Razumihin versus Raskolnikov – Reason versus Split (Personality)
In Crime and Punishment, a profound contrast in personality, life philosophy and ideology is presented through the characters of Razumihin and Raskolnikov. Razumihin’s name is based on word “razum,” which when translated to English suggests reason, unlike Raskolnikov whose name based on word ”raskol” suggests split (personality, in this case). In other words, Razumihin tries to reason, think and debate with both him and others about actions of others or state of the world. Raskolnikov, on the other hand, holds strong beliefs and acts accordingly only to be haunted later, after the fact, by his inner voices of reason or faith.
Razumihin is, just like Raskolnikov, in a difficult financial situation. However, he tries to work hard and make sacrifices to escape from that reality and so prove that, for a man, there is no hopeless situation. He also debates with the view of socialists, accepted by Raskolnikov that a crime is a protest against immorality of the social system and as such acceptable. Moreover, Razumihin is skeptical about the perfect social system, praised by Raskolnikov, designed by a genius mathematician who could create just and sinless humanity, oblivious to any living process or historical heritage.When the environment begins to have doubts about Raskolnikov being the killer, even then
Razumihin is trying to reason and find an argument to defend him. Indeed, passing quick judgment is not in
his nature even when facts are fairly obvious. Yet, he is able after some reflection to come to his own
conclusion that his consciousness cannot accept and allow human blood on his hands for some fantastic
idealistic reasons. That is also contrasted to Raskolnikov who defends such position rather fanatically.