses the murder, said inspector begins to take special interest in Raskolnikov. Around that time, man calls Raskolnikov a murderer, sees his face, and then apologizes because he thought he was someone else.

Raskolnikov confesses to the girl in love with him that he killed the pawnbroker woman and her sister. She doesn’t react well. In the end, Raskolnikov is left with the choice of freedom or a good deal of time in Siberia. He decides he thinks Siberia is much better than the hellhole he’s in and goes there. The girl follows him because she’s decided that murder isn’t really all that bad. Razmukhin marries Raskolnikov’s sister, who had suddenly popped out of nowhere.

Revised Plot Summary[edit | edit source]

Raskolnikov kill evil capitalist woman. Raskolnikov say, "Comrade Stalin doubleplusgood genius." Raskolnikov hero. Proles rejoice.

Success[edit | edit source]

Crime and Punishment was a phenomenal success. Literary critics praised the book highly and copies sold in the thousands. It was so successful that Dostoevsky decided to write another treatise on justice that would be an equal success. It is known today as Law and Order.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Titular councilor: someone who advises women about their boobs. It’s a traditional Russian job (sick perverts).

See Also[edit | edit source]