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In contrast, the physical beauty of the character contrasts significantly with the ugliness of the crime.
Therefore, the story is a parable of the fate of a nihilistic and skeptical youth in nineteenth century Russia, a position once held by Dostoevsky himself, but he later rejected the revolutionary opinions and came to hate and fear them.
Crime and Punishment was to be a vision of the ultimate error and moral sufferings of those who had so cut themselves off from established authority and morality that they lost all respect for human life.
Prior to this novel, Dostoevsky had used characters whose personalities were dual ones.
However, it is not until this novel that he exposes the reader to a full study of the split personality.
His punishment comes about as a result of the transcendence of conscience.
Therefore, one aspect of his character is a cold, inhumane, detached intellectuality which emphasizes the individual power and self-will.
Often during the novel, these physical matters will be used to explain his crimes and his sick frightened feelings that are attributed to the squalor of his room and his lack of food.
In contrast to his physical surroundings, his personal appearance is exceptional; even though he is clothed in rags, he is still exceptionally handsome, slim, "well-built with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair." Too often, even today, illustrators often depict Raskolnikov as physically depraved and/or deformed — a vicious Mr. Unlike other great writers, such as Dickens, whose evil characters are described in frightful terms, Dostoevsky does just the opposite — he presents Raskolnikov as physically attractive so as to prevent any possible view that the ugliness of his crime is influenced by a physical deformity.
Even though he was a strikingly handsome young man, he dresses so wretchedly in rags that no one would notice his secretive behavior.
It was not far to the pawnbroker's house — "exactly seven hundred and thirty" paces.