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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
  1. $11.20 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Sherwood Nation

    Benjamin Parzybok 9781618730862

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Customer Comments

skpeterson21 has commented on (2) products.

Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics) by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics)

skpeterson21, May 12, 2011

I recently read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This novel presents the reader with insight into the mind of a murderer of he plans and executes his crime and suffers as a result. The novel aims to teach the reader the dangers of arrogance and the progressive thinking of 1860s Russia.
This novel was written during a time of political upheaval in Russia. The serfs had just been emancipated and the university students were brimming with ideological protest. Dostoevsky had been jailed previous to the writing of this novel because of his radical writings. He used his jail time experience to help describe Raskolnikov’s experience in Siberia. As a result of this tumultuous time, Dostoevsky injects much social criticism into his novel. He assaults drunkenness, the new “modern” thoughts of the progressives and rationalists. Throughout the book, Dostoevsky calls for a return to the values that had made Russia great.
Dostoevsky presents the reader with many questions throughout the book. He questions the justification and rationalization of murder. Do the ends justify the means? Raskolnikov develops a theory that such men of genius such as him were allowed to transgress the law in the benefit of society. Raskolnikov says that men such as Napoleon (a man of genius) “are made not of flesh but of bronze” (274). Much of the novel is devoted to Raskolnikov’s path to realization about whether or not he is a great man. Another question that arises is regarding the redemption of sin. Is it possible for a man to achieve redemption after committing a heinous crime in the name of vainglory? The reader finds the answer to this question through Raskolnikov’s guilt, suffering, and love for a girl. This girl, Sonya pleads with Raskolnikov to “`accept suffering and redeem yourself by it, that’s what you must do`” (420). By the end of the novel, the reader will find out if Raskolnikov achieves the redemption that he seeks. The prevalence of redemption and sin in this novel is also shown through many Biblical allusions such as to the story of Lazarus.
Dostoevsky’s use of language in this novel is masterful and it fully describes the mental state of a murder. The diction is dark, severe, etc. One such example occurs on page 9 when Raskolnikov thinks about “the sense of infinite loathing that had begun to crush and sicken his heart even while he had only been on his way to the old woman had now attained such dimensions and become so vividly conscious that he was quite simply overwhelmed by his depression” (9). The use of strong language reflects the mental turmoil and anguish that pervades the mind of Raskolnikov. Finally, the diction and language provide a very realistic and believable account of a manic individual as he copes with guilt and shame.
Overall, Crime and Punishment is a wonderful read with many plot twists, boundless symbolism, and questions regarding human nature. The novel reflects the turbulent political and social atmosphere in which it was written and as a result contains striking social commentary. This artistic masterpiece clearly teaches readers a lesson about guilt, sin, arrogance, and the psychology of murder. After reading this novel, I now know why this novel is an international classic.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics) by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics)

skpeterson21, May 12, 2011

I recently read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This novel presents the reader with insight into the mind of a murderer of he plans and executes his crime and suffers as a result. The novel aims to teach the reader the dangers of arrogance and the progressive thinking of 1860s Russia.
This novel was written during a time of political upheaval in Russia. The serfs had just been emancipated and the university students were brimming with ideological protest. Dostoevsky had been jailed previous to the writing of this novel because of his radical writings. He used his jail time experience to help describe Raskolnikov’s experience in Siberia. As a result of this tumultuous time, Dostoevsky injects much social criticism into his novel. He assaults drunkenness, the new “modern” thoughts of the progressives and rationalists. Throughout the book, Dostoevsky calls for a return to the values that had made Russia great.
Dostoevsky presents the reader with many questions throughout the book. He questions the justification and rationalization of murder. Do the ends justify the means? Raskolnikov develops a theory that such men of genius such as him were allowed to transgress the law in the benefit of society. Raskolnikov says that men such as Napoleon (a man of genius) “are made not of flesh but of bronze” (274). Much of the novel is devoted to Raskolnikov’s path to realization about whether or not he is a great man. Another question that arises is regarding the redemption of sin. Is it possible for a man to achieve redemption after committing a heinous crime in the name of vainglory? The reader finds the answer to this question through Raskolnikov’s guilt, suffering, and love for a girl. This girl, Sonya pleads with Raskolnikov to “`accept suffering and redeem yourself by it, that’s what you must do`” (420). By the end of the novel, the reader will find out if Raskolnikov achieves the redemption that he seeks. The prevalence of redemption and sin in this novel is also shown through many Biblical allusions such as to the story of Lazarus.
Dostoevsky’s use of language in this novel is masterful and it fully describes the mental state of a murder. The diction is dark, severe, etc. One such example occurs on page 9 when Raskolnikov thinks about “the sense of infinite loathing that had begun to crush and sicken his heart even while he had only been on his way to the old woman had now attained such dimensions and become so vividly conscious that he was quite simply overwhelmed by his depression” (9). The use of strong language reflects the mental turmoil and anguish that pervades the mind of Raskolnikov. Finally, the diction and language provide a very realistic and believable account of a manic individual as he copes with guilt and shame.
Overall, Crime and Punishment is a wonderful read with many plot twists, boundless symbolism, and questions regarding human nature. The novel reflects the turbulent political and social atmosphere in which it was written and as a result contains striking social commentary. This artistic masterpiece clearly teaches readers a lesson about guilt, sin, arrogance, and the psychology of murder. After reading this novel, I now know why this novel is an international classic.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



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