Somehow I feel like I subconsciously disagree with everyone in the class that says Raskolnikov is crazy. It is true that he comes of as somehow mentally disturbed, and Dostojevski made a great effort to make him sound as though he’s crazy, but I was not particularly convinced.
Dostojevski described Raskolnikov’s mind and thought process in great detail, which is why, I think, people might consider him irrational. The thoughts, views, opinions and judgments that go through his head, when vocalized, would make everyone think he’s ready for the insane asylum. But that’s exactly the point, the man never articulates his most inner and intimate thoughts and neither does anyone else in this world. Most of these thoughts are just passing ideas that never even take form in reality. It’s all very stream-of-consciousness-esque and I’m quite certain we would find every single one of us at least slightly disturbed, if we could look into each other’s head for as much as five minutes.
To me it seemed more like Raskolnikov wants to be crazy, or at least be perceived by society as crazy, when he, in fact, is not. He’s just a confused individual, whose mind is trapped inside some adolescent idea that he can’t shake. He wants to be special, he wants to be someone, opposed to being a part of the herd, which is a strangely romantic notion due to the fact this book is considered to be written in the style of psychological realism.
In my opinion the only reason he actually commits the murder is because he wants to prove once and for all that he is special, or forever give up that notion. Somehow he got the idea in his head that homicide is the only way he can achieve that, so I think in his head the idea of killing a person and thus proving his “worth” to himself and everyone around him became so abstracted from the actual act of murder that he didn’t even realize what he was doing until the deed was done.