19th Century Russian Literature


So “they were resurrected by love.”

“But here begins a new account,… It might make  the subject of a new story.” Write a 250 word proposal for this sequel suggesting a title and outlining the future of Raskolnikov. Be sure to make his final dream a central part of the action or serve as a central theme of your own creation.


  1. Kara Shurmantine
    April 15th, 2009 | 11:41 am

    Raskolnikov’s story to me fits clearly into the archetype of the hero’s journey. Throughout Crime and Punishment he is confused and ambivalent about his desires and his life’s true course and is finally pushed into an abyss. Until the final two pages of the epilogue he lingers in this abyss, still convinced of the righteousness of his actions. Finally, the revelation comes: he loves Sonya and he desires to give his life and his love entirely into her hands for the rest of his future. He wonders, “Can her convictions not be my convictions now? Her feelings, her aspirations, at least…” This revelation, this transition from abyss of egotism and the superiority complex of the “extraordinary man” theory to revelation of love and Christian compassion, represents a transition “from one world to another.” However, the transition is not complete, and this will form the basis of the sequel to Crime and Punishment. The hero must complete the cycle. He has discovered love, but does he truly understand why his theory, and consequent murder of the two women, was wrong? Perhaps he emotionally understands it now, but the sequel must detail his “gradual” intellectual comprehension of this fact. In my imagining of the sequel, Raskolnikov completely gives himself over to the good side of his once-schizophrenic self: the side that loved his mother and Dunya, the side that helped the consumptive student and rescued children from burning buildings. In prison, he begins to use his intelligence and education to bond with and educate his fellow-prisoners until he has developed great friendships with them. After prison he builds a family with Sonya, devoting himself to good deeds and “active love.” Perhaps he becomes a religious man, perhaps the family commits itself to charity. But I imagine by the end of the sequel (which wouldn’t be very long), Raskolnikov’s an old man, with a full life, one that he’s proud of having lived in compassion and active love, ascended completely from his abyss.

  2. Kara Shurmantine
    April 15th, 2009 | 11:42 am

    forgot a title. Perhaps “revelation and redemption” or something.

  3. Elise Hanks
    April 15th, 2009 | 3:12 pm

    Extraordinary Son

    Sonya and Raskolnikov have a young son, Agafya. Surrounded by literature, for his father translates for the Church and his aunt and uncle own their own printing and publishing company, Agafya develops a love for academia and learning. When he reaches the age of seventeen, as he is preparing to go away to university, he discovers an article written decades ago by his father entitled “On Crime.” A brilliant scholar who has long harbored resentment of the faith in God of his parents (for man is God on earth and his studies in science, mathematics, and literature unlock the secrets of the universe, not prayer), Agafya obsesses over his father’s manuscript in secret and decides to forego his studies at university. He begins a life underground…

    Strange acts of violence, vandalism, and rebellion begin to emerge across St. Petersburg. There are killings out of meaningless spite, outbreaks of disease, and bands of ruffians rampant in the city. No one knows who to trust and the people begin to lose sight of what is good and what is evil.

    Only Rodya truly knows the root of the problem… However to catch his son he must figure out the boy’s plans for greatness before he can commit a sin too great for his soul to overcome. Rodya struggles to resume once more the demeanor of his theoretical Extraordinary Man without allowing it to consume him. Can he find his son and redemption for him before Agafya forgets how to love?

  4. Ben Tabb
    April 15th, 2009 | 4:21 pm

    While I must say I find the ending satisfactory as it is, here goes:

    Having finally found fulfillment in his life in the form of Sonya and God, Raskolnikov’s years in Siberia begin to pass quickly, and he does not mind the time. He has God to keep him going and Sonya to look forward to. Year after year passes with little occurrence, until with two years left on his sentence, Sonya falls ill. Raskolnikov and Sonya pray for her health, and for some time she begins to get better, only to later take a turn for the worst and eventually die. Sonya accepts her death, feeling good about having helped Raskolnikov while she was alive, and confident in her place in the afterlife. Raskolnikov, however, does not take it well. He cannot understand why God would forsake him in such a way. Still in Siberia, he once again falls ill and withdraws himself from everyone else, refusing to do the labor that is required of him.

    Without Sonya, all he has left is God, but he is no longer sure whether he can believe in a God that would allow this to happen. He determines to do what he was not strong enough to do before and end his life. The night before he intends to do it, however, he has a dream that he and Sonya are working to convert and save people in St. Petersburg. Determined to do what he knows Sonya would want him to do, he dedicates himself to helping people find God when he gets out of Siberia. Not surprisingly, few people are willing to listen to an unemployed ex-con murderer. Razumikhin and Dunya offer him assistance and a job at their humble publishing company, but he declines, saying that he does not need money and that God will provide for him.

    Meanwhile, his theory of the extraordinary man is becoming increasingly popular among the intelligentsia. His article became well read during his trial, and he has made somewhat of a cult following that awaited his return from Siberia. Seeing Raskolnikov is now poor and not the same man he once was, his followers blame the government for ruining what they see as such a promising individual. Raskolnikov tries to convince them otherwise, but they dismiss him as brainwashed by his stay in Siberia and religion. Eventually, Raskolnikov realizes that this small group of men, believing they are truly extraordinary, will not listen to reason or anything else, and are planning to cause much trouble. He threatens to kill himself unless they disassociate, but they now consider him expendable. Finally, with the police unwilling to listen to him, and knowing he’s the only one who get to this group, he realizes that unless he kills these men, they will wreak havoc on St. Petersburg. Can he now kill these few to protect the many?

    While contemplating what he can do, Raskolnikov finds the youngest of the followers, Nikolai, who had warmed up to him earlier in the story, entering his closet of an apartment. Nikolai confesses that he saw from Raskolnikov’s example that his theory could not stand. He murdered the rest of the followers as Raskolnikov had considered. In the final scene, Nikolai weeps in Raskolnikov’s lap, as he kisses Nikolai’s head.

  5. Ben Tabb
    April 15th, 2009 | 4:24 pm

    After rereading my post, I’ve realized that it’s too long, somewhat reminiscent of “Fight Club,” and perhaps over-the-top. I guess that goes to show what I look for in my books.

  6. Alexandra Boillot
    April 15th, 2009 | 4:57 pm

    Repentance and Renewed Life

    Now that Raskolnikov has realized his true love for Sonya and has been resurrected as a result of this love, he must complete this cycle by repenting for his sin. Only this repentance will bring him renewed life since he will be able to let go of his shame for failing in his crime. To repent he must reject his theory completely. Instead of believing that his theory was generally right but personally wrong for him, which produced his feelings of shame, he must reject the theory as fundamentally wrong for any human to carry out. I believe that the dream was a metaphor for the eradication of his theory. The people being attacked by the virus in the dream were those believing in his theory, and the chosen few left on earth to “renew and purify the earth” acknowledge that Raskolnikov’s theory gave permission for certain people to disobey God and, therefore, reject it. Raskolnikov will create a new theory based on this dream in which he refutes his old theory completely and puts forward a new one on the cohesiveness of society. His new theory will outline a renewed life not just for him, but also for all of society. His theory puts all men on an equal level and these men will possess the opposite qualities of the ones that those infected by the microbe did. Instead of thinking themselves to be infallible and their thoughts to be absolutely right while everyone else wrong, these new men will believe in cooperation between men of society and the melding of their ideas to create a new societal order. Raskolnikov will spend his last years in prison perfecting this theory and once freed, he will live happily with Sonya, Dunya, and Razumihin while working to implement his theory into their society.

  7. Patrick O'Neill
    April 15th, 2009 | 6:24 pm

    Raskolnikov’s Revenge

    After the complete realization of the depth of his love for Sonya coupled with his newfound desire to seriously adopt religion, Raskolnikov slowly but surely begins his transformation into a pious human being. Much of the novel could concern the daily affairs of prison life and the relationship between Raskolnikov and the other prisoners, who once almost beat him to death, claiming that he did not believe in God. Through his growing relations with the other prisoners, Raskolnikov learns of their own personal stories and begins to reconcile himself with them.

    One day, however, one of the prisoners whose thoughts for Sonya had long since turned from respect to lust finally breaks down and rapes her when the opportunity presented itself. New trials and tribulations now emerge for Sonya and Raskolnikov, both separately and collectively. Not only are Raskolnikov’s path to ultimate redemption and faith utterly shaken, but new thoughts concerning revenge and the right to kill emerge in his head. Turbulent emotions of hatred and anger conflict with his new Christian views as well as his own new philosophies concerning crime, punishment and redemption, which had taken so long to come upon while in prison. The way is now opened up the way for a renewed internal struggle within Rodion Romanovich in which everything again hangs in the balance…

  8. Zachary Harris
    April 15th, 2009 | 7:40 pm

    The true extraordinary man

    I imagine a sequel in which Raskolnikov becomes a sort of Holy figure in the prison camp and gains great respect from the other prisoners and guards. Sonya, after fulfilling her role in redeeming Raskolnikov, dies as her mission has been fulfilled. Raskolnikov is proven to be an extraordinary man of a different sort, in that his teachings manage to directly cause great change in the world in a purely benevolent and non-violent fashion.

    The head of the prison becomes especially close with Raskolnikov. He has a great respect for Raskolnikov and is also a nominally religious man, yet he does not fully understand the teachings of Christ. He is soon promoted to becoming a general to go fight in Central Asia and help expand the Russian Empire. He is a great patriot, yet is confronted with many difficult moral decisions. He sees the brutality of both his army and the armies of his enemies and sees the prophecy that Raskolnikov had in his dream of the barbarous nature of man. Both sides in the war he is involved in are staunchly convinced that they are correct, and commit horrible atrocities because they are so convinced that the other side is evil. The former guard, the protagonist of the novel, is wracked with guilt over the atrocities he has to commit in the name of his country and struggles with the same problem that Raskolnikov had to deal with; that if he is to be a true extraordinary leader, he must use horrible means to accomplish this goal. Yet his guilt and remembrance of Raskolnikov’s teachings lead him to disobey the government and spare a city that is resisting the Russian army. He is punished for this by being sent to prison, yet he is then able to morally pardon himself for the war crimes he committed earlier. There at prison he becomes a holy figure like Raskolnikov and serves to help future struggling inmates with problems concerning religion and the soul.

  9. Sophie Clarke
    April 15th, 2009 | 9:34 pm

    First of all, Ben Tabb- that was the shit.

    Disclaimer: Totally don’t believe what I write below, but what I actually think happens is too boring to write (they live happily every after in this world and in eternity….) BOORRRING…..so…..

    Title: Raskolnikov’s Rebirth: Hell on Earth

    I think that for the first time, in the epilogue, we see Raskolnikov as a truly “extraordinary man.” His conscious seems unaffected (he says his conscious is “easy”), and he feels “no remorse for his crime.” In fact, he confiders crime only to be “not having the courage of his convictions and in having turned himself in.” His “embittered conscious could find no particularly dreadful guilt in his past, except perhaps for a simple blunder which might have happened to anyone.”

    Even Dostoevsky’s end leaves the possibility of Raskolnikov as the extraordinary man open. Dostoevsky writes that a new story has begun, one of Raskolnikov’s gradual rebirth and transition from one world to another. Many might be fooled that this new life is one of religion and love.

    In actuality, however, this new life is the rebirth of the extraordinary man personality of Raskolnikov, not the sensitive religious personality. The sequel is the story spelled out in Raskolnikov’s dream sequence. Just as Crime and Punishment is about Raskolnikov’s disregard of his dream about the horse that warned him and exposed him to the evils of committing a pointless crime against an innocent person, the sequel is about Raskolnikov’s rejection of the warnings of the epilogue dream.

    In the sequel, Raskolnikov is no longer a split personality. He is fully committed to modifying his theory of the imaginary man. Raskolnikov preaches his theory in underground meetings to his fellow inmates over the next seven years. He does this not to gain a following, but rather to cement his theory. He hopes that when his is released, he can perform another extraordinary man experiment, and fantasizes his next victim to be Poifry.

    In the meantime, his fellow inmates have become convinced of his theory. These dangerous criminals, who now individually believe in the “correctness of their judgments,” break out of jail, escape Siberia, and proceed to wreck havoc on all of Russia.

  10. Brett Basarab
    April 15th, 2009 | 9:57 pm

    Title: Faith and Struggle

    Here is the basic outline of my sequel: With his seven empty years spent in prison, Raskolnikov has more than enough time to understand the teachings in the New Testament and further connect with Sonia. He slowly begins to reject his theory; unlike in the epilogue, he finally admits that what he did was a horrible crime. This change truly is a struggle for Raskolnikov, just as the end of the epilogue prophesied. However, he emerges a stronger, happier man. His relations with the inmates have vastly improved, he has repaired relations through letters with Razumihin and Dounia, and his love for Sonia is stronger than ever.

    As soon as Raskolnikov is freed, life looks great for him and Sonia. They set out again for St. Petersburg, planning on getting married. Through connections with Razumihin, both land stable jobs. Unfortunately, the setting change to St. Petersburg marks a turn for the worst in the sequel. As described in the actual novel, St. Petersburg is ugly, impoverished and suffocating. The plague mentioned in the epilogue has swept through as violent mobs with revolutionary ideas ransack the city. Men with extreme political ideas cannot compromise and after a drunken evening turn to street brawls and duels. Revolution and major unrest seem imminent. As an ex-con, Raskolnikov finds himself increasingly threatened by these extreme sentiments. Sonia, too, as well as Dounia and Razumihin face danger. Raskolnikov is torn because his old theory tells him to rise up against certain injustices by the government. Meanwhile, his new faith in God tells him that order will triumph over the chaos and that he should reject the violent ways of the mobs. Should he join the mobs and become his old self, or resist their irrational ideas and protect his family? However by protecting his family he may risk having to kill some of the mobsters. Even worse, his desire to kill to protect his family is driven by irrational love, rather than the cold rationality that lead him to his first crime. Thus, Raskolnikov’s moral dilemma is superimposed onto a much broader scale.

  11. Lisa Eppich
    April 15th, 2009 | 10:26 pm

    The Lost and the Found

    My novel starts five years from where Crime and Punishment has left off. A year after the novel ends, Sonya and Raskolnikov have a daughter, Vera, but Sonya dies in childbirth. Because she was well liked by all around her, the village outside of the camp takes Vera in. Raskolnikov broods over his resentment towards the daughter, who killed his only love, and vows never to see the child’s face. When the story picks up at present day, Vera makes a trip to see her father. He is at first appalled, raving to her that she destroyed the only true and pure being in the world, but Vera just gives him a small piece of food from town and leaves. She begins doing this day after day- dropping off a small crust of bread, anything she has on hand, and then leaving, and Raskolnikov always yells terrible things after her. However, he keeps every trinket in a pile underneath his bed. One day as Vera makes her usual trip, Raskolnikov stops her and asks her why she does this. She replies that she just felt that it’s what she should do. Raskolnikov collapses before his child and begins to sob about he believed that it was his own evilness that was born into her that ultimately killed Sonya, yet now he realizes that her eternal purity and kindness lives on in their child. From that day forward, Vera’s trips to visit her father become longer and longer, as he sits with her and teaches his child how to read, about the bible, etc.
    When Raskolnikov is released from prison, he and his daughter move away and build a house by a river in a tiny village. He has told her everything about himself, everything that transpired in his youth. He constantly asks Vera if she fears him, and she always replies no. On her 8th birthday, Raskolnikov presents her with the cross that Sonya used to wear. On the same day, the two walk down to the river together. Vera slips into the rushing current, and Raskolnikov dives in to save her. He manages to get her back to shore, yet he does not have enough strength to pull himself back up. With his last ounce of strength, he manages to get the cross off of his neck and hands it to Vera, exclaiming that he will now will leave and find out if he has been forgiven. He is swept away by the current and drowns. Vera puts her father’s cross around her neck and falls to the ground weeping.

  12. Jennifer Ridder
    April 15th, 2009 | 10:41 pm

    First off, what an unnecessary ending! The epilogue seems so superfluous to me. The novel does quite well to stand alone without an epilogue that only seems to tie up elements that the reader can already assume. Certainly, nothing essential or new is given; the confession implies that Raskolnikov is now on his way towards becoming resurrected and repentant being. It seems only to tie up the loose ends of Dunya and Razumihkin getting married and Sonya following Raskolnikov to Siberia. But to me, this was already apparent. That being said, in some ways Sonya becomes a more questionable character me. She seems to bring about Raskolikov’s resurrection just be being willing to serve him and suffer with him. I certainly question her as being strong women by her complete devotion to Raskolnikov despite his indifference towards her. Though Raskolnikov ultimately realizes how much Sonya means to him and that after his suffering he will have happiness with her.
    However, in my sequel, I would perhaps have it take place in the height of suburbia in America. Here, Sonya would continue to be in servitude to Raskolnikov as a typical suburban housewife. After going through some years of devotion to Sonya and religion, Rask would eventually tire of such piousness. His duality would once again appear. The need for something more, the desire to understand more of the world, in a search for truth beyond that of a suburban life and “happy” marriage with Sonya, he would have an affair. Rask would think that by having an affair this would improve his and Sonya’s marriage, in the hope that he would once again realize that all he needs is she. However, he finds a new and different love; one of lust and intimacy, not suffering and devotion. He would begin to lead two lives, one of a quiet indifference to Sonya, and another more corrupt sexual one to his mistress. Sonya, in her awareness of his sudden change in behavior, his odd lack of trust or interest in her, hires Profiry as a detective. Through him we follow Rask’s affair and Profiry lures Rask into confessing his illicit sexual ramblings. Sonya in hearing of his again asks him to repent. She never leave his side, despite her sister in law, Dunya begging her to leave him, to find something of her own. But she stays true to her complete devotion and love for Rask, and hopes that he can again love her and that will learn a new trust. But lust is more then love, it is rapture that overtakes Rask, physically and emotionally, like his dreams but in the form of a woman willing and able to take all…

  13. Natalie Komrovsky
    April 15th, 2009 | 11:07 pm

    In my sequel, Raskolnikov is again on a quest for something. He has abandoned the theory of the “extraordinary man” and accepted that, as Sonya hinted, no one has the right to act above or without regard to the law. However, he is continually plagued by the same dream. At first, he truly believes in God and sees Sonya as a carrier of the truth. But after he is released from prison, and he and Sonya are back in St. Petersburg, he finds himself faced with many different kinds of people, all of whom have a different opinion on what is good and true. He begins to have the virus dream nightly, and starts to second-guess his faith in God and Sonya. How can he be so sure that what she says is true? Is his judgment not clouded by his love for her?

    Distressed, Sonya tries to prove to Raskolnikov that her word is true by reading him passages from the bible. She also asserts that it isn’t her word, but God’s word that is ultimately true. However, Sonya, who is not the type to intellectually argue or to aggressively try to sway someone’s views, understands that she must simply stay firm in her beliefs and continue to support and guide Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov believes he needs to escape the excitement and corruption of the city and returns to Siberia (where there is much truth and wisdom to be found. Sonya comes too.) While overlooking Baikal, he comes to the conclusion that there is a greater truth in existence, one so great that he as a man will never be able to prove it. However, he knows that it is true because both he and Sonya know it. Their love and mutual understanding is so strong that he just knows that what they have and what they believe is true. After all, in the dream, each individual person had a different notion of what truth was. However, in reality, both he and Sonya share the same notion. Therefore, he knows that it must be true because they are both there to confirm that for each other.

    So then they live happily ever after, but in Siberia, where all is holy.

  14. Stewart Moore
    April 15th, 2009 | 11:23 pm

    The years of imprisonment did not pass quickly for Raskolnikov; they were long and tiresome indeed. However, with his hard work, diligent study of the Bible, and love for God and Sonya, he smiled every night before he feel asleep, the smile of a satisfied man. And so while in prison, Raskolnikov learned patience and how to be happy with what he had been given.

    After many fulfilled days, Raskolnikov was released. The second day after his release, Raskolnikov and Sonya were wed in a small little church with creaky floorboards. Being a pious man, Raskolnikov stayed in Siberia, and he and Sonya ministered everyday to the other prisoners. After some time of this life, Raskolnikov felt the call to spread the gospel to the peoples of far eastern Russia, Mongolia, and China. He traveled east with Sonya, and again began to minister to all the people he met, giving food to the hungry, clothing the naked, and loving all. There, in the vast land of north eastern asia, Raskolnikov lived until a ripe old age of ninety-three. Two crosses poke out from a wind-swept knoll, somewhere in those distant lands, yet few, if any other than myself, have seen them.

    What Raskolnikov did not know was that the dream he dreamed in a fitful sleep in prison was becoming a reality. Western Europe changed quickly and the westerners killed God, so they said. In time the majority of Europe and Russia too declared themselves their own gods, and they tried to find the deep secrets of life. Their shovels were short, and no matter how far they dug, even to the invasion of the cell and atom, the gods still wandered in darkness, always searching for more, not knowing anything, but declaring themselves wise and learned.

    All this came to pass while Raskolnikov lived in the far corner of the world. The wise world tore itself apart looking for answers. And one day an old man in St. Petersburg said, “We must find some one who knows!” What the sought-for-man knew, no one quite knew, but they sought him nonetheless. But Raskolnikov and the truly wise could not be found. They were in the dirt-poor villages of the world harvesting their crops, herding their goats, sharing all they owned with those who needed, and they went to bed at night with the smiles of satisfied men..

  15. Harry Morgenthau
    April 16th, 2009 | 12:00 am

    Along with taking this Russian lit class this spring, I am also taking a 20th century American Lit course, so I will try to make my sequel modernist.

    For the remainder of his eight years in prison, Raskolnikov will set up a healthy, although somewhat distanced relationship with his fellow prisoners. He will become fascinated with both their individual stories, and their collective conscious. They are, mostly, the scum of Russia, and their way of thinking and approach on life is very different from everything he knows. Raskolnikov will slowly come to realize that there is a very different Russia then the one he has learned from Petersburg society, and he voraciously attempts to understand it through his discourses with the prisoners. Upon release, he decides that the only thing worth pursuing in life is a greater understanding. By this, I mean he wants to learn how to live in the world, how to reach peace with himself. Spurred on by all of the stories he has heard in the prison, he sets off on a epic cross-country journey, Sonya faithfully in tow, attempting once and for all find that ever elusive truth. But as all wild pursuits of unattainable ideals tend to go in modernist literature, complete knowledge will always seem to be just out of Raskolnikov’s reach. Five years, ten thousand miles, and seven illegitimate children later, Raskolnikov will collapse near the Mongolian border. Thinking back on Sonya, whom he traded for a mule in Kazakhstan, Raskolnikov will begin to realize that he has given up too much in this pursuit, and that he should only ever try to be himself. Yet, before anything truly meaningful can manifest itself in Raskolnikov will perish, starved and exhausted, in an unknown mountain pass.

  16. Harry Morgenthau
    April 16th, 2009 | 12:08 am

    forgot a title;
    On the Carriage Path

  17. Catherine Ahearn
    April 16th, 2009 | 6:14 am

    I’m sorry it’s long. I got carried away and couldn’t stop.


    Crime and Punishment focused very much on Raskolnikov’s interiority as a man disassociated from those around him. His innate feelings of superiority and inability to truly repent for his “error” makes the reader question what Raskolnikov’s true crime and subsequent punishment really is. His final dream and genuine feelings of love toward Sonya propel the sequel.
    As a prisoner in Siberia, Raskolnikov becomes a devout scholar of the bible. Still doubtful about faith, Raskolnikov loses his feelings of superiority and begins to look at the world around him in a different light. His love for Sonya drives all that he does, as he believes that there must be a larger force, a great explanation that he does not yet know in order for love to exist. His final dream becomes a recurring one haunting him almost on a nightly basis. Such dreams, morbid dreams, are always long remembered and produce a strong impression on the disturbed and already excited organism of the person. Raskolnikov refuses to believe that Truth can only be found within the self and reads more and more of the bible as the dream continues to haunt him.
    Sonya gets a job at the prison helping in the kitchen so that she can be closer to Raskolnikov. Sometimes during meals they are able to slip notes to each other, some of which profess their love for one another and some that help Raskolnikov come to terms with the worldly questions he is burdened with. “Your complete belief now depends chiefly on yourself,” Sonya writes to him one day, and her words remind him of something someone once told him.
    Years pass and Raskolnikov is released from his imprisonment. Him and Sonya decide to return to St. Petersburg where Dunya and Pulcheria Alexandrovna are still living. While sitting with his family and Sonya, Raskolnikov is filled with a sudden feeling of lightness and security. He realizes that it is man’s ultimate goal to be happy, that man is born saddened, troubled, and weighed down by the burden of his disconnect with God. Raskolnikov returns to the university and to scholarship, but begins to write articles on his new theories of Man’s responsibility in life. Raskolnikov’s past as a young scholar and murderer actually gains him credibility as a man who has traveled the full journey to his ultimate peace and happiness.
    Hearing about Raskolnikov, Porfiry visits him one night. Porfiry is no longer an investigator but has become discontented with man and his ability to do horrible things. No longer the aware, analytical detective who drove Raskolnikov to his confession, Porfiry begs Raskolnikov for his assistance in helping him regain confidence in the human race and weeps desperately in a chair beside Raskolnikov. Handing him the New Testament, Raskolnikov beings to tell Porfiry about a dream that once used to haunt him.

  18. Ashley Quisol
    April 16th, 2009 | 7:11 am

    The Final Punishment

    The years pass in prison. Raskolnikov (as already mentioned) does not find the constraints of imprisonment to be unbearable: he is clothed, fed, protected. He works hard, but he appreciates the distraction. He is exhausted everyday and time flies by so quickly, that as the eighth year approached, Raskolnikov realizes that his state of comfort would not suffice. He feels as if the burden that he was meant to bear had not been manifested in prison, and his “struggles” were insufficient to atone for his crime.
    After his release, Raskolnikov falls deep into depression. The same dream of massacre and anarchy plagued his sleep. He actually took refuge in it because it was the only true suffering that he could make him feel as if he were actually bearing his cross. Day in and day out, he sat studying scripture, searching for a way to thoroughly repent. Sonya waited on him hand and foot and was eternally patient with his silence and disregard.
    Raskolnikov knows that his is truly in love with Sonya, but is saddened by every glance at her; she had followed him to Siberia when he was so undeserving, and he was undeserving still since he had not yet earned his redemption. He understands that the only way that Sonya would leave him is in death. Pained by her devotion, he also knew that the only way that he would truly suffer would be if Sonya left him.
    It was the act of it rather than the aftermath that really concerned him; memories of bludgeoning the old woman and chopping Lizaveta were too gruesome and he could never bring himself to lift the ax against his Sonya.
    One night, after Sonya had prepared borsch, Raskolnikov slipped a bit of poison into her bowl. He laid with her after dinner since the remedy would take its affect in her sleep. He prayed for her, but did not worry since he knew that she, so pious, would be in heaven soon. The next morning, with Sonya dead, Raskolnikov left a note and some money on the doorstep of his sister (since they had followed them to Siberia) and left forever. He joined the nomads that he had seem that day on there river in the dark tents, and there he lived out his final days. He suffered more than he ever thought possible, not in regret for what he had done, but because of the thought of perhaps never seeing her again. It was still unclear whether or not he would see her again.

  19. Casey Mahoney
    April 16th, 2009 | 7:47 am

    The Recovering (as a present active plural participle)

    As Crime and Punishment ends with Raskolnikov’s conversion of sorts and Sonya’s ability to leave her life of prostitution, we have two characters who have regained a state of redemption and grace certainly in God’s eyes, and perhaps in society’s as well. The remaining years of his sentence go by–the “honeymoon” stage of Raskolnikov’s newfound redemption passes by, and he and Sonya settle into a life of religious devotion and monotony. His love for Sonya is unwavering through his punishment, yet Raskolnikov is an intellectual, and his mind is not settled by religious belief. He does not allow Sonya to know his doubts and other ruminations, and hides his deep torment for the remainder of his sentence out of his love for her.

    They return from Siberia to the overjoyed company of Dunya and Razumikhin. By this time, Raskolnikov’s thoughts have consumed him to the point where he can barely hide his anguish any longer, and Dunya immediately suspects him. Raskolnikov seeks counsel in Razumikhin, and also converses with Dunya, and begins to grow away from Sonya, who has become pregnant. She falls ill as the pregnancy does not go well, and Raskolnikov does not minister to her well. Raskolnikov is reintroduced to his Petersburg acquaintances, the university, and subsequently the circumstances surrounding his crime. He is tempted by the devil in a series of dreams (or through an even slimier Svidrigailov character or perhaps his ghost) to reclaim his injured pride, and falls back into his schismatic habits. He develops a changed relationship with Porfiry Petrovich and he continues at the university. When his son is born, and some Dostoevskian catastrophe or two (or five) happens to Razumikhin or someone, Raskolnikov is “redeemed” by his own ability and intellectual capacity, although this time, he is able to operate within the bounds of orthodoxy, and reconciles with Sonya for his unfaithfulness.

  20. Susanna Merrill
    April 16th, 2009 | 8:13 am
  21. Susanna Merrill
    April 16th, 2009 | 8:28 am

    I don’t see how I could possibly beat Natalie’s story, in which salvation came on the banks on Baikal. That is awesome. Natasha: я с детства мечтал о Байкале… Alexandra Vladimirovna would be so proud.

    I was planning to keep Raskolnikov in Siberia, too, but by means of his getting two years of his sentence commuted to exile. One of his years of exile was in some far-off frozen town, but the second year he and Sonya moved to Irktusk, the Paris of Siberia, seat of all culture and learning. He arrived by river:


    In Irkutsk, Raskolnikov befriended other exiles and former exiles, many of whom were members of the Russian Geographical Society. These enthusiastic and learned men organized expeditions for the gathering of horticultural, geographical, and ethnographical information from the farthest reaches of the Russian empire, and they made up for the ignomy of their exile with the honor of their scientific accomplishments.

    When an expedition is mounted to Kamchatka, Raskolnikov, restless as a stable, respectable member of society with a wife whom makes him feel guilty by her suffering glances every time he steps out of line, signs up. This is the difficult part of the sequel, because Dostoyevsky would not really go in for an adventure plot, I don’t think—focus would have to be on the psychological element. So probably the plot would quickly advance to a fortrace in Kamchatka, where the party is trapped by an avalanche for about a year. Food runs out, and thoughts turn to cannibalism. Inner turmoil, for all involved, insues, but eventually Raskolnikov offers his own emaciated body for the good of all. All are struck by horror and guilt, and they weep. Just as they resign themselves to an honorable death, the tunnelers shout out that they see light.

  22. Susanna Merrill
    April 16th, 2009 | 8:29 am

    Oh, and the title: The Hungry

  23. Matthew Lazarus
    April 16th, 2009 | 8:30 am

    “On Starboard”

    The first months spent in Siberian prison go by smoothly for Raskolnikov and Sonya, who embrace the squalor and human corruption around them as an agent of their own spiritual growth. They engage in dialogue with first the prisoners, then, as their reputation as leaders grows, begin to converse with the guards about any and all personal problems. They form a primitive office of psychology, à la Lucy in “Peanuts.” But eventually the crowd of prisoners and guards begins to tire of their overzealous preaching. Only one guard — Mikhail — still retains his faith in the couple. And with that, two years after their arrival, Raskolnikov, Sonya, and Mikhail plan and execute an escape from Siberia, one that involved reluctant cross-dressing and a bag of sawdust. Luckily, Mikhail knew a guy who knew a guy who could get them an inconspicuous-looking carriage, and so the three made their way inexplicably to the south China sea, before hopping a shipping boat and eventually making their way to Australia, where upon arrival they realize that this is absolutely not the United States, but figure that the wildlife is sufficiently interesting and the weather, albeit windy, very pleasant. At this point Raskolnikov realizes he has no further use for Mikhail, and convinces him to sail back to Siberia because he forgot his toothbrush. Mikhail was last spotted in Vietnam. As for Raskolnikov and Sonya, they integrate themselves with an Aboriginal tribe, and for the first time Raskolnikov experiences a society both void of Christianity yet at the same time highly functioning. This perplexes him for a solid 48 hours, but in the end the two settle with the tribe, content to escape from the tensions and struggles of Russian society.

  24. Anonymous
    April 16th, 2009 | 9:06 am

    By Raskolnikov’s 3rd year in Siberia, a restless group of young thinkers in Moscow have stirred up trouble with their theories of science and reason as the answer to man’s troubles. Naturally, they have huge following, and even the successful officials who obediently stay at work take this liberal view when drinking together at the swankiest pubs. However, the movement’s leader – the King of the Crystal Palace (KCP) – needs someone to condemn as a sign of triumph to begin the new age. He picks Raskolnikov for his now infamously circulated article on the “Extraordinary Man.”
    Raskolnikov breaks out of prison with the help of some friends (traitors paid by the KCP) and moves to Moscow with Sonya, where he is lead on through fame, thinking he is extraordinary again… Meanwhile, Razuhmikin and Dunya hurry to Moscow to warn him in time, (Dunya disguised herself as drunk at a bar and overheard the plan of her brother’s murder) but Alas! They arrive too late, and Sonya has been murdered.
    Sonya was the real enemy of these rationalists, because she wasn’t infected with these “microscopic creatures… endowed with reason and will.” She was one of the “pure and chosen,” because she her natural wisdom came not from science but from faith.
    Enraged, Raskolnikov sees how he has been tricked and used, and vows to avenge his love. This marks the full transformation of Raskolnikov from the beginning of Crime and Punishment; by the end of that novel it is said that the two were “resurrected by love,” so consequently through the death of Sonya, he is able to stop questioning and start acting. (“Can her convictions not be my convictions now?”) Razuhmikin helps, but must flee when he kills the KCP, so Raskolnikov at the end is left to raise his sister’s baby.
    Lots of drinking, a scandal at a wedding and a bloody suicide will go down.

  25. Kaylen Baker
    April 16th, 2009 | 9:09 am

    Above is my blog. The Title is “Faith and Reason” although the Russians fondly call it “Baby in a Prison” for complicated reasons.

  26. Adam Levine
    April 16th, 2009 | 9:52 am

    Wow – what greatly varied and imaginative sequels!

    “Porfiry’s Dilemma” (highly influenced by my thesis as well as Dostoevsky)

    Years after serving his punishment in Siberia, Raskolnikov writes prolifically about his new theory of truth, inspired by a dream: he states that unless people view truth similarly, humanity will never attain it or live in peace. The path to a shared truth involves complete faith in God and active love, honesty to oneself, and supporting the right to live (he criticizes his own “extraordinary man” theory for being pompous and ignorant). While writing in a St. Petersburg cafe, a familiar man enters – it’s Porfiry! Porfiry appears frail, and when he catches sight of Raskolnikov, he initially turns away, unable to keep his eyes on him. When Raskolnikov approaches him and greets him, he scowls and leaves the bistro. Raskolnikov quickly collects his writing utensils and follows the detective. Porfiry, unaware of his being trailed, walks to a bridge overlooking a rapidly-moving river. Here, he begins climbing the bridge and stands atop a plank, ready to jump.

    Raskolnikov, realizing what is about to happen, calls out to him to halt. Porfiry is stunned to see that his old acquaintance has followed him, and he feels slightly embarrassed at being caught in the act of suicide. Raskolnikov asks him why he is about to jump, and Porfiry explains that he has recently apprehended a criminal whose punishment is death by hanging. Influenced by Raskolnikov’s copious writing on the universal right to human life, Porfiry began doubting his decision to reveal the criminal, since now he will be executed and unable to enjoy a basic right. Ashamed, and believing that it is the only way to “even the score,” Porfiry is prepared to commit suicide. Raskolnikov, hearing this, admits that he too believed suicide the stronger way out of his struggle, but after spending years enjoying life with Sonya and feeling redeemed, he realized the value and importance of living one’s life. He beckons Porfiry to reconsider his impending actions: while people have the right to live, they also have a right to justice and to their duty, and since Porfiry did not explicitly prevent the criminal from prolonged life, it is not on his head that fault or responsibility will fall. In fact, if anything, he will be celebrated for preserving justice despite the difficult moral dilemma. Convinced by Raskolnikov, Porfiry decides to step off the bridge and the two men decide to co-write a book of their various criminal experiences.

  27. Hannah Wilson
    April 16th, 2009 | 9:57 am

    The virus.

    After Raskolnikov finishes his seven years in Siberia, he and Sonya return to St. Petersburg to return to Dunya and Razhumikan. Once back in St. Petersburg, Razhumikan finds Raskolnikov a mundane job and everything is going well… for a while. Sonya, meanwhile bears wonderful Christian children who act as perfect citizens. They spend all of their time playing with the Dunya’s children and everything appears to be fine on the surface.

    After a couple of months at this job, Raskolnikov begins to become very bored with his life. While he has found god and redemption, he begins to lose this meaning and question what he is doing in his life. One night Raskolnikov has the same dream about viruses. Initially he does not remember having the dream for the first time, but it begins to haunt him throughout his daily life. He begins to see bacteria, and notice all that is infectious in life. These thoughts slowly begin to consume his life and eventually gets fired from work for neglecting his duties.

    Jobless, with a family to support Raskolnikov is thrown into a second sickness. He begins having the same reoccurring dream about this virus. He continues to be frightened by it, and not knowing what to do just keeps it to himself. While reading the newspaper one day, he notices an increase in murders. wondering about their perpetrators and having a lot of time on his hands, he decides to reconnect with Porfiry in order to talk to them.

    While talking to the criminals Raskolnikov ends up understanding that they are suffering from the same illness he is. In his effort to cure himself again, he talks to Sonya, Dunya and the children and attempts to find redemption again. This seems to be working until one conversation with Razhumikan.

    Razhumkikan acknowledges that he is having the types of thoughts and the religion is not offering any type of redemption. The two of them run off into Siberia, we never learn what happens to them, however Dunya and Sonya survive this wave of murders and raise wonderful children.

  28. Gabriel G Suarez
    April 16th, 2009 | 10:48 am

    In the early 20th century, G.K. Chesterton wrote two books on Christian apologetics, which he titled “Heretics” and “Orthodoxy.” The first was published three years earlier than the second, and garnered much criticism. Contemporary reviews accused it of raising problems with Western society, but offering no solutions; of parading the ills of culture, but providing no further justification for his thesis: that God is the Absolute answer to these ills. In “Orthodoxy” he responded to these criticisms by sharing his story of salvation, and personal justifications for Christianity. It was the answer to his skeptics.

    “Crime and Punishment” does a good job of beating out the temptation to believe in “extraordinary men” by showing the results that these misguided peacocks’ actions have on society and on the soul. But it does not offer an alternative until the Epilogue. What’s that? Prison camp is an alternative? Well, not quite, but I’ll stick by that. The alternative is Raskolnikov’s expression of remorse at the very end of the book. His acceptance of the sentence, his rejection of self-boosterism, and his transformation into a man remorseful and contrite are events which serve as a bridge to this new book, “Anguish and Absolution.”

    It begins with Raskolnikov nearing the end of his sentence. Years on, he is still plagued by visions of the old woman and Lizaveta. He has fitful, sweaty dreams where he sees his mother and Katerina, and can’t help but be filled with guilt–he is convinced that the murders caused their deaths. In the prison camp, Raskolnikov meets a priest, who has helped him survive the last eight years. Before he is to be released, he tells the priest his plans of marrying Sonya, returning to Peterburg, and starting a family. Perhaps he’ll become a religious man, too. He has seen that God will always provide for the faithful, after all.

    The day he leaves prison, Sonya is waiting for him at the gates. He proposes to her, but she refuses. She does not love him . . . in that way. This wasn’t about “eros” or even “agape,” but “philia.” Raskolnikov cannot bear this rejection. Why would his God, the one he has returned to, treat him like this? Isn’t he the prodigal son?

    Raskolnikov finds his own way to Petersburg, it takes less time than he anticipated, as Sonya gave him a large amount of money which she had been saving for eight years so that he could return home. Once there, he sees the state of his friends. Razumkhin and Dunya have forgotten about him, about Sonya, about Raskolnikov’s mother, etc. They have become a part of high society, no longer concerned with matters more downscale.

    Raskolnikov is even more confounded. “Why have You forsaken me?” he asks. He wished he could return to being an extraordinary man, not having to worry about any path laid out by God, but he can’t. He can’t escape the Absolute any longer. His prayers to be locked in God’s will have been answered.

    Raskolnikov becomes a priest, and completely escapes the world. He suffers constantly over his past, and over his world–the rejection of suffering inescapably leads to the rejection of the suffering. It is only with much work that he is able to accept that God’s love is inescapable, and that if you accept it, it will bring worldly misery. He sees that the promises of modernity are empty, because they are selfish. He becomes the antithesis of the “extraordinary man.” He is now thankful for his suffering, and accepts his lot. There may be no logical proof that disproves the theory of the “extraordinary man,” but there is this: love of self and love of others are for the most part incompatible. “Extraordinary Men” will only be happy if they can stand to see their mothers die, that’s how high the threshold is. There are no Extraordinary Men per se, at least not the way the theory suggests there are. There are just some people who are willing to inflict more on others to help themselves. Raskolnikov is now a poor priest, living in a tiny apartment in a monastery.

    So it’s a sad sequel, but I think it’s what is necessary for Dostoevsky to come full circle.

  29. Sophie Clarke
    April 16th, 2009 | 10:59 am

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