I’ve been struck by Raskolnikov’s illness, and especially his extreme fatigue that peaks right after the commits the murders. The fever state and lapses into unconsciousness that Raskolnikov continues to experience seem like an unusual reaction to me. I feel like guilt in modern popular culture is often associated with hyperawareness and insomnia, as the guilty party worries that at any moment society will turn against them. These criminals display anxiety because they are extremely conscious of society and the expected response to the violation of its rules. Raskolnikov, on the other hand, withdraws completely and sometimes literally, as he loses hours and entire days to unconsciousness. How do we reconcile Raskolnikov’s actions and reactions?
It’s clear that Raskolnikov was never particular tied to societal norms. He spend the first part of the novel wandering, and we learn that he has deserted his studies and pays no attention to money. He also doesn’t seem to accept the fairly logical conclusion that his inattention to fiscal responsibilities will affect his mother and sister. In this context, Raskolikov’s literal withdrawal from consciousness after his crime seems to be an exaggeration of the disconnect he felt before.
Given all this, I’ve been wondering if we can really class Raskolnikov’s reaction to the double murder as guilt. He’s definitely worried that someone will discover evidence linking him to the crime, but at other moments he confesses to the murders. If Raskolnikov lacks a need to participate in a abide by the expectations of society, can he still feel guilty? And if not guilt, what do you think is motivating Raskolnikov's strong physical reaction to his crime?